Type
Solution Manual
Book Title
Business Communication: Building Critical Skills 6th Edition
ISBN 13
978-0073403267

978-0073403267 Chapter 28 Key Lecture Points, Teaching Tips, and In-Class Exercises

April 6, 2019
Module 28 - Job Application Letters
Module 28
Job Application Letters
LO 28-1 Select job application letters for different situations.
LO 28-2 Contrast differences among job application letters.
LO 28-3 Compare similarities among job application letters.
LO 28-4 Examine methods for specific company targeting.
LO 28-5 Apply principles for T-letters.
LO 28-6 Apply principles for appropriate job application letter length.
LO 28-7 Apply principles for good job application letter tone.
LO 28-8 Apply principles for e-mail job application letters.
Module Overview
Job application letters, along with résumés, complete the typical job application package used in
business. Module 28 focuses on the former, while Module 27 focuses on the latter—plan on
teaching them in sequence to best prepare your students to create effective job application
packages.
Explain to students that the purpose of a job application letter is to get an interview—not to
directly get a job. Therefore, all of the information in the letter, including the request at the end,
should concentrate on convincing the reader to grant a job interview.
Teaching Tip: The instruction in this module applies to job-hunting in the United
States. Conventions, expectations, and criteria can differ from culture to culture.
Even within the United States, different discourse communities may have different
preferences. For example, letters applying for sales jobs should be more aggressive
than the examples in this module. For more information on cultural differences,
have students read or review Module 3.
As PP 28-4 shows, students should focus on
Major requirements of the job for which they’re applying.
Points that separate them from other applicants.
Points that show their knowledge of the organization.
Qualities that every employer is likely to value: the ability to
write and speak effectively, to solve problems, to get along
with people.
© 2014 by McGraw-Hill Education. This is proprietary material solely for authorized instructor use. Not authorized for sale or distribution in any
manner. This document may not be copied, scanned, duplicated, forwarded, distributed, or posted on a website, in whole or part.
28-1
Module 28 - Job Application Letters
To make application letters professional, students should follow the
advice on PP 28-5:
Create the letter on a computer. Use a standard font (for
example, Times Roman, Palatino, Arial, or Helvetica) in 11- or
12-point type.
Address the letter to a specific person. If the reader is a
woman, call the office to find out what courtesy title she prefers.
Don't mention relatives’ names.
Omit personal information not related to the job.
Unless they’re applying for a creative job in advertising or web design, use a
conservative style: few contractions, no sentence fragments, clichés, or slang.
Edit the letter carefully and proof it several times to make sure it’s perfect.
Teaching Tip: Remind students that all of the standard qualities of good business
correspondence apply in job application letters, including using positive emphasis
and you-attitude where appropriate. Beyond these features, the letter must have
impeccable spelling and grammar, as many readers—fairly or unfairly—use these
qualities to judge applicants’ qualifications for the job.
Teaching Tip: Sample letters are available for discussion at the BCS Web page:
w ww.mhhe.com/bcs6e.
What’s in This Supplement
This supplement is organized around the major questions posed in Module 28. It covers
Part 1: Key Lecture Points, Teaching Tips, and In-Class Exercises Page 474
Part 2: Answers to Textbook Assignments Page 488
Part 3: Appendixes of Handouts/Transparency Masters Page 490
PowerPoint presentations can be found at our Web page at www.mhhe.com/bcs6e.
Questions (with answers) suitable for quizzes are in the Instructors Test Bank. For student
practice quizzes with answers, see our Web page.
© 2014 by McGraw-Hill Education. This is proprietary material solely for authorized instructor use. Not authorized for sale or distribution in any
manner. This document may not be copied, scanned, duplicated, forwarded, distributed, or posted on a website, in whole or part.
28-2
Module 28 - Job Application Letters
Part 1: Key Lecture Points, Teaching Tips, and In-Class Exercises
What kind of letter should I use? LO 28-1
It depends on whether the company has asked for applications.
As PP 28-7 and PP 28-8 show, applicants should use one of two
kinds of job application letters, depending on whether the company
has asked for applications:
Solicited
You know the company is hiring.
Jobs are likely advertised.
Sometimes you learn of openings through word of mouth.
Unsolicited (or Prospecting)
You don’t know the company is hiring.
These help you tap into the “hidden job market.”
Solicited letters respond to formal announcements of job openings—
in advertisements or job postings.
Teaching Tip: Solicited job letters often respond to specific advertisements. To
decide what information to include—as well as potential terms to express that
information—applicants should study carefully job advertisements. Help your
students learn how to do this by bringing copies of job advertisements, perhaps from
your career services office or from the classified section of a newspaper, and spend
time in class “decoding” the language. Look for key terms, such as “excellent
communication ability” or “strong people skills,” and have students brainstorm what
specific information they could provide to address those terms.
Prospecting letters are particularly useful for tapping into the hidden job market (discussed in
Module 26, p. 443).
In-Class Exercise: Have students review Figures 28.4 and 28.5 (p. 477 and p.
479). What is it about the language and content that both letters share? What is
different? Have students critique the letters as a group, sharing what they believe are
strengths and weaknesses in both. For weaknesses, have them propose changes that
might make the letter stronger.
© 2014 by McGraw-Hill Education. This is proprietary material solely for authorized instructor use. Not authorized for sale or distribution in any
manner. This document may not be copied, scanned, duplicated, forwarded, distributed, or posted on a website, in whole or part.
28-3
Module 28 - Job Application Letters
Teaching Tip: Use Appendix 28-A and Appendix 28-B (as well as book examples)
to show students additional examples of job application letters.
How are the two letters different? LO 28-2
They begin and end differently.
In general, the content of the bodies of both letters can be the same. However, the beginnings
and endings of solicited and prospecting letters can be quite different.
As PP 28-9 shows, the basic pattern for a solicited letter is
State that you are applying for the job.
Phrase the job title as the source phrased it.
Develop major qualifications in detail.
Develop other qualifications, even if the source didn’t ask for
them.
Ask for an interview.
As PP 28-11 shows, the basic pattern for an unsolicited (prospecting)
letter is
Catch the readers attention.
Create a bridge between the attention-getter and your
qualifications.
Focus on what you know and can do.
Develop your strong points in detail.
Ask for an interview.
Teaching Tip: Divide your students into two groups and assign them one of the two
letters. Give them 10 minutes to confer and then have them explain the basic
concepts for creating each to the rest of the class. Have them refer to specific
examples in the text for descriptions of language and content.
As Appendix 28-A and Appendix 28-B show, good job application letters go beyond the basic
pattern and focus on strong content. Students should understand that details and description are
vital, as is you-attitude when applying for a job.
What parts of the two letters are the same? LO 28-3
The body paragraphs discussing your qualifications.
© 2014 by McGraw-Hill Education. This is proprietary material solely for authorized instructor use. Not authorized for sale or distribution in any
manner. This document may not be copied, scanned, duplicated, forwarded, distributed, or posted on a website, in whole or part.
28-4
Module 28 - Job Application Letters
Use PP 28-13 and PP 28-14 to show students that for both letters:
Address the letter to a specific person.
Indicate the specific position you’re applying for.
Be specific about your qualifications.
Show what separates you from other applicants.
Show knowledge of the company and position.
Refer to your résumé and ask for an interview.
Use a full page.
Use a second page if necessary.
Use you-attitude.
Use positive emphasis.
Teaching Tip: Remind students that research about the job and company is crucial to
creating strong job application letters. Have students read or review the principles in
Module 25 on researching jobs to prepare. In addition, have students read the
information in this module’s Building a Critical Skill box (p. 482) on targeting a
specific company in a job application letter.
In-Class Exercise: Have students form five groups and assign one of the first
paragraphs in Exercise 28.8 (p. 488) to each to analyze. Give them 10-15 minutes.
Then have the groups share their findings. Afterward, ask the entire group to
brainstorm ways to improve each paragraph—rewrite them as a class.
Targeting a specific company in your letter LO 28-4
Students should understand that if their combination of skills is in high
demand, a one-size-fits-all letter may get you an interview. But when they
must compete against dozens—perhaps hundreds or even thousands—of
applicants for an interview slot, they need to target their letter to the
specific company. Targeting a specific company also helps job seekers
prepare for the job interview.
© 2014 by McGraw-Hill Education. This is proprietary material solely for authorized instructor use. Not authorized for sale or distribution in any
manner. This document may not be copied, scanned, duplicated, forwarded, distributed, or posted on a website, in whole or part.
28-5
Module 28 - Job Application Letters
As PP 28-15 shows, to target a letter,
Use the web to find information about the company and job field.
Review the company’s organizational culture.
See what general knowledge is necessary for the position.
Speeches, websites, annual reports, job postings, and media releases are all
good sources of information.
Can I use T-letters? LO 28-5
Yes, if the employer prefers them.
T-letters are a cross between a traditional job application letter and a
résumé. Some employers prefer them, but if job applicants are
uncertain, they should use a more traditional job letter and résumé
combination. PP 28-16 shows the basics of writing a T-letter, and PP
28-17 shows a sample solicited T-letter.
To create a T-letter, applicants should first determine the duties of the
job. A want ad or job description is a good source for information; if
none is available, they should research the kinds of skills that are
needed typically for the job, focusing on key skills. Then, applicants
should create a two-column list, with duties in one column and
descriptions using active verbs or gerunds of how the applicants match
what the employer wants in the other. The lists should be organized,
with bullet points where useful.
Teaching Tip: A table format often works well to organize lists in a T-letter, which
should be attractive and professional. To help students better understand how to
create good design for paper documents, have them refer to Module 5’s Building a
Critical Skill box (p. 80).
What applicants say in the opening paragraph is determined by whether the letter is solicited or
unsolicited, as discussed earlier in this module. Most importantly, they should ask for an
interview.
In-Class Exercise: Have students review Figure 28.6 (p. 484). How well does this
T-letter express the job duties and how the writer meets them? Is the information
organized neatly and clearly? What might students change about the letter? Why?
Given the choice, would the students prefer to use a T-letter or a more traditional
letter and résumé combination? Why?
© 2014 by McGraw-Hill Education. This is proprietary material solely for authorized instructor use. Not authorized for sale or distribution in any
manner. This document may not be copied, scanned, duplicated, forwarded, distributed, or posted on a website, in whole or part.
28-6
Module 28 - Job Application Letters
How long should my letter be? LO 28-6
Use a full page.
Applicants should use a full page because shorter letters may suggest the
applicant has little to say about him or herself (PP 28-18). Applicants
should not “pad” their letters with useless information, though; instead, the
applicant should review his or her information for opportunities to provide
more significant detail. In addition, they should review their work and
education histories to see if there is information they’ve overlooked.
In-Class Exercise: Give students 10-15 minutes to brainstorm as many
accomplishments they have completed as possible. Afterward, ask students who are
willing to share their results with the rest of the class. Doing so can help other
students to recognize their own accomplishments they may have overlooked.
Though employers generally don’t want longer letters, applicants can use a second page if it’s
necessary. However, applicants should make sure that the information on both pages is concise
and not redundant.
How do I create the right tone? LO 28-7
Use you-attitude and positive emphasis.
You-attitude and positive emphasis are important in creating the right tone in a job application
letter.
Teaching Tip: For more information about you-attitude and positive emphasis, have
students read or review the information in Modules 6 and 7.
In-Class Exercise: Give students 10-15 minutes to complete Exercise 28.9 (p. 488).
Afterward, have students share their solutions and ask the class to critique them.
Which work best? What could be done to improve the others?
© 2014 by McGraw-Hill Education. This is proprietary material solely for authorized instructor use. Not authorized for sale or distribution in any
manner. This document may not be copied, scanned, duplicated, forwarded, distributed, or posted on a website, in whole or part.
28-7
Module 28 - Job Application Letters
The company wants an e-mail application. What should I do? LO 28-8
Compose a document in a word-processing program. Then paste it into your e-mail
screen.
Some companies are allowing applicants to send job application letters
through e-mail. While formats for e-mail are evolving (see Module 9),
PP 28-19 and PP 28-20 show basic concepts that are useful:
Put the job number or title for which you’re applying in your
subject line and in the first paragraph.
Prepare your letter in a word-processing program with a spell
checker to make it easier to edit and proof the document.
Don’t send anything in all capital letters.
Don’t use smiley faces or other emoticons.
Put your name and e-mail address at the end of the message. Most
e-mail programs send along the “sender” information at the top of
the screen, but a few don’t, and you want the employer to know
whose letter this is!
Use Figure 28.7 (p. 486) to show students an example of an e-mail application letter.
In-Class Exercise: Have students critique Figure 28.7 (p. 486). What are its
strengths and weaknesses? How well does it use you-attitude? Positive emphasis?
For weaknesses, have students propose changes that might make the letter stronger.
Last Word: Like résumés, job application letters should be tailored to the individual
organization to which the writer is applying. Though it’s tempting to some students
to use a form letter, encourage them not to. By narrowing down the number of
organizations and tailoring letters to each, applicants increase the likelihood that their
letter will be read. This makes the time they spend worthwhile.
© 2014 by McGraw-Hill Education. This is proprietary material solely for authorized instructor use. Not authorized for sale or distribution in any
manner. This document may not be copied, scanned, duplicated, forwarded, distributed, or posted on a website, in whole or part.
28-8
Module 28 - Job Application Letters
© 2014 by McGraw-Hill Education. This is proprietary material solely for authorized instructor use. Not authorized for sale or distribution in any
manner. This document may not be copied, scanned, duplicated, forwarded, distributed, or posted on a website, in whole or part.
28-9

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