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Many people will submit their resumés in hopes of being chosen to interview for a particular position; however, those few individuals who are invited to interview are picked primarily on the basis of the content and quality of their letter of application, their resumé, and their professional references. When you realize the competitive nature of a job search in the United States, the quality of your communication with the employer acquires added importance. Your resumé, cover letter, and thank you letter should be personalized, concise and error free documents that you have designed to reflect your particular accomplishments and academic and professional credentials. This assignment consists of five related tasks: Locate an existing, advertised full – time, part – time, or internship that is commensurate with your current skills. Write a persuasive letter of application. Format and write a professional resumé that includes a professional reference page. Answer behavioral and situational employment interviews. Follow – up an interview with a properly drafted thank you letter. Task 1: Job Search and Position Announcement Begin this first task as a new document in MSWord. Your first task is to find a position that is suitable with your current education and experience level. This may be a full – time position, part – time position, or an internship; however, this position must actually exist and be verifiable. Once you find a suitable position, copy and paste this advertisement / job description into a MSWord file and underline or highlight the specific job qualifications. Tip 1: Review your Textbook Tip 2: You may use any search engine you prefer; however, you should also explore FIU’s Career Services Pantherlink. FIU’s Career ServicesFIU’s Career Management Services Sample Advertisement and How to Highlight or Underline Job Qualifications Administrative Assistant Disability Care Links requires and Administrative Assistant to work in its central London office. The organization is a specialist in the field of disability care services. The successful candidate will enjoy working as part of a dedicated team, with the added satisfaction of working for an organization committed to the care and support of disabled people. The job involves a variety of administrative duties. These will include filing, letter writing, sorting post, obtaining information from a computer, photocopying and maintaining records. Training will be provided, if necessary, to equip the job – holder with computer skills to enable them to use the organization’s computer system. Applicants are required to have completed at least 30 college credits at grade C or above. This position is available on a full – time or part – time basis. Please write for an application form to: Personnel Department 123 Main Street Miami, FL 33333 For further information contact Ms. Edna Smith at smith@emailaddress.com Task 2: Employment Letter of Application Begin this task on a separate page in the same MSWord file. You can do this by using the Insert / Break / Page Break function in MSWord. Now that you have found a suitable position, it’s time to apply by writing a one page, properly organized and formatted letter of application. Tip 1: Review Your Textbook and Sample Letters for Ideas Tip 2: Select the Correct Letter Format Be sure to include your email address, return address, and signature block.Avoid addressing your letter to “Whom It May Concern,” Dear Prospective Employer,” or “Dear Sir/Madame.” I realize your book has an example of a letter addressed to Dear Hiring Manager; however, the American Management Association recommends writers usethe simplified letter format (Simplified Letter Format can be found in Module 9) if you are uncertain of a recipient’s name. If the name of the recipient is provided in the advertisement or if you know the name of the recipient, you may use the modified block format (The Modified Block Format can be found in Module 7).If your job posting does not list an address or a name, it is permissible to incorporate one of the addressees listed above, such as “To Whom it May Concern,” “Dear Sir/Madam”, etc.Similarly, if there is no physical address to mail an application, and you are left with no choice but to send an application via email, search for the main address of the company headquarters in a search engine and include it in your cover letter. Tip 3: Use Appropriate Language Avoid repeated use of “I” and abstract language such as “think”, “feel”, “wish”, or “hope” in your letter. I think I would make a great candidate… I hope you like my resumé…. I wish I had more skills, but…. Rather, adopt the you view (write from the reader’s point of view), indicate how your skills and qualifications will benefit the organization and its customers. and use courteous language. Your position advertised on your company’s website is an excellent fit with my qualifications. My background includes a bachelor’s degree in marketing and three years of administrative experience that could be used to benefit your organization. Please contact me at your convenience to schedule an interview. Additional Examples of Appropriate Language Tip 4: Proofread Your Letter Check for format, content, grammar, and punctuation “mis-steaks.” Organization of The Letter of Application for This Assignment Heading/Date/Inside Address: If you are writing a traditional (not email) letter, select a standard business-letter format such as block style, modified block, or simplified. Your letter’s design should match your resumé (See example below).Salutation: It’s best to address your letter to a specific person (e.g., “Dear Ms. Jones:”). Avoid stale salutations such as “Dear Sir/Madam:” and “To Whom it May Concern:”Opening (One Paragraph): Hiring managers are busy and do not care to wade through fluff. Your opening paragraph should clearly state the position for which you’re applying. Include a reference code if requested and the referral source (e.g., recommendation from a current employee, Monster, etc.). Your opening may also include a synopsis of why you are a top candidate for the position:Your position advertised on Monster is an excellent fit with my qualifications, as the enclosed resumé will attest. My background includes 10 years of success managing international sales programs, top-ranked regions and Fortune 500 accounts. I offer particular expertise in the high-tech sector, with in-depth knowledge of networking technology…Body (One or Two Paragraphs): Your letter’s body contains your sales pitch. In one or two paragraphs, this is your chance to outline the top reasons why you’re worthy of an interview. Before deciding what to include in the body of this letter, review the job advertisement and the qualifications you highlighted and/or underlined. Weave these qualifications into the body of your letter, perhaps as a bulleted list. Back up achievements with specific examples of how your performance benefited current and former employers. Precede your bulleted list with a statement such as “Highlights of my credentials include:” or “Key strengths I offer include:” When writing the body text, keep in mind that hiring managers are self-centered –they want to know what you can do for them, not learn about your life story. Demonstrate how your credentials, motivation and track record would benefit their operation. Keep your letter positive and upbeat. This is not the place to write a sob story about your employment situation. Put yourself in the hiring manager’s shoes — would you call yourself in for an interview? Closing (One Paragraph): Your final paragraph should generate a call for action, so express your strong interest in an interview and request an interview. Do not establish parameters for when and how you can be contacted such as. “Please contact me after 5:00pm but before 9:00pm on June 3.” Would you hire this person?Signature Block: Depending on the format of the letter you have selected (block, modified, or simplified), create the signature block appropriately. Task 3: Professional Resumé And Reference Page Begin each task on a separate page in the same MSWord file you used to complete Task 1 and 2. You can do this by using the Insert / Break / Page Break function in MSWord. Now that you have found a suitable position and written a letter of application, it’s time to properly organize and format your resumé and your professional reference page. Tip 1: Select the Correct Resumé Format Depending on your current skills and qualifications, you will need select the appropriate resumé type: Chronological Resumé (Preferred by Most Employers) The chronological approach is the most common way to organize a resumé, and many employers prefer it. This approach has three key advantages: Employers are familiar with it and can easily find the information;It highlights growth and career progression; andIt highlights employment continuity and stability. The work experience section of the resumé dominates and is placed at the most prominent slot., immediately after the name and address and optional objective statement. You develop this section by listing your jobs sequentially in reverse order, beginning with the most recent position and working your way backward toward earlier jobs. Under each listing, describe your responsibilities and accomplishments, giving the most space to the most recent positions. If you’re near graduation from college with limited work experience, you can vary this chronological approach by putting your educational qualifications before your experience, thereby focusing attention on your academic credentials. Functional Resumé Sometimes called a skills resumé, the functional resumé emphasizes your skills and capabilities, and identifies your employers and academic experience in subordinate sections. This pattern stresses individual areas of competence, so it’s useful for people who are just entering the job market, want to redirect their careers, or have little continuous career related experience. The functional approach also has three advantages: Without having to read through job descriptions, employers can see what you can do for them;You can emphasize early job experience; andYou can de-emphasize any lack of career progress or lengthy employment. You should be aware that not all employers like the functional resumé, perhaps partly because it can obscure your work history and partly because it’s less common. In fact, Monster.com lists the functional resumé as one of employers’ Top 10 Pet Peeves. Combination Resumé The combination resumé is simply a functional resumé with a brief employment history added. Skills and accomplishments are still listed first; the employment history follows. You need to reveal where you worked, when you worked, and what your job position was. This will allay an employer’s worries about your experience, and it still allows you to emphasize your talents and how you would use them for the job you are applying for. While most employers might still prefer a chronological resumé, this is a good alternative to the functional…… Tip 2: Review Your Textbook for Samples and Guidelines Tip 3: Pay Attention to Details Contact Information: Include your full legal name, complete mailing address, a working email address, and no more than two telephone numbers. Job Objective: A good job objective statement is much like a thesis sentence in a paper; it ties the resumé together, giving it focus and direction. Avoid vague, generic phrases such as “challenging, responsible position,” “management training,” “position dealing with people.” It is usually a good idea to indicate the position you consider yourself best qualified for, and also tie in related skills you can bring to bear on that position. Well written, effective job objective statements should include several of the following: The type of position (Management Trainee, Retail Buyer, Sales Representative, Nurse, Credit Analyst, Teacher)The type of field (Public Affairs, Arts, Operations, Public Administration, Engineering, Finance, Health, Higher Education);The type of Industry (Communications, Electronics);The type of organization (small vs. large; urban vs. rural, public vs. private; local vs. international), andYour functional skills (public speaking, leadership, organization, research, supervisory, computer). Employment History: A listing in reverse chronological order (most recent first) of your employment experience, including name and location of employers, dates, job titles, and perhaps brief descriptions of your accomplishments. Educational Record: In this section list schools in reverse chronological order (most recent first). Make sure you spell out the degree(s) you received indicating dates, and the university where they were earned, your grade point average, however, is optional. If you don’t include your GPA, be prepared to explain why in your interview. Relevant Course Work: Considered optional, it lists classes in your field of concentration or course work relevant to your job objective. Honors and Awards: Although usually considered an optional section, it includes all scholastic or outside recognition received (generally beginning with your college career). Skills/Experiences Related to Job Objective: This section is usually found only on a functional resumé. Here you relate your experience, whether it be through summer employment, activities, or special projects that helps you qualify as the best candidate for the job. Activities and Interests: A section that can be included in all resumé types that provides the opportunity to set yourself apart from the other applicants and to show you are a well-rounded and accomplishment- oriented individual. Be cautious of including religious, social, political affiliations References: On a separate page of your resumé titled Personal References, include the names, addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses of three references that you have asked and have agreed to serve as a reference. Attempt to find three people from different areas of your life, who can professionally comment on your education, work history, and/or personal character. Tip 4: Proofread Your Resumé Check for format, content, grammar, and punctuation. Resume “Musts” For This Assignment Include Your Email Address and Phone Number as Part of Your Contact InformationInclude at least one telephone number in the contact information of your resumé; however, you should avoid more than two telephone numbers. In most cases, an employer isn’t going to track your down by making several phone calls to different numbers. Obviously, don’t place a phone number on your resumé that won’t be answered in a professional manner. Demonstrate your technological skills by linking your email address in your contact information at the top of your resumé.Always use reverse chronological order when listing education and work historyWhen listing your work experience and education on your resumé, begin with the most recent dates and work backwards in time. For example:May 2005 – presentJune 2000 – April 2005March 1995 – May 2000Indicate City and State for Employers and Educational InstitutionsIt isn’t necessary to provide a complete mailing address; however, you should include the city and state for employers and education institutions. If you worked or attended school outside of the United States, include the city and the country rather than the city and the state.Florida International University, Miami, FLUnited States Postal Service, Pittsburgh, PASorbonne, Paris, FranceInclude University, Degree(s), and Major(s)Don’t forget to include your most recent education at Florida International University. Even if you have only been attending FIU for a brief time, it’s significant that you applied for admission and you were accepted. Indicate the degrees you have completed (AA. AS, BA, BS, BBA) and the degree you are currently pursuing (BBA, BA, BS, MA, MS, PHD) You should also include your major or majors.If you are not sure of the name of the degree you are pursuing (Is it a BBA or a BA?) please ask your academic advisor. This information is important to your potential employers; you don’t want to appear as if you aren’t aware of the degree you are pursuing. You certainly don’t want to provide them with incorrect information or have your ethics questioned.Eliminate References to High SchoolIn most cases, it is advisable to eliminate all references to your high school education, achievement and activities. If you are attending a prestigious high school that has a large alumni base, you should consider placing this information on your resumé.However, by indicating your high school, your potential employer will be able to determine your approximate age. Also, in most cases, what you did in high school will have little impact on your employer’s perception of your potential success in a professional occupation.Use Action Verbs That Emphasize Accomplishments Rather Than DutiesEnhance your resumé by describing your accomplishments powerfully using action verbs and avoid weak statements.Review page 445 of your text for a list of appropriate action verbs and examples of results-oriented statements.Generated 35 new accounts last month.Developed new accounting system that reduced paperwork by 50 percent.Eliminate All PronounsI, Me, My, He, His, She, Her, It, You, Your, We, They, Our, and Us do not belong on your resumé.Create Full Pages Rather Than Partial PagesIt is advisable to limit your resumé to one full page or two full pages of text. Don’t forget to include a heading on the second page.This may require that you make decisions regarding the content and format of your resumé.Include a Separate Reference PageOn a separate page titled, “Professional References,” list at least three references. Select references who can speak about your education, work – related skills, accomplishments, and personality traits. Avoid listing family members, neighbors, and casual acquaintances. It is strongly recommended you request permission to include a person on your list of references.Person’s NameName of Position and/or Title Name of OrganizationMailing Address (If applicable) Email AddressPhone Numbers Task 4: Employment Interview Questions Begin this task on a separate page in the same MSWord file you used to complete Task 1, 2, and 3. You can do this by using the Insert / Break / Page Break function in MSWord. Congratulations! Your potential employer liked your letter of application and your resume and is interested in interviewing you for the position. Pretend you are being interviewed by Ms. Rosemary Ferguson for the position you indicated in Task 1. Write your honest response each question of the ten questions listed to the right. Tip 1: Create A Positive Impression The initial impression you make on the others is, if not indelible, certainly a huge determinant in how they will feel about you for quite some time. This judgment is only magnified at job interviews — an activity designed to make sure you fit within an organization both personally and professionally. Tip 2: Review Your Textbook for Interviewing Tips Tip 3: Proofread Your Answers Check for format, content, grammar, and punctuation “mis-steaks.” Employment Interview Questions for This Assignment When answering these questions, be certain to refer to your relevant skills for the vacant position. Avoid being arrogant, and don’t criticize current or previous employers, bosses, or peers Rather, be confident, well-spoken and answer each question as it relates to the position. Tell me about yourself.Why should I hire you?What is your long-range objective?How has your education prepared you for your career?Are you a team player?Have you ever had a conflict with a boss or professor? How was it resolved?What is your greatest weakness?If I were to ask your professors to describe you, what would they say?What qualities do you feel a successful manager should have?Do you have any questions for us?The tone of the letter is courteous and thankful.Consider including an analysis of your visit to the company or your interview.This may include impressions of the company itself, analysis of the interview proceedings or new facts you learned about the company.Include any new information about your qualifications or education since your interview.This letter will show the interviewer that you are thorough and sincerely interested in the job It seems like an easy interview question. It’s open ended. I can talk about whatever I want from the birth canal forward. Right? Wrong. What the hiring manager really wants is a quick, two- to three-minute snapshot of who you are and why you’re the best candidate for this position. So, as you answer this question, talk about what you’ve done to prepare yourself to be the very best candidate for the position. Use an example or two to back it up. Then ask if they would like more details. If they do, keep giving them example after example of your background and experience. Always point back to an example when you have the opportunity. “Tell me about yourself” does not mean tell me everything. Just tell me what makes you the best. The easy answer is that you are the best person for the job. And don’t be afraid to say so. But then back it up with what specifically differentiates you. For example: “You should hire me because I’m the best person for the job. I realize that there are likely other candidates who also have the ability to do this job. Yet I bring an additional quality that makes me the best person for the job–my passion for excellence. I am passionately committed to producing truly world class results. For example, . . .” Are you the best person for the job? Show it by your passionate examples. Make my job easy for me. Make me want to hire you. The key is to focus on your achievable objectives and what you are doing to reach those objectives. For example: “Within five years, I would like to become the very best accountant your company has on staff. I want to work toward becoming the expert that others rely upon. And in doing so, I feel I’ll be fully prepared to take on any greater responsibilities which might be presented in the long term. For example, here is what I’m presently doing to prepare myself . . .” Then go on to show by your examples what you are doing to reach your goals and objectives. This is a broad question and you need to focus on the behavioral examples in your educational background which specifically align to the required competencies for the career. An example: “My education has focused on not only the learning the fundamentals, but also on the practical application of the information learned within those classes. For example, I played a lead role in a class project where we gathered and analyzed best practice data from this industry. Let me tell you more about the results . . .” Focus on behavioral examples supporting the key competencies for the career. Then ask if they would like to hear more examples. Almost everyone says yes to this question. But it is not just a yes/no question. You need to provide behavioral examples to back up your answer. A sample answer: “Yes, I’m very much a team player. In fact, I’ve had opportunities in my work, school and athletics to develop my skills as a team player. For example, on a recent project . . .” Emphasize teamwork behavioral examples and focus on your openness to diversity of backgrounds. Talk about the strength of the team above the individual. And note that this question may be used as a lead into questions around how you handle conflict within a team, so be prepared. Note that if you say no, most interviewers will keep drilling deeper to find a conflict. The key is how you behaviorally reacted to conflict and what you did to resolve it. For example: “Yes, I have had conflicts in the past. Never major ones, but there have been disagreements that needed to be resolved. I’ve found that when conflict occurs, it helps to fully understand the other person’s perspective, so I take time to listen to their point of view, then I seek to work out a collaborative solution. For example,” Focus your answer on the behavioral process for resolving the conflict and working collaboratively. Most career books tell you to select a strength and present it as a weakness. Such as: “I work too much. I just work and work and work.” Wrong. First, using a strength and presenting it as a weakness is deceiving. Second, it misses the point of the question. You should select a weakness that you have been actively working to overcome. For example: “I have had trouble in the past with planning and prioritization. However, I’m now taking steps to correct this. I just started using a pocket planner . . .” then show them your planner and how you are using it. Talk about a true weakness and show what you are doing to overcome it. Perhaps the fact you have not completed your degree, but you are working on it, would be the perfect answer to this question… This is a threat of reference check question. Do not wait for the interview to know the answer. Ask any prior bosses or professors in advance. And if they’re willing to provide a positive reference, ask them for a letter of recommendation. Then you can answer the question like this: I believe she would say I’m a very energetic person, that I’m results oriented and one of the best people she has ever worked with. Actually, I know she would say that, because those are her very words. May I show you her letter of recommendation?” So be prepared in advance with your letters of recommendation. Focus on two words: leadership and vision. Here is a sample of how to respond: “The key quality in a successful manager should be leadership–the ability to be the visionary for the people who are working under them. The person who can set the course and direction for subordinates. The highest calling of a true leader is inspiring others to reach the highest of their abilities. I’d like to tell you about a person whom I consider to be a true leader . . .” Then give an example of someone who has touched your life and how their impact has helped in your personal development. Of course, you do. Refer your text for appropriate questions to ask the employer. Task 5: Thank You Follow – Up Letter Begin this task on a separate page in the same MSWord file you used to complete Task 1, 2, and 3. You can do this by using the Insert / Break / Page Break function in MSWord. The interview was a success, and the interviewer, Ms. Rosemary Ferguson, was impressed with your skills and your interview style. Now it’s time to distinguish yourself from the other candidates by sending your interviewer a well written thank you letter that acknowledges the interviewer’s time and courtesy as well as conveying your continued interest in the position. This letter should show the reader that you are thorough, courteous, efficient, and sincerely interested in the job. On the personal level, writing this letter allows you to wrap up your application for the job; it is your last chance to tie up all the loose ends neatly. Tip 1: Review Your Textbook for Samples and Guidelines What do you include in the thank you letter? Convey your gratitude at being selected for an interview. Tip 2: Select the Correct Letter Format Select either the simplified letter format, the block format or the modified block format for your letter. These Letter Formats can be found in Module 7 and Module 9. Tip 3: Proofread Your Letter Check for format, content, grammar, and punctuation “mis-steaks.” Avoid Abstract Language. Adopt More Professional Language I think I am qualified for the community liaison position with your organization. As a recent graduate of ABC University with a major in marketing, I offer solid academic credentials as well as industry experience gained from an internship at GHI Company. If given the chance, I know that my strong business and marketing foundation would benefit your department, customers and bottom line. I am hoping to receive an interview to discuss my qualifications. Please contact me at 555- 555-5555 or email.com at your convenience to discuss my qualifications in more detail. I feel your company has a lot to offer me. Your company is truly a leader in health care information — you offer solutions that ultimately enhance the quality of health care delivery. I am excited by your mission and would be able to translate this excitement by providing top-notch administrative services to you and your team members. Organization of the Thank You Letter for This Assignment Opening (One Paragraph) The purpose of the follow-up to an interview is to convey your thankfulness at being given an interview. In the opening paragraph, refer to the position, the date of the interview, and thank the interviewer for allowing you to learn about the position and the company. Body (One or Two Paragraphs) Build on the strengths of the interview and once again emphasize the match between your skills, the position, and the organization. In the body of your letter, present a personal analysis of your interview and visit. It is important to avoid clichés and generalizations such as, “My visit to your company was very informational and interesting.” Write about your impressions of the company and your review of the interview proceedings. You may also want to point out any new information that you learned about the company during your visit. If there is any new information about your education or work experience that you believe would be increase your chance of getting the position, present those as well. Closing (One Paragraph) Restate your understanding of the next step in the process and your continued interest in the position. Close by thanking your prospective employer for his/her time. In your conclusion it is important to be positive and reflect goodwill. The letter’s intent is to show the interviewer that you are thorough, courteous, efficient and, most importantly, that you are sincerely interested in the job. It is likely that sending this letter will set you apart from the crowd.

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