The Communication Situation: A Career Management Portfolio is just a fancy way of referring to application documents. Many companies and schools will request more than just a cover letter and a resume from applicants (e.g., personal statements, samples of work, etc.). Creating and maintaining documents for an application can help you to be prepared for opportunities that can arise.
I want this assignment to be useful for you so you will have some choice in what you submit. Your options are the following:
Option 1: Application Letter, and a Resume/CV Option 2: Personal Statement, and a Resume/CV
If you plan to apply to a company, then select a position that interests you. If it is more applicable to focus on an internship or a co-op position then do that. The job should be related to your eventual career field. Your application letter should show how your skills and interests will meet an organization’s needs. Your reader needs to be a real person who you will address (i.e., a name or a title of someone within an organization). A resume should be attached.
If you plan to apply to a graduate school then focus on creating a personal statement that matches the school’s requirements. Along with the personal statement, you will need to submit a resume or CV. Write as yourself. Include only factual information and valid personal references, objectives, and goals. You may project yourself six months or so into the future if you will not be graduating soon.
The Assignment: Choose one of the options listed below:
Option 1: Write a one page application letter. The application letter should accomplish what your resume cannot do. The letter should emphasize, explain, and elaborate about why you would be a good choice for the open position. In your letter, you must both “stand out” from the crowd of other applicants, and “fit in” with the needs of the company to which you are applying. The content should motivate the reader to want to read more about you (e.g., your resume or CV).
Prepare a resume or a CV summarizing and displaying in coherent visual “chunks” the factual record that a potential reader will want to know about you. Include your educational and employment history, skills, honors, publications, interests and personal data, as appropriate. A resume’s purpose is to be useful in an interview so that what is listed can be discussed and expanded. A CV’s purpose is to include a comprehensive list of achievements and skills with elaboration.
Option 2: Write a personal statement that stands out from others in content and flow. A personal statement may have a defined format in terms of the required length, or specified content. If no clear guidelines are provided by a school or an organization, then a typical personal statement should be 500-800 words. The content should match a stated focus.
Prepare a resume or a CV summarizing and displaying in coherent visual “chunks” the factual record that a potential reader will want to know about you. Include your educational and employment history, abilities, skills, honors, publications, interests and personal data, as appropriate. A resume’s purpose is to be useful in an interview so that what is listed can be discussed and expanded. A CV’s purpose is to include a comprehensive list of achievements and skills with elaboration.
Requirements: Submit for evaluation:
- one copy of the application letter, or one copy of the personal statement
- one copy of the resume or CV.
Exceeds or Meets
Does not meet
APPLICATION LETTER – OPENING: Identifies you and your purpose. Grabs the reader’s attention, and motivates the reader to keep reading your letter. Provides a good transition to the rest of the letter.
APPLICATION LETTER – CONTENT: Reflects a purposeful organization. Draws selectively from the information on your resume, and motivates the reader to want to read it. Contains a call to action with a professional tone in the closing paragraph.
APPLICATION LETTER – FORMAT: Follows a standard letter format including an appropriate salutation and closing. Facilitates a reader to quickly obtain wanted information.
PERSONAL STATEMENT – Adheres to the requirements for content and format set by a school or an organization. Grabs the reader’s attention, and “tells a story.” Stands out from other personal statements by providing unique information, and is memorable by a reader.
RESUME/CV – Organizes information in order of importance for a job or graduate school. Presents information concisely yet with enough detail to be useful, and facilitates reading through the use of visual formatting cues. Provides adequate visual separation of sections with neat margins and alignments, and identifies a second page or any attachments. Stands out with a unique letterhead and format.
OVERALL – Uses standard grammar, punctuation and spelling. Avoids awkward, wordy, or imprecise phrasing in all application documents.
“Looking for a job is a job.” Student Comment