Book Title
M: Business Communication 3rd Edition

978-0073403229 Chapter 11 Text Summary, Lecture Outline

April 5, 2019
Teaching Suggestions
The teaching techniques for this chapter are the same as the preceding chapters. Some instructors will tackle this
chapter early in the semester as a way to get to know their students. Others may want to wait until students have
had more practice writing business documents and teach the chapter after teaching Chapters 1–10. Either way,
before students write their employment documents, they should review the stages of the writing process.
The relevance of the steps in the planning process may seem obvious to instructors, but many students may not
see their employment documents as requiring the same level of planning as they did (or will do) with their other
correspondence assignments. Many may think that just because the documents are all about them, they do not
need to meet the readers needs or cultivate a “you” view. However, resumes and cover le-ers are the perfect
opportunity to show how a student’s business goals and communication goals are intertwined. Of course, to do
this, students must know what their business goals are, which they can do by using many of the tools this chapter
discusses on identifying appropriate jobs.
Though the chapter provides several hypothetical employment prompts to which students may respond, we
believe the best assignments for this chapter involve real-life situations. That is, students should be encouraged to
apply for internships and other positions that actually exist and for which they are currently qualified. Students do
not necessarily need to send their le-ers and resumes to these companies, but the authenticity of the assignment
is more obvious to students when they are applying for positions they could potentially hold.
To practice interviewing skills, students may want to participate in informational interviews with people in their
field and have the interviewee rate their (the students’) performance. In addition, schools’ career services o2ces
may o3er in-person or virtual interview opportunities where students can get feedback on their skills. Incorporating
these activities in teaching the chapter will be useful.
The Managers Hot Seat video “Diversity in Hiring: Candidate Conundrum” may be useful as you discuss this
chapter with your students. More on the video is presented below.
Text Summary, Lecture Outline
The Job Search
Slide 11-1
The job search is probably one of the most important tasks you will ever do. The job you choose is directly related
to your success and happiness.
Slide 11-2
Several logical steps are involved in the job search process, from building a network of contacts and identifying
appropriate jobs to 0nding those who o3er the jobs and preparing the application documents. Today we also
include a continuing step of keeping abreast of job opportunities and new jobs competencies needed.
Slide 11-3
Building a network of contacts with classmates, professors, and business people often begins long before you begin
a formal job search.
Your classmates may have contacts who can help you, and in the future they may be in positions to help you in
making career changes.
Professors often have contacts through their consulting and other activities. Knowing a professor in your major is
particularly important.
You can get to know businesspeople through participating in your school’s professional associations, part-time jobs
and internships, and various other ways.
Slide 11-4
Internships should not be overlooked as a means of gaining valuable experience and of learning more about a
particular field. Students should be encouraged to seek internships, as many employers will hire from their intern
pools or look specifically at graduates who have had internships. The information in Chapter 11 regarding the job
process will mostly be discussed in the context of full-time, post-graduation employment, but the information is
equally applicable to internships or part-time employment.
Slide 11-5
Identifying appropriate jobs begins with analyzing both yourself and outside factors. This knowledge will help you
e3ectively match yourself with an appropriate job.
In addition to analyzing your education and work experience, you should analyze your personal qualities and
special quali0cations. Education is usually your strongest quality coming directly out of school, but you should look
carefully at the knowledge and skills you have acquired, not just courses and grades. Determine your strongest
points so you can emphasize them.
Personal qualities play a key role in jobs. Some jobs demand that people be good at working independently while
others require teamwork. Your friends and family can often be excellent sources for helping you identify your best
Work experience in your major area is highly valuable. But be careful not to overlook skills you have developed in
other work—both paid and non-paid experience should be analyzed. Think especially about transferrable skills such
as leadership, organization, training, communication, and a-ention to detail that any employer in any field would
Special quali0cations can set you apart from others. For example, you might get an edge from speaking another
language; using a particular computer or software program; or engaging in sports, hobbies, and other interests.
Analyzing external factors such as current and projected job markets, economic needs, location preferences, family
needs, and other limiting external factors is necessary in order to be realistic in your decision.
One way for students to learn how to identify appropriate jobs is to 0rst identify inappropriate jobs. Ask students to
bring in job ads for positions that they simply aren’t qualified for, but would love to have one day. These could be
their future “dream jobs.” Often students will respond to positions that are mid-level when seeking appropriate
jobs. They need to understand that it is not likely for a recent graduate with li-le work experience to land a job that
is beyond entry-level. Teaching inappropriate jobs 0rst helps them understand this before they delve into the real
Slide 11-6
Finding your employer is the next step in the job search process. The sources best for you are usually determined
by your career path as well as where you live.
Career Centers: Most schools have career centers or o2ces that serve both their graduates and the community. In
addition, these centers often provide other services such as counseling, maintaining 0les on those looking for jobs,
and providing company information.
Network of Personal Contacts: Because personal contacts are the leading source of finding jobs, you should be
sure to include them in your search for work.
Classified Advertisements: Both newspapers and professional journals are sources for employment opportunities
of many kinds. However, they vary widely in the types and levels of people they seek. Be sure you are using the
ones most appropriate for you.
Online Sources: Databases are being used more than ever as a source for job information. Large companies will
post position announcements on company portals. Some will advertise positions on company Internet sites, too.
And, of course, some databases containing job information can be accessed on special websites, including
Monster.com and Craigslist.
Benefits of LinkedIn: From the Volunteer Experiences and Causes section to blogging opportunities, LinkedIn gives
students the opportunity to network on every level with serious professionals. Because the only purpose of
LinkedIn is professional networking, its one of the best places for students to start developing an online presence.
Consider walking students through all aspects of a LinkedIn profile and making it a core assignment of the course.
Benefits of Facebook: Facebook o3ers the unique ability to become connected with a sought-after professional
without an in-person introduction. As social media expert Jesse Stay says, “Sending a friend request to someone on
Facebook is similar to a handshake in real life. Stay recommends searching for people in similar field, those
working at companies you want to work for and departments you want to be in, and sending them friend requests.
These requests should include notes stating that you’re looking for something in their field and why you’re
friending them. “They may not friend you back, but at least now they have put your face with your name, making
you stand out from hundreds of other applicants,Stay says.
Use Facebook status reports as a mini blog to highlight your professional accomplishments. These can act as mini
blog posts, helping establish your expertise in a field.
Employment Agencies: Recruiters and agencies specializing in helping you 0nd jobs vary widely in the services they
provide and the way they operate. Fees can be charged to the company, the job seeker, or both. Temping can lead
to permanent employment with a good 0t.
Prospecting: Prospecting involves contacting potential employers directly either in person or by mail. You identify
where your quali0cations match an employers needs and a-empt to persuade the employer of the 0t.
Once you have identi0ed a job opportunity, you will need to prepare documents to help you in the job search
process. Whether you are applying in person, by mail, or by email, you will need some wri-en documents. These
documents are the resume (traditional, scannable, or digital), a reference sheet, a cover message, and any other
related messages.
You will need to determine whether to prepare the traditional print resume, the scannable print resume, or a
digital resume. If your interview is exclusively face-to-face, the traditional resume format is usually preferred for its
aesthetic help to create a favorable impression. But if you know your resume will be scanned, the scannable format
should be used. When in doubt, the hybrid format can be used. If you are submiEng a resume online, you will
need to submit your resume in a format the employer requests or one that is easily used by the employer.
The Traditional Print Resume
Slide 11-7
Selecting the background facts is the place to begin. While the resume does not need to include all you have ever
done, you should include the most signiticant items.
Arranging the facts into groups shows the employer your ability to organize and be logical. Most people group their
facts into Education, Experience, Personal Qualities, and sometimes References.
Constructing the headings helps the reader know what follows. Your resume needs a main heading as well as
subheads. Subheads should be parallel in form. Also, they should be consistent in placement and in size and style of
Including contact information is critical. Not only does the potential employer need to be able to reach you, but the
easier you can make it the be-er. Today, most people include address and telephone numbers (cell or land line),
fax, numbers, and email addresses. However, some applicants are limiting contact information for privacy reasons
to an email address or phone number. Sometimes students will have more than one address or phone number (a
campus address and a home address; a home phone number and a cell phone number). Though it is acceptable to
put both numbers on a resume, the student really only needs the address or number where the employer can
reach him or her. This is a good time to remind students to make sure their outgoing messages are appropriate and
professional for potential employers who call.
Including a statement of objective helps the potential employer understand what kind of work you want to do.
However, authorities disagree on both whether or not one is essential and what should be included in it. Generally,
we recommend including the objective, as it is helpful for leEng your audience know where to direct your resume,
especially if the audience is a human resources specialist who sees many resumes for many di3erent positions. In
fact, some employers may look specifically to an objective for a job number, job title, or other relevant information.
To write a good objective, avoid Iowery, excessive language and stick to something simple that includes the type of
position (e.g., full-time, part-time, internship, volunteer), the field (e.g., management, accounting), and start date
(e.g., beginning immediately, Summer 2013). Some people will write an objective directly to a specific company
and specific job (e.g., A Summer 2014 marketing analytics internship with Target Corporation, job code #2546).
Slide 11-8
Presenting the information depends highly on the requirements of the position. As with any business document, a
resume must be audience centered. Present yourself in the best possible light. Think about the job requirements
and then tailor your resume to show how you meet the readers need. Consider the resume an advertisement for
Take care in ordering your information and using strong action verbs to describe your experiences. Simple present
and simple past tense verbs are the standard. Chapter 11 provides a list of possibilities.
References may be listed on the resume or on a separate reference sheet, but including references may not be
necessary. Regardless, using “References available upon request” is considered outdated and unhelpful. Of course
you would supply references if they were requested. You may want to 0ll the space with something more helpful to
the reader instead.
Organizing the special groupings for strength requires careful planning. Sections should be titled clearly, organized
with the reader in mind, and presented clearly and consistently. Three di3erent organizational strategies include
the reverse chronological, functional/skills, and accomplishments/achievements plans.
Slide 11-9
Writing impersonally and consistently is desirable on resumes. Most resumes avoid the use of personal pronouns (I,
we, you), and most do not use complete sentences. However, they are consistent in heading form and organization
within sections.
Making the form a-ractive includes a-ention to layout, printing, and paper choices. The resume should be
a-ractive, inviting the reader to continue reading it.
Slides 11-10, 11-11, 11-12, 11-13
Traditional resume example: Point out required elements. Let students ask questions regarding their own resumes.
The Scannable Print Resume
Slide 11-14
Including keywords is a strategy that helps ensure that your resume is retrieved when appropriate positions are
being filled.
Choosing these keywords carefully means choosing words that are usually nouns, especially job titles, as well as
jargon, buzzwords, and acronyms appropriate to work you want to do.
Presenting the information in a format that can easily be read by a scanner improves your chances of having your
resume retrieved when needed. Using scannable fonts and avoiding graphics, italics, and underlining helps as well
as using white paper with black ink to increase contrast.
Slides 11-15 , 11-16, 11-17, 11-18
Scannable print resume example: Ask students to talk about the di3erences between the scannable and traditional
print resume.
The Electronic Resume
Slide 11-19
The electronic resume is one that is submi-ed online. It ranges from simple, low-end formats to complex, high-end
The ASCII or text 0le is a low-end format that removes formaEng. Files in .doc, .rQ, and .pdf a-empt to retain
formaEng. The .pdf format does this very well across plaQorms while the .doc and .rQ are widely used. When one
wants to include high-end multimedia components in a resume or cover message, the .htm format provides a
widely used standard.
Slide 11-20
Electronic Resume Example. Ask students to talk about when/why they would use this type of resume. Ask them to
identify di3erences between an electronic resume and a scannable or traditional print resume.
The Reference Sheet
Slide 11-21
Include references that will provide information that supports those qualities the employer is seeking. Checking
with the employer 0rst is a good idea.
Plan the organization and presentation of the references to work for you. Usually this means listing your strongest
reference 0rst.
Present the reference sheet in the best possible form. Making it a coordinated component with the design of your
resume and cover message gives it a carefully planned look.
Slide 11-22
Reference Sheet Example. Remind students to ask their references for permission before giving names to potential
The Cover Message
The print cover message is much like the sales message—you illustrate a need and sell a product (you) to 0ll the
Slide 11-23
Gaining a-ention in the opening is important because the busy executive has other things to do. You need to use
what works best in each case.
Selecting content should be guided by the job requirements. Of course, if you are strong in an area you know is
important to any employer, be sure to emphasize those strengths.
If you are responding to an advertisement, you can address the needs mentioned directly and precisely.
If you are prospecting, you will need to use your own best judgment to access what that one companys needs are
and include content which addresses those needs.
Organizing for conviction means choosing an organizational plan that emphasizes your strengths. You may use a
reverse chronological, functional or skills, or accomplishments plan. Conviction is also enhanced by careful word
choice and reader-viewpoint language.
Driving for action in the close entails being clear and direct in leEng the reader know what action you expect next.
Normally, you request an interview, more information, or even an application.
Email cover messages take different forms depending on the document type it introduces. The primary job is to
highlight the applicants strengths and get the reader to review the resume.
Slides 11-24, 11-25, 11-26, 11-27, 11-28
Unsuccessful and successful cover message examples. Point out the errors, organizational structure, and rhetorical
strategies. Remind students of the importance of incorporating principles they learned in earlier chapters into their
cover message writing.
The Interview
Most successful resumes and letter of application result in an interview. Generally these are face-to-face, but
some use videoconferencing technology, too. While the written documents helped you get the opportunity to
interview, the key to geEng the job will be a successful interview.
Slide 11-29
Investigate the company before you go to the interview. Learn the nature of its business and its activities. This
information will both show the recruiter you did your homework and enable you to ask questions from a solid
knowledge base.
Present a professional appearance because your dress sends a message to the interviews. Pay a-ention to all
aspects of good grooming.
Anticipate questions and prepare answers that cover such topics as your education, work experience,
organizations, interests, career goals, and desired location. Be ready to answer more di2cult questions, questions
which give the interviewer a chance to evaluate your thinking skills. In stress interviews, you may even be asked
tough or illegal questions.
Put yourself at ease so that the interviewer sees you as a calm, collected prospective employee.
Use whatever approach works best for you to keep control of your emotions.
Help control the dialogue so that you can bring out your strong points. You can do this by extending responses as
well as through your questions. Your goal is to be certain the interviewer knows what is more important to know
about you.
Slide 11-30
By carefully considering possible answers to typical interview questions, you can choose an appropriate strategy for
the case at hand. This not only prevents o3-the-cu3 responses but presents you in the best possible light. Students
may work in small groups to brainstorm answers to some of the more common interview questions. Students can
0nd common interview questions in Chapter 11 as well as on their school’s career services website.
Some of todays digital tools provide users with interactive practice on forming strategies for typical interview
questions. Some even give alternative strategies and point out the strengths and weaknesses of di3erent responses
under various conditions. Some software programs also provide this kind of interactive practice.
Writing Other Job Search Messages
Slide 11-31
Following up and ending the application includes such things as a brief thank-you note or telephone call. If you
have not heard from a company and need to make a job decision, it is perfectly fair to inquire about the status of
your application.
Writing a thank-you message is a courteous and wise step to take. It shows the reader you are still interested in the
position. It singles you out from the competition since so few others make the added effort.
Constructing a follow up to an application is necessary when you have not heard from an employer after a
reasonable time. Such messages are brief and take the form of a routine inquiry.
Planning the job acceptance is important. It says “yes” directly and builds goodwill. You will also want to be sure
you confirm starting date and place. The message takes the form of a favorable response.
Writing a message refusing a job requires the form of a refusal. Be sure to present the refusal clearly yet positively.
Strive to maintain goodwill.
Writing a resignation message should be done with care. It should be as positive as possible.
Using this message as an opportunity to vent what you think is wrong with the company simply burns bridges. Be
sure you will not later regret your statements. Most resignation messages use the indirect order required by bad
news, ending with goodwill.
Slide 11-32
Thank-you message example: The thank-you message gives writers a chance to set themselves apart by showing
good business etique-e. It also gives writers a chance to show their continued interest in the position as well as
add confirming or new information.
Continuing Job Search Activities
Slide 11-33
Maintaining your resume helps you keep a focus on the job market. It allows you to evaluate your skills and
Reading job ads in professional journals gives you valuable information. Not only will you know what skills are in
demand and what salaries they are demanding in the workplace, but reading will also help you select and build
skills in areas that interest you.
Skills Statements Workshop
Slides 11-34, 11-35, 11-36, 11-37, 11-38, 11-39, 11-40
Turning experience statements into accomplishment statements on a resume is always challenging for students.
These slides demonstrate a few strategies for turning skills statements into success statements.