Assignments: Résumé, Cover Letter or Statement

Technical Writing


Please Note: This assignment has two options. Please choose one of the options.

Option 1: Résumé and Cover Letter

Learning Goals

In performing and completing this assignment, you should:

    • Learn the proper form and structure of a résumé and a cover letter;
    • Learn how to find, research and respond to openings for positions;
    • Learn to develop, analyze and modify the content of your résumé and cover letter.

Overview

Please prepare a one-page cover letter — the letter will be in block format (please refer to Writing the Basic Business Letter and Sample Letters) — a one-page résumé, an information sheet (listed below), peer review (listed below) and provide a copy of, or link to, a job advertisement (if possible) for an existing, or soon to be existing, realistic job opportunity (no imagined positions) for which you are now qualified (keep in mind internships, assistantships, co-op positions, and summer help), or will be qualified upon graduation (no imagined qualifications).

The position for which you apply may be either solicited (published or listed) or unsolicited (not published or listed). If the job for which you are applying is unsolicited — you learned about it, for example, by word of mouth — there will be no job advertisement.

The information sheet (also listed below) should act as a guideline for your job search. All of the categories listed on the sheet may not be applicable to a given position, but the more information you have about the agency, firm, company or place where you may work, the better. Deviate from the categories listed on the sheet to find information you will need to know in preparing for the interview and for me to know in evaluating the assignment.

Finally, you will have your cover letter and résumé peer reviewed either by someone of your choosing who can provide objective feedback, or by a member of your group. Feel free to use the Messages tool in Scholar to contact group members.

Option 1 Requirements

Due June 4 by midnight:

    • A one-page cover letter;
    • A one-page résumé;
    • A completed information sheet (document file);
    • A copy of the position ad (if applicable);
    • A completed peer review (document file);
    • A cover memo (document file).

Please send all files to me — jim.collier@vt.edu — as document attachments in either .doc or .docx format.
I will use this grading rubric (document file) to evaluate the assignment.


Option 2: Résumé and Personal Statement

Learning Goals

In performing and completing this assignment, you should:

    • Learn the proper form and structure of a résumé and a personal statement;
    • Learn how to research and respond to graduate school application requirements;
    • Learn to develop, analyze and modify the content of your résumé and personal statement.

Overview

Some of you have decided to apply to graduate schools. While a résumé may be needed in a few instances most, if not all, graduate programs ask the applicant to provide a statement of purpose or personal essay. A statement of purpose is an applicant's personal justification, often in response to two or three broad questions, for wanting to enter a graduate program. The length of the statement is determined by the admissions committee. Here is advice for writing the personal statement and many other resources can be found online.

The information sheet (also listed below) allows you an opportunity to research the university, the department, and the program in which you will enroll. The more you know about the university, the future of the program, and your place in it, the better you can tailor the statement to the admissions committee. And you will need to know the formal presentation guidelines for the statement.

Finally, you will have your statement and résumé peer reviewed either by someone of your choosing who can provide objective feedback, or by a member of your group. Feel free to use the Messages tool in Scholar to contact group members.

Option 2 Requirements

Due June 4 by midnight:

    • A one-page résumé;
    • A 250-500 word statement of purpose;
    • A completed information sheet (document file);
    • A completed peer review (document file);
    • A cover memo (document file).

Please send all files to me — jim.collier@vt.edu — as document attachments in either .doc or .docx format.
I will use this grading rubric (document file) to evaluate the assignment.