Job Application Portfolio Elevator Speech

The Situation
This is an individual assignment with a collaborative component. You will do the portfolio yourself, but you are required to participate in a peer review session (your peer review group will be assigned to you) in order to receive credit for completing the assignment. You are also required to prepare a 15-to 30-second “elevator” speech that will be reviewed and evaluated by your instructor and
Presenting yourself on paper to a potential employer is one of the most important writing assignments you may have in the near future. It is a prelude to the writing you will be doing on the job, and it requires the same skills and strategies as other on-the-job writing. For this class project, you will prepare a job application portfolio and an “elevator” speech.

Download the assignment details and an evaluation checklist for the Job Application Portfolio/Elevator Speech assignment
The Assignment
Find a specific, real job opening for which you are actually qualified and might like to be considered. This job must be related to your current or eventual professional career plans, and your application should be a response to some specific information (newspaper or trade journal want-ad, Career Planning and Placement Center notice, communication from a contact in a similar line of work, news item about the company, a bulletin-board or Web posting, etc.).
Your readers must be real people in real organizations. The more you know about the position, the organization, and the people, as well as the requirements of the job, the more persuasive you can be. Some research will really pay off. Use the Internet, newspaper, Career Planning and Placement Center, library, telephone, your personal contacts and any of the resources you used for Assignment 2: Investigative Report. If you are a junior, it would be appropriate to apply for an internship or part-time work. If you plan to go to graduate school, consider applying for a fellowship or a place in a competitive academic program.
1. Prepare a résumé in which you summarize and display, in convenient and coherent visual units (“chunks”), the factual record that any employer will want to know about you. Include (but do not limit yourself to) your education and employment history, abilities, skills, honors, publications, interests and activities, and personal data, as appropriate.
2. Write a one-page job application letter for the position you have selected. Your letter should do what the résumé can’t — it should select, emphasize, explain, and elaborate; it should make the case that you would be a good employee. In your letter, you must both “stand out” and “fit in.” Stand out from the crowd of other applicants and show that you can fit in with the particular needs and customs of the company to which you’re applying.
3. Prepare a complete list of references.
4. Write and mail in a handwritten “thank you” note–as if you had been granted the interview for the position.
5. create a professional calling card.
6. Create a text-only version of your portfolio.
Include a copy of the information about the position, that is, your ad or notice, or documentation about your telephone call or contact, or I cannot grade this paper. If you cannot photocopy the ad or submit the original, then type (or do a screen capture of) the information for me. If you don’t include the information to which you responded, it will be impossible for me to tell whether you were able to meet the needs of your readers.
Develop a 15-to 30-second “elevator” speech. If you were to enter an elevator at the same time as the person you most wanted to work for in the world, how would you “sell” yourself in the time it takes you to go up or down in the elevator (15 to 30 seconds)? Some things you might want to include are your name, status and major; what you’re studying; your major academic achievements; contributions you plan to make after graduation. You’ll present your pitch in the form of a brief video. The video will be evaluated by your peers and your instructor.
Extra credit opportunity: Join a student chapter of a professional society appropriate in your field and prove that you have joined. This could gain you an extra point on the assignment.
You can modify this assignment to meet specific needs you might have–such as a different sort of career path, a project related to work, or another class. If you choose to modify the assignment, discuss it with me before you get started.