Writing Assignment #2 Job Application Portfolio & Elevator Speech

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1 Writing Assignment #2 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 classmates. 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. 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. First, 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. Second, 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. Third, prepare a complete list of references. 4. Fourth, write and mail in a handwritten thank you note as if you had been granted the interview for the position. 5. Fifth, create a professional calling card.

2 6. Sixth, 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. The Job Application Portfolio Requirements Checklist begins on the next page.

3 Job Application Portfolio Evaluation Checklists How effectively has the writer done the following? Selected a solicited job that meets the parameters for this assignment (a professional or para-professional job for which the writer currently is qualified or will for which the writer will be qualified in not more than a few months) OR Created an unsolicited job opportunity that meets the parameters for this assignment How well does the résumé do all of the following? Makes a positive first impression (with regard to appearance and professionalism) Provides adequate visual separation of sections (spatial cues, visual cues, etc.) Uses appropriate font(s) and typestyle(s) and appropriate font size Has adequate margins and neat alignments/columns Contains a letterhead with all relevant contact information (name, address, phone number, address, at a minimum) Has clearly marked, easy-to-find section headings Includes second or subsequent pages only if they are truly necessary (for example, does not contain one full page and then a few lines of text on the second page) Contains a professional objective appropriate for the specific job for which the writer is applying Demonstrates clearly that the applicant meets the job requirements. Includes information in order of importance to the job Identifies employers, education and others completely (organization, city, state, dates, and other relevant data) Contains sufficient details to persuade readers that the applicant is well qualified for the position Editing Excludes dead wood phrases such as responsible for, duties include, and because of the fact that. Identifies second page (if any) with name and page number Includes dynamic lists that show action and are parallel in construction Contains no misspellings or grammatical errors How well does the application letter do all of the following? Opening paragraph Clearly identifies the writer and his/her purpose Indicates, specifically and in detail, the specific job for which the writer is applying Indicates the specific source for information about the job Summarizes the writer s qualifications for the job Leads into the rest of the letter Body Organizes information about the writer s major qualifications effectively Provides sufficient information about the writer s education Provides sufficient information about the writer s experience Focuses on benefits to the employer, not the writer (is reader-based, not writer-based) Excludes statements that discuss how the job will benefit the writer Relates the writer s qualifications to the specific requirements of the job (those spoken by or written by the potential employer, or, if no information is available, carefully and logically inferred by the writer) Draws selectively from the information on the writer s résumé Refers to the enclosed résumé (may be in last paragraph) and lists the résumé as an enclosure or attachment

4 Closing paragraph Asks for action and make it convenient to contact and meet with the writer Is neither too aggressive nor too subservient The letter as a whole Follows a standard letter format Includes an appropriate salutation and closing Uses standard grammar, punctuation, and spelling Avoids awkward, wordy, or imprecise phrasing Contains a letterhead with all of the writer s relevant contact information Does the list of references do all of the following? Serve as a stand-alone document (that is, not part of the résumé) Contain the person s courtesy title, first name and last name Contain the person s complete mailing address Contain the person s complete telephone number Contain the person s address Contain a brief description about the nature and duration of the applicant s affiliation with him/her? Contain a letterhead with all of the writer s relevant contact information How well does the handwritten note do the following? Makes a positive first impression (with regard to appearance and professionalism) Is written on professional-looking stationery (a note card that does or does not fold in a sealed envelope) Is written legibly in blue or black ink Is properly addressed, with the recipient s complete name, title, organization, address, city, state, and ZIP code; and the sender s complete name, address, city, state, and ZIP code. [NOTE: For the note to be sent to me, you must address it to me rather than the actual intended recipient: Julia Helo Gonzalez, Lecturer II NCSU Department of English Campus Box 8105 Raleigh, NC Contains appropriate content, including the date, greeting and salutation, and a note that expresses the writer s sincere thanks for the interview. Includes details about the interview the support the claims made by the writer. Includes an appropriate closing and signature. [Write the actual note content as though you are addressing the person who interviewed you.] Editing Contains no misspellings or grammatical errors How well does the calling card do the following? Makes a positive first impression (with regard to appearance and professionalism) Is printed on standard 2 x 3 ½ card stock and mailed in with the thank you note. Contains the following information: Name Major Street address (including street, city, state, and ZIP code) Phone number with area code address

5 Editing Contains no misspellings or grammatical errors Was the assignment submitted precisely as follows? All of the documents below were included together in one single Word-compatible file, in the following order, sent through Moodle: Information about the job, described on the assignment sheet Cover letter Resume References Text-only version of the portfolio Instructor s comments, if you submitted the paper for instructor s review Comments from your two peer reviewers A brief memo that you wrote in which you evaluated and graded the peer reviewers performance The handwritten thank you note and calling card were mailed to: Julia Helo Gonzalez, Lecturer II NCSU Department of English Campus Box 8105 Raleigh, NC The elevator speech was delivered to the instructor electronically, in a click and play format (that is, it did not require any manipulation of files to be able to hear the student s speech). * If reviewers marked your papers electronically, include the marked-up copies of the papers in this file. If reviewers marked your papers manually, type a summary of the nature of the changes that the reviewers suggested. You don t have to type every comment they made, but give an idea of the nature of the comments each reviewer made. Optional Extra Credit (up to one additional point) Proof of membership in a recognized professional organization in the student s field of study How well does the elevator speech do the following? Makes a positive first impression on the listener. Contains a 15- to 30-second speech in which the speaker effectively pitches himself/herself to a potential employer? Will it make the potential employer want to talk further with the potential candidate? Will it make the potential employer want to talk further with the potential candidate? Editing Is easy to understand. Contains no audible pauses (such as um and uh ), no awkward pauses, and no grammatical errors Is provided in click and play format that is, the audience only has to click on the link to watch the video. The audience does not need to manipulate files or equipment to get the video to play. The grading standards rubric begins on the next page.

6 Grading Standards for the Job Application Portfolio Assignment Audience Purpose Design A B C D F an obvious awareness and adaptation to specific workplace audiences. an obvious awareness of how to accomplish the demonstrates an obvious understanding and application of elements. is visually appealing, consistent, and adheres to all standards. Organization Writing incorporates appropriate rhetorical strategies for sequencing information in a clear and logical manner. Support/ Development Grammar/ Mechanics Writing provides detailed support for arguments and persuades readers. Writing has no problems with grammar and mechanics. a general awareness and adaptation to specific workplace audiences. a general awareness of how to accomplish the demonstrates a general understanding and application of elements. is visually appealing, mostly consistent, and adheres to most standards. Writing incorporates generally appropriate rhetorical strategies for sequencing information in a reasonably clear and logical manner. Writing provides most necessary details for arguments and persuades readers. Writing has some minor problems with grammar and mechanics. a limited awareness and partial adaptation to specific workplace audiences. a limited awareness of how to accomplish the demonstrates a limited understanding and application of elements. lacks visual appeal. is partially consistent and does not adhere to all standards. Writing incorporates limited rhetorical strategies for sequencing information. Writing provides limited details for arguments and does not fully persuade readers. Writing has significant errors with grammar and mechanics. minimal awareness and insignificant adaptation to specific workplace audiences. an insignificant awareness of how to accomplish the demonstrates a minimal understanding and application of elements. is unappealing. is inconsistent and does not adhere to standards. Writing incorporates minimal rhetorical strategies for sequencing information. Writing provides minimal details for arguments and does not persuade readers. Writing has serious problems with grammar and mechanics. Writing fails to demonstrate awareness of audience. Writing fails to achieve Design fails to follow standards and format. Writing fails to incorporate rhetorical strategies. Writing fails to support arguments and does not persuade readers. Writing is incomprehensible. Overall all aspects of the assignment, demonstrates clear application and obvious mastery of concepts. most aspects of the assignment, shows some application and general mastery of concepts. limited aspects of the assignment, shows partial application and some mastery of concepts. minimal aspects of the assignment, shows insignificant application and lacks mastery of concepts. Writing fails to accomplish any of the requirements.

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