Purpose: In order to gauge how effectively you have arranged the sections of your resume and how well you have answered the potential reader questions in your application letter, I must know what company and position you are applying for, plus any other pertinent information about the situation. The memo should give me the background I need to evaluate your job application.
Content Suggestions: Tell me the name of the company and a little about what that company does: the product it manufactures or the service it renders. Then tell me which department you are applying to and the specific job title. I also need to know the requirements for the position and representative duties.
Explain how you know about this position. Responding to an advertisement is quite different from sending out an unsolicited request for a position! If you are responding to an ad, include the ad itself, but also tell me in the memo what the ad calls for in prospective employees. If you are sending out an unsolicited resume, tell me why you chose that company and position as well as how you know about the position.
Finally, tell me why you are applying for this position. What is it about the company, the position, or your qualifications that make this a good fit?
Format and Length: Use the conventional memo format. Address the memo to your instructor. Respond as a student in section nnn (your section no.).
The memo need only be one page, but must give me an adequate picture of the company, the position, and why you chose this particular position.
Process for Creating the Memo
Now that you have read the description of the assignment, begin by gathering the data, answering the questions on the pages describing the research for a position and on the organization.
Next consider the arrangement of materials according to the purpose listed above and quickly draft a first version, preferably on a computer.
Then look at the criteria for this project and let your revision be guided by the criteria. It would also be helpful to look at a sample of the assignment and compare. This is an equivalent to the models you will see at work. The comparison should be made on the basis of format conventions, kind of content, sources that seem to be acceptable, and sometimes the arrangement of material. Readers in each company have expectations and models help us realize what those expectations might be.
This use of models is not meant to take away rhetorical choice or to say that every document we see on the job is being written in the most effective way. We might, indeed, want to make changes! But first we must understand why the models are the way they are, what readers need and expect.
Finally, proof the memo for a final submission to meet the due date.