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Technical Communication A Reader-Centred Approach First Canadian Edition

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Title: Technical Communication A Reader-Centred Approach First Canadian Edition


1
Technical Communication A Reader-Centred
Approach First Canadian Edition
  • Paul V. Anderson
  • Kerry Surman

www.techcomm.nelson.com
2
Obtaining a Job
  • Chapter 11

3
Learning Objectives
  • Apply the reader-centred approach to work-related
    communications
  • Write effective résumés and job application
    letters
  • Apply special considerations to online
    applications
  • Apply ethical considerations to job application
    materials

4
Central Principles of the Reader-Centred Approach
  • Think constantly about your readers
  • As you make each writing decision, consider your
    readers characteristics, situation, and goals
  • Concentrate on crafting a usable and persuasive
    communication
  • Focus on how your readers will respond moment by
    moment

5
Writing Your Résumé
  • Defining objectives for your résumé
  • Planning your résumé
  • Drafting your résumé's text, graphics, and visual
    design
  • Evaluating your draft
  • Revising your draft

6
Defining Your Résumés Objectives
  • Identify your employers
  • Determine your résumé's persuasive objectives
  • Try to learn exactly what the employer wants
  • Understand your résumé's usability objectives
  • Deal with the complexity of objectives

7
What Employers Seek in New Employees
  • Technical expertise
  • Essential employability skills
  • Favourable personal attributes

8
Planning Your Résumé
  • Two conventional structures
  • Chronological
  • See Figure 11.1, page 270
  • Functional
  • See Figure 11.2, page 272
  • Length depends on qualifications

9
Drafting Your Résumé
  • General strategies
  • Sections
  • Drafting the text of a chronological résumé
  • Drafting the text of a functional résumé
  • Designing your résumé's appearance

10
General Strategies for Drafting Résumés
  • Take an employers perspective
  • Think creatively about your qualifications
  • Be specific
  • Write succinctly
  • Eliminate irrelevant information

11
Drafting the Text of a Chronological Résumé
  • Name and contact information
  • Professional objective
  • Work experience
  • Activities
  • Special abilities
  • Interests
  • References

12
Special Educational Qualifications to Highlight
  • Advanced courses related to the job
  • Courses that broaden your range of abilities
  • Co-op placements
  • Special projects
  • Academic honours or scholarships
  • International experience
  • On-the-job training or courses

13
Facts to Highlight About Your Work Experience
  • Your accomplishments
  • Knowledge gained
  • Responsibilities given

14
Organizing and Describing Your Work Experience
  • List the jobs in chronological order
  • Put your action in verbs
  • Use strong verbs
  • Use parallel construction

15
Drafting the Text of a Functional Résumé
  • Same aims as a chronological résumé
  • Difference in organization
  • Consolidate the presentation of accomplishments
    in a special section at the beginning
  • Use subheadings within this section to organize
    the information in skills and accomplishments

16
Designing Your Résumé's Appearance
  • Short, informative headings and heading levels
  • Lists and bullets
  • Typefaces bolding, italics
  • White space and ample margins
  • Visual balance

17
Evaluating the Draft of Your Résumé
  • Ask someone else to review your résumé
  • Have them read from the readers perspective
  • Have them check features for contribution to
    usability and persuasiveness
  • Proofread carefully yourself
  • Check for spelling, grammar, consistency

18
Revising Your Résumé
  • Be guided by your knowledge of your readers
  • Tailor your résumé to specific employers

19
Electronic Résumés Special Considerations
  • Scannable résumés
  • Résumés submitted via the Internet
  • Webpage résumés

20
Scannable Résumés
  • Design a scannable résumé that differs from a
    paper résumé
  • Include keywords
  • Increase the number of hits your résumé receives

21
Résumés Submitted Via the Internet
  • You may need to submit your résumé
  • As an email attachment
  • By completing an online form
  • Draft your text first in word processing
    software, then paste in the appropriate format

22
Webpage Résumés
  • Link to samples of online work and more complete
    descriptions
  • Keep your design simple and uncluttered
  • Include a link to your email address
  • Post only at secure services

23
Writing Your Job Application Letter
  • Defining your letters objectives
  • Planning your letter
  • Drafting your letter
  • Evaluating your letter
  • Revising your letter

24
Defining Your Letters Objectives
  • Usability objectives include answers to these
    questions
  • Why do you want to work for me instead of someone
    else?
  • How will you contribute to my organizations
    success?
  • Will you work well with my other employees and
    the people with whom we do business?

25
Defining Your Letters Objectives (continued)
  • Persuasive objectives are
  • To respond to the employers questions in ways
    that make the employer want to hire you
  • To convey a favourable sense of attributes that
    employers value but cant be communicated easily
    in your résumé

26
Planning Your Letter
  • Look for information about things the
    organization is proud of to make your letter
    reader-centred
  • Learn about employers
  • Ask a knowledgeable person
  • Contact the company
  • Search the Web
  • Check resources on campus

27
Drafting Your Letter
  • Introduction
  • Indicate the job you want and why
  • Qualifications
  • Explain how your knowledge and experience prepare
    you to contribute
  • Conclusion
  • Look ahead to the next step

28
Evaluating Your Letter
  • Review the personality you project
  • Review your tone
  • See Figure 11.3, page 285

29
Revising Your Letter
  • You may encounter the same difficulties you
    encounter when revising your résumé
  • Use your creativity and good judgment
  • Think constantly about your readers

30
Ethical Issues in the Job Search
  • You are permitted to present facts about yourself
    in a selective way
  • You are also expected to present the favourable
    information about yourself in impressive language
  • You are not permitted to list credentials you
    dont have or jobs you havent held

31
Writing For Employment in Other Countries
  • Information on and format of résumés may differ
  • Letters may or may not be required
  • A list of references, or a letter of reference,
    may be included in the initial application

32
In Summary
  • Apply the reader-centred approach to job
    application materials
  • Tailor your online applications
  • Ensure that your job application materials are
    ethically aligned
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