Assignment 1: Job Packet
(700-800 words, excluding the Rhetorical Analysis)
Your task for the first writing assignment is to locate a job or internship announcement in your field/future career and create an application packet for that job, including a cover letter (300-350 words) and a resume (300-350 words).
8/5 Due by 10 am: Full text of Job/Internship Posting (not just a URL) + Draft Resume. Submit to Canvas as ONE document (paste the other material on additional pages of your resume). Volunteers for class workshop, also email the whole thing to me, without your name on it, by 5 pm on 4/5.
8/10 Due by 9 am: Draft Cover Letter + Draft Resume + Draft Rhetorical Analysis + Full Job/Internship Posting (not a URL). Submit the full Job Packet to Canvas as ONE document.
8/12 Due by 5:30 pm: Peer Review Responses to Draft Job Packet. Submit all responses on Canvas via text entry within the Job Packet module and send individually via email to the writers.
8/15 Due by 12 noon am: Job Packet. Submit on Canvas as one document. See below for all requirements.
Purpose: 1) To find and apply to an internship or job posting appropriate to your current level of experience and future ambitions, and 2) to obtain an interview by making a strong case for your aptitude for the specific posting. (You don’t have to actually apply for it, though I have had many students do so, and even get the job or internship!)
Audience and Context: Your audience is your potential employer. The context is the current state of your field, your own relevant experience and background, and the likely competition you will face in applying for the job or internship.
To get started, find a job or internship announcement—on a site such as Handshake at UC Davis https://icc.ucdavis.edu/handshake, LinkedIn, Glassdoor, Internships.com, the website of a professional association, etc. See ICC guidance on the Online Job Search (https://icc.ucdavis.edu/find/resources/online-job-search/index.htm). This must be a professional internship or job directly related to your field of study or future career plan, something you conceivably might apply for now, very soon, or after graduating. Internships should require current enrollment in college. Jobs should require a 4-year university degree; at the very least, having such a degree will give the applicant a distinct advantage. Do not choose a dream job you hope to get in 5-10 years—it’s a waste of time to apply for something that you aren’t qualified for. Instead, find an internship or job that would make a good stepping stone. Do not choose something that requires an advanced degree (e.g., an M.A.) or previous professional experience that you do not possess (e.g., five years’ experience as a lead engineer). In your letter and resume you may NOT make up any fictional abilities you do not have.
Target your letter and resume to the specific posting you have chosen; adjust what you include and emphasize, in terms of sequence and detail, accordingly. (You can change the posting you apply for, with my approval by email, up until 8/12.) NOTE: If you are an international student and do not presently have permission to work in the U.S., you may want to look for an unpaid internship, or research companies or organizations that have a record of helping employees secure visas. For instance, see: http://fortune.com/2017/08/03/companies-h1b-visa-holders/.
1) Describe your potential employer and the posting you are applying for in detail. Demonstrate that you know something about the organization’s history, goals, reputation, competition for this position, and so on. IF you quote from the employer’s website, USE QUOTATION MARKS. However, most of this paragraph should be your own writing.
2) What is your strategy for your cover letter and resume? Discuss content, organization, effective examples of your qualifications, ways to discuss how your education/experience will make you a stronger employee, etc., including how to compensate for your potential weaknesses as a job candidate. If you have a decent resume, how do you need to revise it to target this posting? How can use your cover letter to complement the resume?
3) Summarize the peer review responses that you received, using your peer reviewers’ names. What was useful about them? What was less so, if anything? What did you use from the advice and feedback you received? Why?
4) How well do you think you carried out your strategy for the cover letter and resume, looking at the final draft of both documents? In your potential employer’s place, would you select yourself for an interview? Why or why not? If not, what could you do to strengthen your application if you were to revise this again—both in terms of the writing, and in terms of gaining or simply articulating more relevant experience/transferrable skills?
Job Packet Requirements
On Canvas, files must use the following naming convention: LastName_FirstName_JobPacket.doc (or .docx or .rtf) NOT a PDF. (If converting to Word affects formatting, you may submit a .doc and a PDF, but I can’t comment on a PDF.) When job application materials are presented in hard copy at all, one uses a large paperclip and not a staple. Please include the following in this order:
(1) Cover Letter
(3) Rhetorical Analysis
(4) Job/Internship Posting to which you are responding
Evaluation Criteria for Job Packet
“A” papers will do all of the following things successfully (+), with no more than two areas that might be improved or be done more consistently (ü).
“B” papers will do all of the following things well, with a no more than three areas to improve or do more consistently (ü) and/or one area not done successfully (-).
“C” papers will do most of the following things with multiple areas to improve and one or two areas that are not done successfully (-), or will fail to do one or two of the things completely while doing others very successfully.
“D” papers will do some of the following things adequately, but will have multiple areas that require substantial improvement (often in more than one area), or will fail to do specific things (under page requirement, use of unacceptable source) that typically result in a “D”.
“F” papers will do some things adequately or even successfully, but the number of areas that are not done or need major improvement will outnumber those positive aspects.
Context and Audience
___Does the assignment have an appropriate tone for the potential employer/organization—not self-denigrating nor boastful, but reasonably confident?
___Does the assignment use appropriate organization and sequence to present the writer’s relevant experience to the audience, in both the resume and cover letter, given the specific position?
___Does the assignment demonstrate the writer’s suitability for the specific position, rather than just asserting they are suitable for it?
___Does the amount of detail seem appropriate for the assignment?
___Is the layout clean, with chunked text, adequate white space, etc.?
___Are the sentences clear, precise and concise, avoiding problems like wordiness, vagueness, or awkward or misused words?
___Is the content correct, without mistakes in proper names, formatting, etc.?
___Is the assignment well-edited, that is, free of grammatical errors?
___Is the assignment carefully proofread, and thus free of typos?
___Does the assignment meet, but not exceed, the word count?
___Do the resume and letter each fit one on uncrowded page?
___Does the assignment effectively use resume and cover letter format and style?
___Does the assignment show that the writer carefully read and followed the requirements above for both the cover letter and resume?
___Does the resume list experience succinctly, by chronology or skills, depending on the job or background, with enough detail?
___Does the resume use parallelism with active verbs and bullet points?
___Does the Rhetorical Analysis “identify [the writer’s] strengths and figure[e] out how to compensate for their potential weaknesses as a job candidate,” explain revisions, and fully summarize peer review?
___Was the assignment submitted on time, in the correct format, including rough drafts and full participation in peer review?