Assignment 1: Career Materials

For this first formal assignment, you are doing a mini job search in your field, choosing a specific job ad, and creating/revising Career Materials (a Cover Letter and Resume) in response. Below are detailed guidelines for this assignment:

  • Cover Letter: Your letter should be one page (4 paragraphs: Introduction, Conclusion, plus paragraph about education, and paragraph about experience), and should follow the formatting and guidelines discussed in in class. Remember that the Cover Letter is not simply a re-statement of the skills/experience you list in your resume, but instead a narrative that pieces together your various qualifications (expanding a few key points from your resume) and persuades your audience (in this case, the employers) to give you an interview &/or hire you. Check out these guidelines and sample Cover Letters (Job-Application Letters) (from Markel’s Technical Communication, 10th edition).
  • Personal Information: For both the Cover Letter and Resume, you can use a “fake” address and phone number for yourself, since this letter will be shared with everyone in the class on Dropbox. [Please note that, if you provided your real contact info. on the first draft of the materials, you may wish to go back and edit both the version in Dropbox, so your real info. is not publicly available.]
  • Audience/Purpose/Context: Remember to consider your “audience” (who the Cover Letter and Resume are addressed to) for this particular job, and to adjust your approach/tone/content accordingly. Make sure to read the “job ad” carefully, looking at required/must-have qualifications and desired/ideal qualifications, and craft your Cover Letter and Resume in response (knowing what to prioritize on there based on your own strengths). Use active (not passive) voice and clear language, and make absolutely sure your materials are error-free.
  • Revision: Your Career Materials should be significantly revised from your first draft of them (based on the reading, in-class discussions, peer review, and individual conferences with me). You should make both global revisions (re-thinking/adding to content, organization, paragraph development) as well as local revisions (editing, proofreading, formatting).
  • Reflection: You must include (as the first page of your document), a one-page, single-spaced reflection letter (addressed to me) that discusses, thoughtfully and in detail, your composing/revision process for this assignment, changes you made (and why), what you have learned from draft to draft (and how you incorporate feedback from our class discussions and peer review), what you have learned, what you think the strengths of the assignment are, what you are still struggling with, etc.

Assignment 1: Career Materials is worth 5% of your overall course grade. You will be graded accordingly to the quality of your final product of the Career Materials, the thorough/critical process of your revision, and the thoughtfulness of your reflection.

Your final draft should be submitted in the following order: your Reflection Letter as the first page, Cover Letter as the second page, followed by your Resume (1-2 pages), and the Job Ad (link of URL + text – you can screenshot it).

You must submit your revised Career Materials in two ways:

  • Dropbox: Upload to Dropbox (in the folder “Career Materials”, Final Draft (due 9-17-14) as a single PDF file make sure to follow the appropriate labeling and file format guidelines (you can review them on our course site here)
  • Hard Copy “Porfolio” Folder: Bring one printed, stapled copy to class (to be collected when class begins) in a folder as a “portfolio” (include your revised “Job Ad” post, first draft of materials, final draft of materials, and Reflection Letter”

*If your complete, revised Career Materials are not submitted both electronically and as a printed copy by the start of Wednesday’s class (9/17), you will receive no credit for the assignment. As with all assignments for our course, late submissions will not be accepted.