1Employment Communication Assignment
Job Search, Letter of Application, Resumé, Interview Questions, Follow – Up
The red is the summary for the overview—the green link in box (on overview page) is what
is below not highlighted
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
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 Services
FIU’s Career Management Services
Sample Advertisement and How to Highlight or Underline Job
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 email@example.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 use
o the 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
Tip 3: Use Appropriate Language
Avoid repeated use of “I” and abstract language such as “think”, “feel”, “wish”, or “hope” in
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
Your position advertised on your company’s website is an excellent fit with my
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
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
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
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:
1. Employers are familiar with it and can easily find the information;
2. It highlights growth and career progression; and
3. It 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.
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:
1. Without having to read through job descriptions, employers can see what you can do
2. You can emphasize early job experience; and
3. You 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.
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:
1. The type of position (Management Trainee, Retail Buyer, Sales Representative,
Nurse, Credit Analyst, Teacher)
2. The type of field (Public Affairs, Arts, Operations, Public Administration, Engineering,
Finance, Health, Higher Education);
3. The type of Industry (Communications, Electronics);
4. The type of organization (small vs. large; urban vs. rural, public vs. private; local
vs. international), and
5. Your functional skills (public speaking, leadership, organization, research, supervisory,
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
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 wellrounded and accomplishment- oriented individual. Be cautious of including religious, social,
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
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
o Include 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
Always use reverse chronological order when listing education and work history
o When listing your work experience and education on your resumé, begin with the
most recent dates and work backwards in time. For example:
▪ May 2005 – present
▪ June 2000 – April 2005
▪ March 1995 – May 2000
Indicate City and State for Employers and Educational Institutions
o It 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, FL
▪ United States Postal Service, Pittsburgh, PA
▪ Sorbonne, Paris, France
Include University, Degree(s), and Major(s)
o 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.
o 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 School
o In 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.
o 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 Duties
o Enhance your resumé by describing your accomplishments powerfully using
action verbs and avoid weak statements.
o 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 Pronouns
o I, 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 Pages
o It 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.
o This may require that you make decisions regarding the content and format of
Include a Separate Reference Page
o On 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.
o Person’s Name
o Name of Position and/or Title Name of Organization
o Mailing Address (If applicable) Email Address
o Phone 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
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
1. Tell me about yourself.
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
2. Why should I hire you?
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.
3. What is your long-range objective?
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
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
4. How has your education prepared you for your career?
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.
5. Are you a team player?
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.
6. Have you ever had a conflict with a boss or professor? How was it resolved?
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
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
7. What is your greatest weakness?
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
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…
8. If I were to ask your professors to describe you, what would they say?
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.
9. What qualities do you feel a successful manager should have?
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.
10. Do you have any questions for us?
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
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
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.
• 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
• This letter will show the interviewer that you are thorough and sincerely
interested in the job
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
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
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
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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