Communication and Computer Science Fundamentals for the Web - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Communication and Computer Science Fundamentals for the Web


Locate an ad or job call (online, paper, career services) can be for a summer ... Internet sites (, workopolis, ...) Corporate Internet sites ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Communication and Computer Science Fundamentals for the Web

Communication and Computer Science Fundamentals
for the Web
  • September 28, 2006

Revised Schedule
  • Quiz Delayed to Tuesday
  • Resumes Sign up for sessions today
  • Assignment 1 2 combined Due Oct 19
  • Posting 3 Cancelled
  • Posting 4 Due Oct 5 (not on Oct 17)

Resume Reviews
  • If you have a resume
  • Read through this presentation
  • Locate an ad or job call (online, paper, career
    services) can be for a summer job, job after
    graduation, or internship
  • Revise your resume to highlight your
  • Write a draft cover letter

Resume Reviews
  • If you dont have a resume
  • Read through this presentation
  • Locate an ad or job call (online, paper, career
    services) can be for a summer job, job after
    graduation, or internship
  • Use the e-Portfolio tool (Entrepreneurial Skills
    Development Program) on the Home page of ACME to
    identify your skills and experience
  • Bring a copy of the output from the Functional
    Resume Builder to the meeting

(No Transcript)
User Analysis
  • Identify salient features of the audiences for
  • http// (Group 1)
  • http// (Group 2)
  • http// (Group 3)
  • http//
    (Group 4)
  • http// (Group 5)
  • http//,,48,00.html (Group

User Characteristics
  • Goal
  • Age and Gender
  • Purchasing power
  • Attitude to technology
  • Thrill-seeking behavior
  • Interest in the environment
  • Type of computer and connection
  • Historical involvement with brand
  • Primary/ Secondary/ Watchdog/ Gatekeeper
  • Frequency of Use

Link Between User Characteristics and Features of
the Site
  • Text
  • Graphics
  • Interactivity
  • E-commerce sites have same general
    characteristics need to sell some sort of
    product or service
  • Differ in need for inspection, how often, where
    (bricks and clicks), how much ( security and
    trust), and audience

  • Understanding the needs of the audience is key to
    completing the site mission
  • Informing
  • Persuading
  • Motivating
  • How does the notion of audience relate to other
    types of writing?
  • What genres (types of writing) particularly
    need to be audience-centred?

Persuasive Genres
  • Sales material needs to sell a product to a
  • Proposals need to convince a client to hire/ fund
    your team to do a specific project
  • Resumes and cover letters need to persuade an
    employer to hire you
  • The same techniques work in most forms of sales/
    persuasive writing

Four Initial Concerns
  • What do you want the reader to do?
  • now vs. later
  • What objections will the reader have?
  • What are the readers initial/final positions?
  • Is the reader flexible or resistant to change?
  • Does anyone have a vested interest in the status
  • How strong a case can you make?
  • What arguments/ appeals can you use?
  • Are objections based on emotion or reason?
  • Do you have credibility?
  • What are the expectations of the genre/
    organization/ national culture?

Position Yourself
  • Identify your resources
  • Personal credibility (your ethos)
  • Position power
  • Expertise
  • Trust/ Reputation
  • Similarity
  • Understand the motivations of the receiver (their
  • Food, shelter, safety, belonging, status,
    self-fulfillment (not necessarily in this order)

Identify Appropriate Resources To Make Your
  • Four different types of message appeals
  • Appeal to reason
  • Appeal to emotion
  • Appeal to authority
  • Appeal to evidence
  • Work from your knowledge of your audience!

Appeal to Reason
  • Do you already share common ground?
  • What opposing arguments will they have?
  • Two strategies (compare and contrast)
  • Begin with a concession statement (anticipate
    their argument) gt now show how your position is
  • Break their argument down gt address each point,
    one at a time

  • Be careful not to introduce negative information
    that a reader can use to justify non-compliance
  • Our product is expensive but were sure youll
    agree the cost is worth it!
  • Interior dialogue I dont agree the cost is not
    worth it!!
  • We know that you are busy but we would value your
    help on the Evergreen Theatre Board!
  • Interior dialogue Yes, I am busy, very busy, too

Appeal to Emotion
  • Use stories to make the problem and your proposed
    solution vivid
  • Use psychological description to elicit sensory
  • use pictorial language (or pictures) to evoke
    pity when raising money for famine relief
  • show happy, smiling people to sell beer
  • make people feel something
  • BUT Dont overdo the senses

Appeal to Authority
  • Rely on someone elses authority (not your own)
    to encourage action this is also called Reputed
  • Leader
  • Expert
  • Celebrity
  • Trusted peer
  • Use if you are unknown to the receiver or your
    own credibility is low

Appeal to Evidence
  • Very, very common in business depends on
  • facts
  • statistics
  • measurable outcomes
  • The newest, better, best!
  • Goes from 0 to 100K in 4.8 seconds

Basic Pattern
  • Get the readers attention (brief
  • Introduce the proposal/product and show how it
    will satisfy the reader
  • define reader benefits
  • anticipate reader objections
  • tell the reader where to find more information
  • let readers persuade themselves
  • Identify an action and motivate the reader to act

Sales Letter Pattern
  • A I D A
  • A Attention
  • I Interest
  • D Desire
  • A Action
  • This can be used in proposals and cover letters

  • How do you get the readers attention?
  • Startling fact
  • Psychological description (to stimulate the
    imagination) or pictorial images
  • Story
  • Bargain
  • Offer
  • Rhetorical question
  • Set off the story typographically

  • Identify reader needs
  • Introduce your product or service
  • State that you can satisfy the readers needs
  • Focus on reader benefits

  • Pack on the details
  • Good reasons (appeal to reason)
  • You can keep your lawn in toptop shape!
  • Testimonials (appeal to authority)
  • Stephen Harper owns one
  • Sensory description (appeal to emotion)
  • Think how good youll feel behind the wheel
  • Statistics and facts (appeal to evidence)
  • Its 200 less than Brand X
  • Its a good buy!

  • Think about various stages of action
  • request information, visit store, buy product
  • Explicitly ask the reader to do something
  • generally the minimum action
  • Encourage prompt response
  • identify a real time limit, or
  • show how, by acting now, time or money are saved
    later, or
  • meet the customer more than half way (when
    applying for a job, make yourself very available)

Special Considerations
  • Dont exaggerate problems or benefits
  • dont overload readers cognitive ability
  • dont focus on the negatives so there is no room
    for a solution
  • Keep the tone neutral when persuading people to
    do what they dont want to do
  • Collection letter
  • Personnel appraisal

  • When dealing with personal information (debt,
    appraisal, policy memos that restrict personal
    freedom), always leave room for compromise and
  • begin by assuming there is a logical explanation
    for the negative behavior
  • negative focus on the individual will not
    encourage change
  • threats will only worsen the situation
  • ask for small improvements
  • Focus on win-win situations

Use You-Attitude
  • Dont focus on what benefits you Me-Attitude
    (I am qualified so give me the job)
  • what benefits you demotivates your reader
  • Present your arguments from the readers point of
    view (You want an excellent job done and I want
    to do it for you)
  • Use the readers terminology
  • Acknowledge that readers may find objections to
    your arguments identify these weaknesses and
    find counter arguments

  • Use this persuasive pattern with proposals and
    cover letters

Four Types of Proposal
  • Some of the most common types are
  • RFPs
  • Sales proposals
  • Grant proposals
  • Business plans

  • An RFP (Request for Proposal) is a special type
    of proposal that needs to be broken down into its
    constituent parts and answered piece by piece
  • Governments or large companies often ask for this
    type of proposal and score incoming proposals
    quite rigorously
  • Creativity is not rewarded

Sales Proposals
  • Research the companys priorities to identify the
    right reader benefits for them
  • Reader benefits should reflect reader goals
  • Follow AIDA
  • Summarize up to 3 reader benefits
  • Discuss the benefits in order
  • Deal with reader objections and concerns
  • Mention other benefits briefly
  • Ask the reader to approve the proposal
  • Give reasons for prompt action

Grant Requests
  • Non-profit groups frequently send these to
  • Non-profit foundations or organizations
  • Government agencies
  • Such organizations tend to be motivated by
    social, environmental, or economic needs.
  • Show how your proposal produces a benefit that
    meets the goals of the granting agency.
  • Grants often follow a strict format ( RFPs)

Business Plans
  • Raise capital for new ventures
  • The more real, the better
  • Strategic document with multiple purposes -
    internal to your organization as well as external
    to a venture capitalist
  • Process of developing the plan helps develop the
  • Venture capitalist will focus on the people
    involved in the project as much/ more than the
    financial details

Dual Notion of Audience
  • Business proposals need to show you understand
    the needs of two audiences
  • the client reviewing your proposal
  • the audience the client wants to serve
  • You need to demonstrate that you understand the
    underlying business problem but DONT do the work
    before you are hired!
  • Your first goal is an agreement to begin the work
    with adequate resources

  • A proposal can be solicited (requested) or
  • Whatever the proposal, it needs to answer the
    following questions
  • What problem are you going to solve?
  • Define the problem as the client sees it
  • Develop some common ground
  • How are you going to solve it?
  • Explain your methods
  • If possible, triangulate with multiple methods

  • What exactly will you provide for the client?
  • Specify tangible products
  • Identify the benefits of your work
  • How will you validate your findings?
  • When will you compete the work?
  • Break the work into phases
  • Give a detailed schedule
  • How much will you charge?
  • Provide a clear budget/ schedule of charges
  • Make it clear what level of personnel will be
    working on the project

  • How can you deliver what you promise?
  • Describe your qualifications, resources, and
    previous experience
  • What are the direct and indirect benefits of
    hiring your group?
  • Contrast yourself with competing vendors
    (sometimes this contrast will be explicit
    sometimes, since you do not know all the
    competitors, you need to discuss your advantages
    more generally)
  • Finish with a final call to action (show
    enthusiasm, ask for the job, give any info on
    your deadlines)

Other Parts of a Proposal
  • Formal proposals (and formal reports) include
  • Letter of transmittal
  • Title page
  • Executive summary
  • Table of contents (only if more than 8-10 pages)
  • In addition, they may include illustrations,
    references, and appendices providing more
    information to persuasively back up your claims

Proposals Resumes
  • Research potential employers
  • Internet sites (, workopolis, )
  • Corporate Internet sites
  • Ads (magazines, newspapers, specialized journals)
  • Trade press
  • Word of mouth
  • Campus or professional placement services
  • Personal contact

What Do You Want Companies to Know About You?
  • Evaluate yourself
  • Likes
  • Strengths/ weaknesses/ skills
  • Size/ type of corporation
  • Leadership/ team orientation
  • Geography
  • Preference for regimentation/ flexibility
  • Willingness to do overtime work/ life balance
  • Work from their ad/ website to match your skills
    to their requirements

Three Categories of Skills
  • Technical skills
  • university degrees, certifications, technical
  • Transferable skills
  • management and people skills
  • Personal qualities (character issues)
  • personal initiative, how you respond under
    pressure, your ability to overcome problems

Basic Strategy
  • Collect a variety of ads for suitable jobs
  • Deconstruct these job calls to find elements that
    match your self-assessment and personal goals
  • Highlight these elements in your resume
    (objectives and experience sections)
  • Place difficult-to-document (ethos-related)
    material in a cover letter

Highlight Your Qualifications
  • Write an appropriate objective statement
  • Consider using a summary/profile
  • Dont reflect back the exact words of the ad
  • Back up claims to technical skills with
    measurable data
  • List transferable skills (use the cover letter to
    show how they apply)
  • Use positive, active language to create the
    impression that you will be
  • a positive, active worker

Four Types of Resume
  • Traditional
  • Scannable
  • Web-based
  • Resumes vary in terms of
  • Usage
  • Design
  • Language

Traditional Resume
  • Usage Submitted by mail/fax for a posted
    position, ad, or request accompanied by a cover
  • Design 1-2 pages long printed on high-quality
    stock uses extra-textual features (bullets,
    multiple fonts, etc.)
  • Language
  • clear concise language
  • active verbs
  • positive and accurate adjectives

Scannable Resume
  • Usage Similar to traditional resume or submitted
    electronically scanned by OCR software for
  • Design Can be longer than 1-2 pages to
    accommodate keywords must be as simple as
    possible (no italics, bullets, etc.) printed on
    white paper mailed unfolded
  • Language
  • mandatory keywords that reflect job titles,
    skills, etc. keywords used for search

ASCII Resume
  • Usage Most often posted to an online database,
    newsgroup, or list (but not as spam) sent as
    part of an email message (not as an attachment)
  • Design Must be in ASCII (plain text) must be
    as simple as possible should not exceed 60
    characters in width
  • Language
  • depends on whether the resume will be scanned or
    circulated in traditional way

Web-based Resume
  • Usage Stands alone or supplements traditional
    resume posted in online database or given as url
    in letter or resume employer may need to print
  • Design and Language
  • begin with a main page that resembles a
    traditional resume (and can be printed)
  • take advantage of hypertext links to add details
  • think about usability and aesthetics (avoid dark
    backgrounds, small fonts, outrageous pictures,
  • consider whether additional personal data on your
    website will help you get your desired job

Four Resume Formats
  • Reverse Chronological (most common) lists
    education and work experience from most ? least
  • Modified highlights memorable, measurable
    achievements of work experience
  • Functional focuses attention on relevant skills
    and personal characteristics (not concrete record
    of work experience)
  • Unconventional breaks the traditional form best
    for creative organizations

Develop a Chronological Resume
  • Keep in mind how the company will use it
  • to decide who to interview
  • to prepare the company for your interview
  • to anticipate your standards of accuracy,
    completeness, and design
  • to justify the interviewers decision
  • Accent strengths (but dont lie about omissions
    or weaknesses)
  • Choose a reverse chronological or skills-based
    format (based on your strategic needs)

Develop a Chronological Resume, cont.
  • Focus on what you can offer the company
  • Be concise use active verbs
  • Demonstrate measurable effects
  • Use indentation and fonts to highlight and direct
  • Develop alternative resumes for different
    industry segments and different resume
  • Get someone to review!

Resumes Should Change
  • Your resume should reflect your goals and respond
    to the needs of every employer
  • Dont be afraid to change it
  • Name and address
  • Objective, profile, or summary
  • Education
  • Work experience
  • Professional affiliations
  • Honors
  • Computer skills
  • Activities (focus on volunteerism, leadership)
  • References

Treat Cover Letters as Sales Documents
  • Your product is yourself!
  • Combines needs to inform, persuade, and build
  • Tell the employer about yourself
  • Persuade them to give you an interview
  • Display your understanding of their needs
  • Show them that you are really interested
  • Stress reader benefits give enough detail for
    the employer to imagine you working for them

  • Cover letters rarely exceed one page
  • cover a few points
  • dont repeat yourself
  • leave the rest of the details to the resume
  • Make your cover letter memorable (job recruiters
    read hundreds a day)
  • first decide what you want to reader to remember
    about you
  • be careful with salutations (Ms. Mrs. Dr.)

  • Develop an effective, attention-getting opening
  • Directly address the organization with a bridge
    that links your interest to their needs
  • I have been interested in working for IBM ever
    since I owned a PC Jr. (this was an early home
    computer IBM produced)
  • Refer to the job call (where you heard about the
  • I am applying for the position of Human Factors
    Engineer (position 06-1759) advertised in the
    September 23rd Globe and Mail.
  • Make your qualifications match the ad but dont
    use the same words
  • You advertised for someone with an extensive
    knowledge of interface design, strong
    communication skills, and a passion for computing
  • Display your knowledge of the corporations
  • The InfoSys slogan, DO IT ALL, appeals to my work

  • Use the rest of the opening paragraph to
    structure the rest of the letter (advance
  • Pick 3 4 character attributes (work ethic,
    creativity, etc.) or skills (degree, previous
    projects) to discuss in further detail
  • Refer to your resume dont repeat it
  • Work on memorable summary sentences
  • use vivid words
  • show yourself as motivated and active
  • dont apologize be positive
  • focus on what you and we can do together
  • Bring in personal references if appropriate

  • Remember the goal of the cover letter is an
    interview, so the last three things you do are
  • Show your desire for the job
  • Ask when it might be convenient to meet
  • Say Thanks...

Resume Reviews
  • If you have a resume
  • Read through this presentation
  • Locate an ad or job call (online, paper, career
    services) can be for a summer job, job after
    graduation, or internship
  • Revise your resume to highlight your
  • Write a draft cover letter

Resume Reviews
  • If you dont have a resume
  • Read through this presentation
  • Locate an ad or job call (online, paper, career
    services) can be for a summer job, job after
    graduation, or internship
  • Use the e-Portfolio tool (Entrepreneurial Skills
    Development Program) on the Home page of ACME to
    identify your skills and experience
  • Bring a copy of the output from the Functional
    Resume Builder to the meeting
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