This is a€?Memorandums and Lettersa€?, section 9.2 from the book Communication for Business Success (Canadian Edition) (v.
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A memoAn abbreviation for memorandum; normally used for communicating policies, procedures, or related official business within an organization. A memoa€™s purpose is often to inform, but it occasionally includes an element of persuasion or a call to action. One effective way to address informal, unofficial speculation is to spell out clearly for all employees what is going on with a particular issue. While memos do not normally include a call to action that requires personal spending, they often represent the business or organizationa€™s interests.
A memo has a header that clearly indicates who sent it and who the intended recipients are.
In a standard writing format, we might expect to see an introduction, a body, and a conclusion. Memos are often announcements, and the person sending the memo speaks for a part or all of the organization.
Some written business communication allows for a choice between direct and indirect formats, but memorandums are always direct. Memos are a place for just the facts, and should have an objective tone without personal bias, preference, or interest on display. While e-mail and text messages may be used more frequently today, the effective business letter remains a common form of written communication. Letters may serve to introduce your skills and qualifications to prospective employers, deliver important or specific information, or serve as documentation of an event or decision. The date should be left justified and placed immediately below (or two lines below) a personal address, or two lines below a letterhead logo. Like a subject line in an e-mail, this is where you indicate what the letter is in reference to, the subject or purpose of the document. This is your opening paragraph, and may include an attention statement, a reference to the purpose of the document, or an introduction of the person or topic depending on the type of letter.
If you have a list of points, a series of facts, or a number of questions, they belong in the body of your letter. An emphatic closing mirrors your introduction with the added element of tying the main points together, clearly demonstrating their relationship. Leave three or four blank lines after the close, then type your name (required) and, on the line below it, your title (if applicable).
If the letter was prepared, or word-processed, by someone other than the signatory (you), then inclusion of initials is common, as in MJD or abc. Just like an e-mail with an attachment, the letter sometimes has additional documents that are delivered with it.
As mentioned in Step 1 above, a formal business letter normally includes a logo or contact information for the organization in the header (top of page) or footer (bottom of page). Memos are brief business documents usually used internally to inform or persuade employees concerning business decisions on policy, procedure, or actions.
Letters are brief, print messages often used externally to inform or persuade customers, vendors, or the public.
Find a business letter (for example, an offer you received from a credit card company or a solicitation for a donation) and share it with your classmates.
Now that you have reviewed a sample letter, and learned about the five areas and sixteen basic parts of any business letter, write a business letter that informs a prospective client or customer of a new product or service.
You dona€™t want to be represented by spelling or grammatical errors, as they may raise questions about your education and attention to detail. You need to list your education in reverse chronological order, with your most recent degree first. You may want to add your overall grade point average (GPA) if you are proud of that number.
In general, follow the five-year rule when considering the addition of your high school education. List in reverse chronological order your employment history, including the positions, companies, locations, and dates. Ensure you emphasize quantifiable accomplishments and responsibilities that match your strengths to the requirements of the job. Custom documents take additional time, preparation, analysis of the job announcement, and may not fit the established guidelines. Consider a brief section that lists common words associated with the position as a skills summary: customer service, business communication, sales, or terms and acronyms common to the business or industry. When you are happy with your opening paragraph, add one or two paragraphs that illustrate your proposition from the opening paragraph.
Find a job announcement with specific duties that represents a job that you will be prepared for upon graduation.
Conduct an online search for job advertisements that detail positions you would be interested in, and note the key job duties and position requirements. This is a€?Intrapersonal and Interpersonal Business Communicationa€?, chapter 16 from the book Communication for Business Success (v. Identity is the essential core of who we are as individuals, the conscious experience of the self inside. When we ask the question, a€?What are you doing?a€? the answer invariably involves communication; communication with self, with others, in verbal (oral and written) and nonverbal ways.
All this interaction takes place in the mind without externalization, and all of it relies on previous interaction with the external world. Think of a time when you have used self-talka€”for example, giving yourself a€?I can do this!a€? messages when you are striving to meet a challenge, or a€?whata€™s the use?a€? messages when you are discouraged. Take a few minutes and visualize what you would like your life to be like a year from now, or five years from now. Again wea€™ll return to the question a€?what are you doing?a€? as one way to approach self-concept. The ability to think about how, what, and when we think, and why, is critical to intrapersonal communication. These dimensions of self serve to remind us that we are not fixeda€”that freedom to change combined with the ability to reflect, anticipate, plan, and predict allows us to improve, learn, and adapt to our surroundings. Self-concept involves multiple dimensions and is expressed in internal monologue and social comparisons.
How would you describe yourself in terms of the dimensions of self as shown in Figure 16.1 "Luft and Ingrama€™s Dimensions of Self"? You may have had no problem answering the question, a€?What are you doing?a€? and simply pulled a couple of lines from yesterdaya€™s Twitter message or reviewed your BlackBerry calendar.
As you came to know what was what and who was who, you learned how to negotiate the landscape and avoid landmines.
Over time, you may have learned your job tasks and the strategies for succeeding in your organization. Beyond self-actualization, Maslow recognizes our innate need to know (level six) that drives us to grow and learn, explore our environment, or engage in new experiences. Now that you have reached a sense of contentment in your job and can take in a museum tour, the news of a possible corporate merger is suddenly announced in the mainstream media.
This theory of interpersonal needs is individualistic, and many cultures are not centered on the individual, but it does serve to start our discussion about interpersonal needs. Humans also have a need for controlThe ability to influence people and events., or the ability to influence people and events. Finally, Schutz echoes Maslow in his assertion that belonging is a basic interpersonal need, but notes that it exists within a range or continuum, where some need more and others less. Schutz describes these three interpersonal needs of affection, control, and belonging as interdependent and variable. Think of two or more different situations and how you might express your personal needs differently from one situation to the other. As we move from public to private information we make the transition from small talk to substantial, and eventually intimate, conversations. Over time, the conversations may gradually grow to cross topics beyond the scope of the office, and a relationship may form that involves trust. Write down five terms that describe your personal self, and five terms that describe your professional self. So you decided against wearing the purple hat to work on your first day, but after a successful first week you went out with friends from your college days. Monday morning brings the opportunity to tell all sorts of stories about the weekend, and since youa€™ve wisely decided to leave any references to the bar in the past, you may instead choose the wise conversational strategy of asking questions. If you decided to go with the a€?good booka€? option, or perhaps mention that you watched a movie, you just ran the risk that whatever you are reading or watching may be criticized.
Before you mention the title of the book or movie you saw this weekend, you may consider your audience and what you know about them. For example, one day your coworker and best friend, Iris, whom youa€™ve come to know on a personal as well as a professional level, gets promoted to the position of manager.
If you have ever had even a minor interpersonal transaction such as buying a cup of coffee from a clerk, you know that some people can be personable, but does that mean youa€™ve developed a relationship within the transaction process? The developmental view places an emphasis on the prior history, but also focuses on the level of familiarity and trust. Review the lists you made for the third of the Note 16.1 "Introductory Exercises" for this chapter. Regardless of whether we focus on collaboration or competition, we can see that interpersonal communication is necessary in the business environment.
You no doubt have participated in countless conversations throughout your life, and the process of how to conduct a conversation may seem so obvious that it needs no examination.
The first stage of conversation is called initiationThe first stage of a conversation., and requires you to be open to interact.
The previewAn indication, verbal or nonverbal, of what the conversation is about, both in terms of content and of the relationship. Joseph DeVito characterizes this step as getting down to business, reinforcing the goal orientation of the conversation.DeVito, J. Similar to a preview step, this stage allows the conversational partners to clarify, restate, or discuss the points of the conversation to arrive a sense of mutual understanding.
The acceptance of feedback on both sides of the conversation often signals the transition to the conclusion of the conversation. There are times when a conversational partner introduces new information in the conclusion, which can start the process all over again.
By mentioning a time, date, or place for future communication you can clearly signal that the conversation, although currently concluded, will continue later. Employment interviews come in all shapes and sizes, and may not be limited to only one exchange but one interaction. The invitation to interview means you have been identified as a candidate who meets the minimum qualifications and demonstrate potential as a viable candidate.
If we assume that you would like to be successful in your employment interviewing, then it makes sense to use the communication skills gained to date with the knowledge of interpersonal communication to maximize your performance. The right frame of mind is an essential element for success in communication, oral or written.
On the content side, if you have been invited for an interview, you can rest assured that you have met the basic qualifications the employer is looking for.
Businesses hire people to solve problems, so you will want to focus on how your talents, expertise, and experience can contribute to the organizationa€™s need to solve those problems. Will it be a behavioral interview, where the employer watches what you do in a given situation? Office attire varies by industry, so stop by the workplace and observe what workers are wearing if you can. Carefully read the ad you answered that got you the interview, and memorize what it says about the job and the qualifications the employer is seeking. You may want to know how to prepare for an employment interview, and wea€™re going to take it for granted that you have researched the company, market, and even individuals in your effort to learn more about the opportunity. When you are asked a question in the interview, look for its purpose as well as its literal meaning.
In the same way, responses about your strengths are not an opening to brag, and your weakness not an invitation to confess. You may be invited to participate in a conference call, and be told to expect it will last around twenty minutes.
You can also anticipate that the last few minutes will be set aside for you to ask your questions. At the same time as you are being interviewed, know that you too are interviewing the prospective employer. You completed your research of the organization, interviewed a couple of employees, learned more about the position, were on time for the interview (virtual or in person), wore neat and professional clothes, and demonstrated professionalism in your brief, informative responses. Remember that feedback is part of the communication process: follow up promptly with a thank-you note or e-mail, expressing your appreciation for the interviewera€™s time and interest.
You may receive a letter, note, or voice mail explaining that another candidatea€™s combination of experience and education better matched the job description. Although you feel disappointed, dona€™t focus on the loss or all the hard work youa€™ve produced.
Find a job announcement of a position that might interest you after you graduate or reach your professional goal.
Prepare for a job that you would like to do by finding a job announcement, preparing sample responses, and enlisting a friend or colleague in playing the role of a mock interviewer.
Understand evaluations and criticism in the workplace, and discuss several strategies for resolving workplace conflict.
The word a€?conflicta€? produces a sense of anxiety for many people, but it is part of the human experience.
This is a€?Communicating for Employmenta€?, chapter 20 from the book Communication for Business Success (Canadian Edition) (v. Conduct an online search for job descriptions associated with your chosen career and think about what tasks are accomplished in a typical day or week. The employment market and job-seeking techniques have changed significantly over the past ten years and will continue to change; it is not as easy as it once was to map out a clear career path. The growth of job posting sites online has created a glut of applicants for most posted positions.
These factors combine to create a job environment that is different from what most people might expect.
As you reflect on the list above, you will find that you have at least some experience in many of them, but you probably havena€™t thought that much about them because you use them in so many ways that you take them for granted. Volunteering is especially good for students looking to work in social and artistic occupations, but students looking for work in other occupation types should not shy away from this option. This written agreement may seem like overkill, but it is critical to ensure that the internship experience doesna€™t degrade into unsatisfying tasks such as photocopying and filing. Remember that a key objective of your internship is to develop relationships you can use for mentoring and networking during your career.
If you are lucky enough to have a job in your field of study already and are using your college experience to enhance your career opportunities, be sure to link what you are learning to what you do on the joba€”and what you do on the job to what you are learning. Be sure you can identify and show mastery in transferable skills as well as work-related skills. Experience through volunteering, internships, and part-time jobs will illustrate to potential employers that you can work in your chosen field, but it is also instrumental to help create a network of colleagues to enhance your career development.
In the list of forty transferable skills that follows, underline five skills you believe you have mastered and then describe specific ways in which you have used each skill successfully. There is some wisdom in the saying that ita€™s who you know that brings success in getting a job. The first phase involves identifying whom you should be speaking to and pinpointing the people who can introduce you to them. Your success in this phase of networking will be driven by the quality of the candidates (those who can directly influence your ability to reach your objectives) as well as the quantity (those who will lead you to the most contacts).
Building a network requires consistent work, and a strong network will take time to achieve. When you capture your contact data, use relevant keywords to help you search your database and shape your contact activity.
Being in the right place at the right time has much less to do with luck than with the art of personal contact.
What you say in your networking calls or e-mails will depend largely on the objective of your networking effort.
Much of the success of your networking efforts depends on what you do after youa€™ve hung up after a call or received an e-mail reply.
Networking is an ongoing process that involves identifying and managing prospects, making contact, and following up. Describe two things you can do to overcome shyness and network effectively in a person-to-person setting. In the process of exploring occupations and landing a job, you will likely participate in a variety of interviews. Will it be a behavioural interview, where the employer watches what you do in a given situation? Employment interviews, especially screening interviews, do not stray far from a standard list of questions.
Use your list of transferable skills like communication, leadership, organization, attention to detail, and work ethic. This Seventh Edition of Business and Administrative Communication by Kitty Locker is a true leader in the business communications field. This textbook was in wonderful condition and arrived well within the allotted timeframe for delivery.
See the license for more details, but that basically means you can share this book as long as you credit the author (but see below), don't make money from it, and do make it available to everyone else under the same terms. However, the publisher has asked for the customary Creative Commons attribution to the original publisher, authors, title, and book URI to be removed.
If budget cuts are a concern, then it may be wise to send a memo explaining the changes that are imminent. They may also include statements that align business and employee interest, and underscore common ground and benefit. An acronym or abbreviation that is known to management may not be known by all the employees of the organization, and if the memo is to be posted and distributed within the organization, the goal is clear and concise communication at all levels with no ambiguity. While it may contain a request for feedback, the announcement itself is linear, from the organization to the employees.
If the memo is announcing the observance of a holiday, for example, the specific holiday should be named in the subject linea€”for example, use a€?Thanksgiving weekend schedulea€? rather than a€?holiday observancea€?.
It can serve to introduce you to a potential employer, announce a product or service, or even serve to communicate feelings and emotions. The audience or reader may have their own idea of what constitutes a specific type of letter, and your organization may have its own format and requirements. Regardless of the type of letter you need to write, it can contain up to sixteen elements in five areas. If your letter includes a letterhead with this information, either in the header (across the top of the page) or the footer (along the bottom of the page), you do not need to include it before the date. An emphatic opening involves using the most significant or important element of the letter in the introduction. You may choose organizational devices to draw attention, such as a bullet list, or simply number them. Closing statements are normally placed two lines under the conclusion and include a hanging comma (as in a€?Sincerely,a€?).
This line indicates what the reader can look for in terms of documents included with the letter, such as brochures, reports, or related business documents.
Just like a a€?CCa€? option in an e-mail, it indicates the relevant parties that will also receive a copy of the document.
This can make it clear to a third party that the letter was delivered via a specific method, such as certified mail (a legal requirement for some types of documents). Share it with your classmates, observing confidentiality by blocking out identifying details such as the name of the sender, recipient, and company.
People network, link, and connect in new ways via online profiles or professional sites like LinkedIn. This section presents your best qualities as they align with the requirements of the job ad.
If you insist on doing so, your objective should reflect the audiencea€™s need to quickly understand how you will help the organization achieve its goals. You may also want to list grades in your major courses to demonstrate your success in your chosen field. Often this involves communication, budgets, teamwork, supervision, and customer service when applying for positions in business and industry, but dona€™t let emphasis become exaggeration. And while many people are tempted to include a a€?references upon requesta€? line, even that statement is considered redundant. You know that when given a class assignment, you are expected to follow directions; similarly, the employer is looking for specific skills and experience. Inkjet printers can have some a€?bleeda€? between characters that may make them overlap, and therefore be misunderstood. Please post one link and a brief review of the Web site, noting what features you found useful and at least one recommendation for improvement.
This simple question is at the heart of an application that allows user to stay hyperconnected. Are you reading, learning, or have you already tuned out this introduction and skipped over to Twitter to see what your friends are up to?
Most cultures have rituals where people come together in a common space for conversation and sharing. How do we come to this and how does it influence our experience within the business environment? If you had been born in a different country, to different parents, what language would you speak? Do you think this visualization exercise will influence your actions and decisions in the future?
If we define ourselves through our actions, what might those actions be, and are we no longer ourselves when we no longer engage in those activities? Physiologically your body is in a constant state of change as you inhale and exhale air, digest food, and cleanse waste from each cell. That interaction can be internal, as in intrapersonal communication, but can also be external. You are more than your actions, and more than your communication, and the result may be greater than the sum of the parts, but how do you know yourself? By recognizing that we are not fixed in our concept of a€?self,a€? we come to terms with the responsibility and freedom inherent in our potential humanity.
Humans tend to form groups naturally, and if basic needs are met, love and belonging occur in level three. Your self-esteem (level four) improved as you perceived a sense of belonging, but still may have lacked the courage to speak up. Perhaps you even came to be known as a reliable coworker, one who did go the extra mile, one who did assist the a€?newbiesa€? around the office.
We come to appreciate a sense of self that extends beyond our immediate experiences, beyond the function, and into the community and the representational. Like Maslow, he considers the universal aspects of our needs, but he outlines how they operate within a range or continuum for each person.Schutz, W. UndersocialsPeople who are less likely to seek interaction, may prefer smaller groups, and will generally not be found on center stage. In one context, an individual may have a high need for control, while in others he or she may not perceive the same level of motivation or compulsion to meet that need.
From the time you are a newborn infant crying for food or the time you are a toddler learning to say a€?pleasea€? when requesting a cup of milk, to the time you are a adult learning the rituals of the job interview and the conference room, you learn to communicate in order to gain a sense of self within the group or community, meeting your basic needs as you grow and learn. Have you observed similar variations in personal needs in other people from one situation to another?
People across cultures use a variety of signals to indicate neutral or submissive stances in relation to each other.
You are new to a position and your supervisor has been in his or her role for a number of years.
To a degree, you and your coworkers learn to predict one anothera€™s responses and relax in the knowledge of mutual respect. You may ask your coworkers what they did, what it was like, who they met, and where they went, but eventually all conversations form a circle that comes back to you. You may choose to describe your weekend by describing the friends and conversations while omitting any reference to the bar. If the book you are enjoying is controversial, you might anticipate a bit of a debate, but if you mentioned a romance novel, or one that has a science fiction theme, you may have thought it wouldna€™t generate criticism. If youa€™ve only known them for a week, your awareness of their habits, quirks, likes and dislikes may be limited. She didna€™t tell you ahead of time because it wasna€™t certain, and she didna€™t know how to bring up the possible change of roles. Over time and with increased frequency we form bonds or relationships with people, and if time and frequency are diminished, we lose that familiarity. If you evaluate your list of what is important to you, will you find objects or relationships? We want to know our place and role within the organization, accurately predict those within our proximity, and create a sense of safety and belonging.

Yet, all cultures have rituals of various kinds, and conversation is one of these universal rituals. Because it is one of the main ways we interact in the business environment, and it is ripe for misunderstandings. How you communicate openness is up to you; it may involve nonverbal signals like eye contact or body positions, such as smiling or even merely facing the other person and making eye contact.
In some cultures the points and their feedback may recycle several times, which may sound repetitious to Western ears. You may also note that if words like a€?in conclusiona€? or a€?oha€”one more thinga€? are used, a set of expectations is now in force. There is no one right or wrong way to prepare and present at your interview, just as each audience is unique, but we can prepare and anticipate several common elements. For many if not most, the employment interview is surrounded with mystery and a degree of fear and trepidation. Hopefully, this initiation signal means that the company or organization you have thoroughly researched is one you would consider as a potential employer. If this isna€™t possible, call and ask the human resources office what to weara€”they will appreciate your wish to be prepared. If it doesna€™t have one, look for business listings in the community online and in the phone directory. If your weakness is a tendency towards perfectionism, and the job you are applying for involves a detail orientation, you can highlight how your weaknesses may serve you well in the position.
A a€?becausea€? response involves the restatement of the question followed by a statement of how and where you gained education or experience in that area. The telephone carries your voice and your words, but doesna€™t carry your nonverbal gestures.
This is your opportunity to learn more about the problems or challenges that the position will be addressing, allowing you a final opportunity to reinforce a positive message with the audience. If you have done your homework you may already know what the organization is all about, but you may still be unsure whether it is the right fit for you. You may also indicate that you will call or e-mail next week to see if they have any further questions for you. Candidates sometimes become quite fixated on one position or job and fail to keep their options open. We can use the dynamics of the ritual of conversation to learn to prepare for employment interviews and evaluations, both common contexts of communication in the work environment. Use the resources described in this section to research information about the company, the kinds of jobs it hires people to do, and the needs and goals of the organization. Write a brief statement of what experience and education you currently have that applies to the position and note what you currently lack. Create a survey, identify people who hold a similar position, and interview them (via e-mail or in person). Just because conflict is universal does not mean that we cannot improve how we handle disagreements, misunderstandings, and struggles to understand or make ourselves understood.
I have a good understanding of the work-related skills I will need in my chosen career and a plan to get them. However, a clear direction can still provide enough flexibility to respond to the changing needs of todaya€™s job market. As new technology accelerates and national and global priorities (such as going green or national security) take on a new sense of urgency, new needs are identified and new jobs will be created to fill those needs. Other than jobs that require you to serve customers in a specific location or region or jobs that require specialized equipment (as in manufacturing facilities), companies increasingly have off-site employees who stay connected via the Internet.
You have access to millions of job opportunities via the Web, but so do hundreds or thousands of other job seekers. These include knowing how to use equipment that is specific to your career and mastering processes that are used in your field. The second set of skills you must have are called transferable skillsSkills that can be used in almost all occupations.
It is important to think about all your activities and consider the skills you have applied successfully; your transferable skills inventory is larger than you may think.
Yes, employers look at your previous experience, and this often stumps students who are in the early stages of their careers.
Interns work for an organization or company for a reduced wage or stipend or volunteer in exchange for practical experience. Befriend people, ask questions, go the extra mile in terms of what is expected of you, and generally participate in the enterprise. Ask your supervisor and employer about ideas you have picked up in class, and ask your instructors about the practices you apply at work.
Then circle five skills you think are important to your career that you have not mastered yet.
In its simplest terms, it is the process of engaging others in helping you reach an objective. In the first case, you might want to start with people you met at an industry conference; in the job-specific case, youa€™ll want to think about whom you know in that company or who might know someone in that company.
Your computer, PDA, or smartphone probably has features for capturing contact information and retrieving it based on keywords, and most will even connect with your calendar for scheduling and reminders.
That is why we recommend you start building your professional network nowa€”even early in your college career. One of the most overlooked pieces of information that you should be sure to capture is the source of the contact. If you are going to a conference, a party, or even a class, know ahead of time which people or kinds of people you want to meet.
Have a good supply of personal cards to give out to contacts; that will prompt them to give you their contact information, too. If someone you know comes up to you while you are speaking with a contact, introduce them; if you see that the contact is getting antsy, tell them you enjoyed meeting them and then move on.
Set yourself up for networking success by discreetly writing a word or two on the back of their card to jog your memory in the future.
It is a great vehicle for learning about new trends in the industry, for launching a€?trial balloonsa€? for ideas or concepts you are developing, and for seeking advice on practical aspects of your occupation. Now give yourself another twenty minutes to write one or two words next to each name to describe how he or she could help you network. Reaching the interview stage means that you are in serious consideration for the position, and the pressure feels cranked up.
Generally conducted by a representative of the companya€™s human resources department or a recruiter, a screening interview is used to determine whether you are qualified or overqualified to do the job. In a one-on-one interview, the interviewer asks a set of questions to learn if you have the knowledge and skills to handle the job for which you have applied. In almost every interview situation, youa€™ll be asked, a€?What can you do for this company?a€? Practice your answer. Find a quiet one to two hours to review the interview study guide provided here, prepare your answers, and actually practice them.
Have you won awards or received positive feedback from others in the organization or from a happy customer? Beyond covering the broad scope of topics in both oral and written business communication, Locker’s text uses a student-friendly writing style and strong design element to hold student attention. You may also download a PDF copy of this book (10 MB) or just this chapter (3 MB), suitable for printing or most e-readers, or a .zip file containing this book's HTML files (for use in a web browser offline). It is often written from a one-to-all perspective (like mass communication), broadcasting a message to an audience, rather than a one-on-one, interpersonal communication. The unofficial, informal communication network within an organization is often called the grapevineThe unofficial, informal communication network within an organization, often characterized by rumour, gossip, and innuendo., and it is often characterized by rumour, gossip, and innuendo.
Date and subject lines are also present, followed by a message that contains a declaration, a discussion, and a summary. The memo may have legal standing as it often reflects policies or procedures, and may reference an existing or new policy in the employee manual, for example. Wea€™ll examine the basic outline of a letter and then focus on specific products or writing assignments. This chapter outlines common elements across letters, and attention should be directed to the expectations associated with your particular writing assignment. While you may not use all the elements in every case or context, they are listed in Table 9.1 "Elements of a Business Letter". A comma after the salutation is correct for personal letters, but a colon should be used in business.
Readers tend to pay attention to openings, and it makes sense to outline the expectations for the reader up front.
Readers may skip over information in the body of your letter, so make sure you emphasize the key points clearly.
You may also download a PDF copy of this book (10 MB) or just this chapter (2 MB), suitable for printing or most e-readers, or a .zip file containing this book's HTML files (for use in a web browser offline). If your education is still in progress, say so, perhaps including an anticipated graduation date. Once you've graduated college or university then you should consider removing the high school information; hiring managers will assume you graduated high school once your college or university degree is listed.
This document represents you in your absence, and if information is false, at a minimum you could lose your job.
By mirroring the employera€™s language and submitting your application documents in accord with their instructions, you convey a spirit of cooperation and an understanding of how to follow instructions.
Choose a sans serif (without serif, or decorative end) font like Arial or Tahoma that wona€™t be misread. There is no better way to entice someone to read further than to demonstrate that you fit his or her needs.
You may also download a PDF copy of this book (6 MB) or just this chapter (239 KB), suitable for printing or most e-readers, or a .zip file containing this book's HTML files (for use in a web browser offline).
Before we consider the social media and its implications on business communication, leta€™s first examine the central question Twitter asks its users to address in 140 characters or less. How do we come to enter a new community through a rite of initiation, often called a job interview, only to find ourselves lost as everyone speaks a new language, the language of the workplace? Psychologist Steven Pinker defines the conscious present as about three seconds for most people.
Self-reflection is a trait that allows us to adapt and change to our context or environment, to accept or reject messages, to examine our concept of ourselves and choose to improve. It can be a running monologue that is rational and reasonable, or disorganized and illogical.
In the first of the Note 16.1 "Introductory Exercises" for this chapter, you were asked to define yourself in five words or less. Do your career path, job responsibilities, goals, and aspirations align with what you recognize to be your talents? Perhaps youa€™ve been new at work and didna€™t understand the first thing about what was really going on. We can take in beauty for its own sake, and value aesthetics (level seven) that we previously ignored or had little time to consider. You may feel a sense of uncertainty and be concerned about your status as a valued employee. You may have already researched similar mergers, as well as the forecasts for the new organization, and come to realize that your position and your department are central to the current business model. Both Maslow and Schutz offer us two related versions of interpersonal needs that begin to address the central question: why communicate? Communication allows us to share experiences, come to know ourselves and others, and form relationships, but it requires time and effort.
A wave, a nod, or a spoken reference about a beautiful day can indicate an open, approachable stance rather than a guarded, defensive posture. Beginnings are fragile times and when expectations, roles, and ways of communicating are not clear, misunderstandings can occur. Some people at your same level within the organization enjoy a level of knowledge and ease of interaction with your supervisor that you lack. If, however, you skip from superficial to intimate topics too quickly, you run risk of violating normative expectations.
They may have points that overlap, or may have words that describe you in your distinct roles that are quite different. Most people would say, a€?Of course not!a€? as there is a normative expectation for dress, sometimes called a dress code.
At work on Monday, is it a wise strategy to share the finer tips of the drinking games you played on Saturday night? Sometimes the most innocent reference or comment can produce conflict when the conversational partners have little prior history. At the same time, if you feel safe and relatively secure, you may test the waters with a reference to the genre but not the author.
Sexual harassment, fraud, theft, and abuse are all issues in the workplace, and if you become aware of these behaviors you will have a responsibility to report them according to your organizationa€™s procedures. This broad definition is useful when we compare it to intrapersonal communication, or communication with ourselves, as opposed to mass communication, or communication with a large audience, but it requires clarification. What is the difference between the brief interaction of a transaction and the interactions you periodically have with your colleague, Iris, who is now your manager? The relationship with the clerk may be impersonal, but so can the relationship with the manager after time has passed and the familiarity is lost. You may value your home or vehicle, but for most people relationships with friends and family are at the top of the list.
Some explorations in initial interactions and beyond: Toward a developmental theory of interpersonal communication. Family for many is the first experience in interpersonal relationships, but as we develop professionally, our relationships at work may take on many of the attributes we associate with family communication.
A skilled business communicator knows when to speak, when to remain silent, and to always stop speaking before the audience stops listening. Our everyday familiarity with conversations often makes us blind to the subtle changes that take place during the course of a conversation.
A casual reference to the weather, a light conversation about the weekend, or an in-depth conversation about how the financial markets are performing this morning requires a source to start the process: someone has to initiate the exchange. A word or two in the subject line of an e-mail may signal the topic, and the relationship between individuals, such as an employee-supervisor relationship, may be understood. In Western cultures we often get to the point rather quickly and once wea€™ve arrived at an understanding, we move quickly to the conclusion. The screening process may include formal tests that include personality tests, background investigations, and consultations with previous employers.
Just as giving a speech may produce a certain measure of anxiety, you can expect that a job interview will make you nervous. Perhaps you have involved colleagues and current employees of the organization in your research process and learned about several of the organizationa€™s attractive qualities as well as some of the challenges experienced by the people working there.
You need to be prepared for standard questions about your education and background, but also see the opening in the conversation to discuss the job duties, the challenges inherent in the job, and the ways in which you believe you can meet these challenges. Or will you be interviewed over lunch or coffee, where your table manners and social skills will be assessed?
Make a written list of the job tasks and annotate the list with your skills, knowledge, and other attributes that will enable you to perform the job tasks with excellence.
In addition, look for any advertisements the company has placed, as these can give a good indication of the companya€™s goals. For example, if you are asked about handling difficult customers, you could answer that you have significant experience in that area because youa€™ve served as a customer service representative with X company for X years.
If you remember to speak directly into the telephone, look up and smile, your voice will come through clearly and you will sound competent and pleasant.
Listen and learn from what is said as well as what is not said, and you will add to your knowledge base for wise decision making in the future. As you develop professionally, you will come to see how fields, organizations, and companies are interconnected in ways that you cannot anticipate. The best person does not always get the job, and the prepared business communicator knows that networking and research is a never-ending, ongoing process. It is also only natural to want to know why you were not chosen, but be aware that for legal reasons most rejection notifications do not go into detail about why one candidate was hired and another was not. Review the process and learn from the experience, knowing that each audience is unique and even the most prepared candidate may not have been the right a€?fit.a€? Stay positive and connect with people you who support you.
If your instructor indicates this exercise will be an in-class exercise or assessment, dress the part and be completely prepared.
In fact, building flexibility into your career plans is a requirement for achieving a successful career. In fact, Human Resources and Skills Development Canada reports that people will have on average approximately three careers and eight jobs over a lifetime. Think about this: five years ago, a search engine optimization (SEO) specialist was a job in only a handful of Web-centric companies. This means that students and job hunters should be able to demonstrate the ability to work independently and produce results without consistent, direct personal supervision. While some of these skills are learned and perfected on the job, you may be in a vocational track program (such as for computer programmers, nurses aides, or paralegals) where you are learning your work-based skills.
For example, if you volunteer as a big brother or big sister, you have skills in active listening, mentoring, time management, and probably coaching.
That will be a valuable tool for you as you work with your career development and ultimately with job applications.
Relevant experience is not only important as a job qualification; it can also provide you with a means to explore or test out occupational options and build a contact list that will be valuable when networking for your career.
Certainly it is easy to understand that if you want to be in an artistic field, volunteering at a museum or performance centre can provide you with relevant experience. A successful internship program should create a win-win situation: the intern should add value to the companya€™s efforts, and the company should provide a structured program in which the student can learn or practice work-related skills.
Ask your instructors and the career guidance or placement office to help you generate job leads, even if they are not specifically in the area you want to be working in.
This cross-linking will make you a much stronger candidate for future opportunities and a much better student in the short term.
If you dona€™t have any contacts who fit that description, whom do you know who lives in the town in which the company is based or in a nearby town? Dona€™t be caught wishing you could call someone you met three weeks agoa€¦if you could only remember what you did with their business card! Your network should include anyone who might have a connection that will help: family, friends, neighbours, past and present coworkers, bosses, people you met through associations and clubs (especially business associations), alumni from your college, and acquaintances you have met via online networking.
Thata€™s what turns a a€?cold calla€? into a a€?warm calla€?a€”and it helps engage the prospect. You may feel a little awkward following these tips at first, but with practice you will become quite adept at meeting new people and adding them to your network. Be prepared with topics you can steer your contact toward so you dona€™t spend two minutes awkwardly talking about the weather and then slink away.
Be factual, dona€™t brag, and give enough information about yourself to prompt your contact to ask questions. Be willing to offer your assistance whenever you can; the fact that you are still in college doesna€™t mean you cana€™t be of value. Do this right away; any thank you after twenty-four hours of your contact can be considered late. Businesses and organizations are communities consisting of teams and groups, and if we decide to switch teams or communities, or if that decision is made for us with a reduction in force layoff, for example, wea€™ll be back on the job market. This is an interview that you have requested to learn about a particular job, company, or industry and how best to present yourself to potential hiring managers. The hiring manager conducting the one-on-one interview also wants to get a sense of what it would be like working with you and how you would fit in the organization. Research press releases, stories in the Globe and Mail, annual reports, blogs, Web sites, the news, and so on. If you prepare answers for them ahead of time, you will not be caught off guard during an interview. By elaborating on your strengths, ita€™s easier for the employer to see where and how you excel.
Real-world examples and real business applications underscore the relevance and importance of the material presented to the classroom experience and to the students’ careers. We deliver the joy of reading in 100% recycled packaging with free standard shipping on U.S. It may also be used to update a team on activities for a given project, or to inform a specific group within a company of an event, action, or observance. On the grapevine, one person may hear that someone else is going to be laid off and start passing the news around. For example, on February 13, 2009, upper management at the Panasonic Corporation issued a declaration that all employees should buy at least $1,600 worth of Panasonic products.
The discussion elaborates or lists major points associated with the topic, and the conclusion serves as a summary. There are many types of letters, and many adaptations in terms of form and content, but in this chapter, we discuss the fifteen elements of a traditional block-style letter.
The salutation a€?To whom it may concerna€? is appropriate for letters of recommendation or other letters that are intended to be read by any and all individuals.
Just as you would preview your topic in a speech, the clear opening in your introductions establishes context and facilitates comprehension. If your letter requests or implies action, the conclusion needs to make clear what you expect to happen.
Your Twitter account and Facebook page are also often accessible to the public, so never post anything you wouldna€™t want your employer (current or future) to read, see, or hear. There will plenty of time later to clarify what you prefer to be called, but all your application documents, including those that relate to payroll, your social security number, drug screenings, background checks, fingerprint records, transcripts, certificates or degrees, should feature your legal name. But if it looks like you've chopped so much out just to get it to one page and the hiring manager can't see your skills and accomplishments, then that's not so good. Simple, clear fonts that demonstrate no points at which letters may appear to overlap will increase the probability of the computer getting it right the first time. A successful cover letter should emphasize how your knowledge, skills, or experiences make you an ideal candidate.
When you are a newborn baby, your actions represented a small percentage of your potentiala€”now that youa€™re older, you are more than an eating machine that requires constant care and feedinga€”but what are you? How do we negotiate relationships, demands for space and time, across meetings, collaborative efforts, and solo projects? Some aspects of your personality and character will be constant, while others will shift and adapt to your environment and context. It can interfere with listening to others, impede your ability to focus, and become a barrier to effective communication.
If we engage two or more individuals (up to eight normally), group communication is the result. You have to work and your job required your participation in a meeting, or you care about someone and met him or her for lunch.
If we consider the question long enough, wea€™ll come around to the conclusion that we communicate with others in order to meet basic needs, and our meetings, interactions, and relationships help us meet those needs. Ita€™s not that you werena€™t well trained and did not receive a solid education, but rather that the business or organization is made up of groups and communities that communicate and interact in distinct and divergent ways.
You are now looked up to by others and by yourself within the role, with your ability to make a difference. You may have also of taken steps to prioritize your budget, assess your transferable skills, and look for opportunities beyond your current context.
OversocialsPeople who crave the spotlight of attention and are highly motivated to seek belonging., however, crave the spotlight of attention and are highly motivated to seek belonging. At the outermost layer of the onion, in this model, there is only that which we can observe.
Some relationships may never proceed past observations on the weather, while others may explore controversial topics like politics or religion.
They may have had more time and interactions with the supervisor, but you can still use this theory to gain trust and build a healthy relationship. After you have worked within the organization, earned trust and established credibility, and earned your place in the community, the purple hat might be positively received with a sense of humor. Again, most people would say, a€?Of course not!a€? It has nothing to do with work, and only makes you look immature. After a couple of stories, sooner or later, youa€™ll hear the question, a€?What did you do this weekend?a€? Ita€™s now your turn.
A professional understands that trust is built over time, and understands how valuable this intangible commodity can be to success.
The developmental view of interpersonal communication places emphasis on the relationship rather than the size of the audience, and draws a distinction between impersonal and personal interactions.
From a developmental view, interpersonal communication can exist across this range of experience and interaction.
We look to each other with similar sibling rivalries, competition for attention and resources, and support.
Further, understanding conversation provides a solid foundation for our next discussion on employment interviewing.
Examining it will allow you to consider its components, predict the next turn, anticipate an opening or closing, and make you a better conversationalist. A general reference to a topic may approach a topic indirectly, allowing the recipient to either pick up on the topic and to engage in the discussion or to redirect the conversation away from a topic they are not ready to talk about. Communication across cultures often requires additional cycles of statement and restatement to insure transmission of information as well as reinforcement of the relationship. If the speaker continues to recycle at this point, the listenera€™s listening skills are often not as keen as they were during the heat of the main engagement, and it may even produce frustration.
Depending on the type of job you are seeking, you can anticipate answering questions, often more than once, to a series of people as you progress through a formal interview process. Briefly, the employment interview is a conversational exchange (even if it is in writing at first) where the participants try to learn more about each other.

Take the opportunity to demonstrate the fact that you have a€?done your homeworka€? in researching the company.
Luckily for you, employment interviews involve a degree of uniformity across their many representations. Telling the interviewer about yourself is an opportunity for you make a positive professional impression.
You may be able to articulate how you were able to turn an encounter with a frustrated customer into a long-term relationship that benefited both the customer and the organization. Whatever you do, dona€™t take the call on a cell phone with an iffy connectiona€”your interviewers are guaranteed to be unfavorably impressed if you keep breaking up during the call.
Do this tactfully, keeping in mind that communication occurs between individuals and organizations in ways you cannot predict.
Contacting the company with a request for an explanation can be counterproductive, as it may be interpreted as a a€?sore losera€? response. Use this exercise to prepare you for the moment when you will be required to perform and when you want the job. Even though you arena€™t yet graduating from college, there are many benefits to starting now. This trend means todaya€™s graduates need to be very flexible in their career plans and that they should make an effort to identify and develop transferable skills in order to navigate the changing employment market.
With the meteoric growth of Google, SEO is now a common role in just about any marketing departmenta€”and a job in relatively high demand. These include thinking skills, communication skills, listening skillsa€”in fact, most of the skills we have been stressing throughout this book are transferable skills because they are also key to success in life. If you have written a college paper, you have skills in time management, researching, communicating, and writing. Internships are typically held during summers or school vacation periods, though on occasion they can be scheduled for a set block of time each week during the course of a regular school term.
It is valuable and relevant to hold a job designing Web sites for an advertising agency, for example, if your specific job objective is to produce event marketing. There are countless ways to keep track of contacts, from writing names in an address book, to keeping a Rolodex, to using a computer-based contact management system os simply an Excel spreadsheet.
Whatever your choices, invest the time to learn to use them well; youa€™ll be very glad you did.
Is there something unique about them, the way they are dressed, or perhaps what you may have overheard that you can ask about?
You may be able to get an introduction to an instructor for a person in the industry or help that persona€™s daughter learn about your college.
In order to make the transition from a outsider to an insider, youa€™ll have to pass a series of tests, both informal and formal. As the name implies, the objective of this interview is to find reasons to remove, not include, people in a candidate pool.
It is also used to learn how you behaved in past situations as a predictor of how you are likely to behave in the future. Know the companya€™s philosophies, goals, plans, new products, targeted customers, new executives, and major directional changes.
Include years of experience, education, special training, technical skills, inside knowledge of a product or market, and so on.
Use this information to write a brief a€?sales pitcha€? that describes your qualifications for the job.
Kitty Locker’s text also conveys the best possible advice to students through its research base; the author’s reputation as a contributor to this field of study lends an even greater element of teachability and relevance to this market-leading title. Page design uses plenty of negative space, color, and images to draw students into the chapters and signal important information. Rumours change and transform as they are passed from person to person, and before you know it, the word is that they are shutting down your entire department. The company president noted that if everyone supported the company with purchases, it would benefit all.Lewis, L.
If this is not the case with your letter, but you are unsure of how to address your recipient, make every effort to find out to whom the letter should be specifically addressed. It is usually courteous to conclude by thanking the recipient for his or her attention, and to invite them to contact you if you can be of help or if they have questions. Other necessary information includes your address, your primary phone number (cell or landline), and e-mail address.
In order for the computer to do this, you have to consider your audiencea€”a computer program that will not be able to interpret your unusual font or odd word choice. This chapter addresses several of these issues as we attempt to answer the question, a€?What are you doing?a€? with the answer: communicating. Even as you argue to yourself whether the prospect of joining your friends at the restaurant overcomes your need to complete your work, you use language and symbols that were communicated to you. Alfred Korzybski suggested that the first step in becoming conscious of how we think and communicate with ourselves was to achieve an inner quietness, in effect a€?turning offa€? our internal monologue.Korzybski, A.
More than eight normally results in subdivisions within the group and a reversion to smaller groups of three to four membersMcLean, S. We may also recognize that not all our needs are met by any one person, job, experience, or context; instead, we diversify our communication interactions in order to meet our needs.
Perhaps you saw it in negotiation or international business classes and came to recognize its universal applicability. Maslow calls this a€?self-actualizationa€? (level five), and discusses how people come to perceive a sense of control or empowerment over their context and environment.
How will you handle the responsibilities that youa€™ve acquired and what about the company and its obligations to those who have sacrificed over time for common success?
Schutz would describe your efforts to control your situation as autocraticSelf-directed in terms of control., or self-directed. A social personPerson who strikes a healthy balance between being withdrawn and being the constant center of attention.
Share your opinions with your classmates and compare your self-assessment with the types they believe describe you. At the same time you are coming to know them, they are changing, adapting, and growinga€”and so are you.
We can observe characteristics about each other and make judgments, but they are educated guesses at best.
A married couple that has spent countless years together may be able to finish each othera€™s sentences, and as memory fades, the retelling of stories may serve to bond and reinforce the relationship.
But if you share with your supervisor your personal struggles on day one, it may erode your credibility. Some people have serious substance abuse issues, and your stories could sound insensitive, producing a negative impact. Regardless of what option you choose, you have the freedom and responsibility within the dyadic effect to reciprocate, but you have a degree of control.
How are you going to discover that the person you work with appreciates the same author or genre if you dona€™t share that information?
All relationships are dynamic, meaning that they transform and adapt to changes within the context and environment. The workplace and our peers can become as close, or closer, than our birth families, with similar challenges and rewards.
Employment interviews follow similar ritual patterns and have their own set of expectations.
Steven Beebe, Susan Beebe, and Mark Redmond offer us five stages of conversation that are adapted here for our discussion.Beebe, S. If status and hierarchical relationships are present, it may be a question of who speaks when according to cultural norms. In business communication, we often have a specific goal or series of points to address, but we cannot lose sight of the relationship messages within the discussion of content.
People mentally shift to the next order of business and this transition must be negotiated successfully. Just as you have the advantage of preparing for a speech with anticipation, you can apply the same research and public speaking skills to the employment interview. Both conversational partners will have goals in terms of content, and explicitly or implicitly across the conversational exchange will be relational messages. Table 16.1 "Interview Preparation Checklist" presents a checklist of what you should try to know before you consider yourself prepared for an interview. Here are eleven common questions you are likely to be asked in an employment interview:McLean, S. Consider what experience you can highlight that aligns well with the job duties and match your response to their needs. Your specific example, and use of a a€?becausea€? response, can increase the likelihood that the interviewer or audience will recall the specific information you provide. Use the phone to your advantage by preparing responses on note cards or on your computer screen before the call. If there is any possibility that they will keep your name on file for future opportunities, you want to preserve your positive relationship. As a student, you are likely to be applying for part-time jobs, internships, and even volunteer positions. In the same way, the aging population has created new opportunities in elder care, and new discoveries and approaches in science have created fields like biotechnology and nanotechnology. This skill set is very broad, and your extent of mastery will vary from skill to skill; therefore, you should identify those skills that are most important to your career objective and develop and master them. The understanding of how an advertising agency works and the contacts you make will make the experience worthwhile.
If you are trying to learn about an occupation, it can be just about anyone involved with that field.
Do not consider it lightly just because someone other than the hiring manager is conducting it. Expect to be asked a€?Tell me about a time whena€¦a€? or a€?Give me an examplea€¦a€? questions. Some companies take weeks to start calling people in for interviews, and by then the job description may have been removed from the site where you saw it. Table 20.2 "Interview Preparation Checklist" presents a checklist of what you should try to know before you consider yourself prepared for an interview. Structure the information in a logical fashion and then practice saying it aloud until your delivery is smooth, natural, and confident. They are often printed on letterhead paper, and represent the business or organization in one or two pages. For many, there is no sweeter sound than that of their name, and to spell it incorrectly runs the risk of alienating the reader before your letter has even been read.
This paragraph reiterates the main points and their relationship to each other, reinforcing the main point or purpose. You should also consider including an up-to-date LinkedIn account or personal Web page if those online sources highlight your accomplishments and represent you professionally. A font size of eleven or twelve is easier to read for most people, and while the computer doesna€™t care about font size, the smaller your font, the more likely the computer is to make the error of combining adjacent letters. Deliver the document in a nine-by-twelve-inch envelope, stiffened with a sheet of cardstock (heavy paper or cardboard) to help prevent damage to the document. Next, be sure to state what job you are applying for and how you found out about the position. Read the document; look for mistakes your spellchecker wona€™t catch (like the word a€?youa€? instead of a€?youra€?). If we say humans are the tool makers and then note that several nonhuman species from primates to otters make and use tools, where does that leave us?
Some of your instructors may have traveled to a designated location for a professional conference each year, seeing colleagues and networking; but in recent years time, cost, and competition for attention has shifted priorities for many.
You read on your cell phone screen that your friends are going to have dinner at your favorite restaurant. From planning to problem solving, internal conflict resolution, and evaluations and judgments of self and others, we communicate with ourselves through intrapersonal communication. Your language and culture have given you the means to rationalize, act, and answer the question, a€?What are you doing?a€? but you are still bound by the expectations of yourself and the others who make up your community. We may choose to define selfOnea€™s own sense of individuality, personal characteristics, motivations, and actions.
At first, you may be skeptical of the idea that we communicate to meet our basic needs, but leta€™s consider two theories on the subject and see how well they predict, describe, and anticipate our tendency to interact. Colleagues may have viewed you as a stranger or a€?newbiea€? and may have even declined to help you. Where they look back and see that they once felt at the mercy of others, particularly when they were new, they can now influence and direct aspects of the work environment that were once unavailable. Conflict may be more frequent in the workplace, and you may feel compelled to go over your personal budget and reprioritize your spending. According to Schutz, the need for affectionRelated to the need for appreciation., or appreciation, is basic to all humans.
At the same time there may be several employees who have not taken similar steps who look to you and others for leadership, in effect abdicating their responsibility. Our nonverbal displays of affiliation, like a team jacket, a uniform, or a badge, may communicate something about us, but we only peel away a layer when we engage in conversation, oral or written.
Increasingly, intimate knowledge and levels of trust are achieved over time, involving frequency of interaction as well as length and quality. Start with superficial conversations that are neutral and nonthreatening, but demonstrate a willingness to engage in communication. According to the social penetration theory, people go from superficial to intimate conversations as trust develops through repeated, positive interactions. Our personal and professional lives dona€™t exist independently, and in many ways are interdependent.
In the same way, personal information is normally reserved for those of confidence, and earned over time. You can learn to anticipate when your turn will come, and to give some thought to what you will say before the moment arrives. Uncertain outcome values in predicted relationships: Uncertainty reduction theory then and now. Expectations may differ based on field, level, knowledge, and experience, but they generally follow the five steps of a basic conversation. The famous anthropologist Bronislaw Malinowski called small talk a€?phatic communionRitual small talk.,a€?Malinowski, B. You may signal to your conversation partner that there are three points to address, much like outlining an agenda at a meeting. When the interviewers ask you questions, keep track of the time, limiting each response to about a minute. Budget time and plan on the effort it will take to make the next contact, get the next interview, and continue to explore alternate paths to your goal.
Focus on your skill sets: if they need improvement, consider additional education that will enhance you knowledge and skills.
Networking is a process of building relationships, and the strongest relationships are built over time. It is OK to include high school accomplishments if you've graduated within the last 3-5 years, and you can replace them with college accomplishments as you gain them. Todaya€™s students and job hunters must become lifetime learners to keep up with new trends.
With a little brainstorming and an understanding of your career field, you should be able to come up with relevant volunteer experiences for just about any career.
If you are in the process of trying to land an internship or a job, you want to reach the person who will make the hiring decision.
A sophisticated system that has all the bells and whistles is no good to you if you cana€™t use it. If you run across a problem one of your contacts might help you with, dona€™t be shya€”give him or her a call to ask for help. Shorter messages may include e-mails or memos, either hard copy or electronic, while reports tend to be three or more pages in length. Lastly, avoid the use of impersonal salutations like a€?Dear Prospective Customera€? if you can, as the lack of personalization can alienate a future client.
You could say that a human has two arms, two legs, or two eyes, but not everyone has these, so the definition fails yet again. We may have two (or three or four) jobs that consume much of our time, but youa€™ll notice that in the breaks and pauses of life people reach for their cell phones to connect. In each case you are communicating what you are doing, but you may not be communicating why, or what it means to you.
Perhaps, as you consider whether to leave your present location and join your friends at the restaurant, you are aware of all the work that sits in front of you. Conflict may have been part of your experience, but if you were lucky, a mentor or coworker took the first step and helped you find your way. You may eliminate museum visits and donations, and you may decide to start saving money as the future is less certain. We all need to be recognized and feel like we belong, but may have differing levels of expectations to meet that need. Positive interactions may lead to more positive interactions, while negative ones may lead to less overall interaction. Silence early in a relationship can be a sign of respect, but it can also send the message that you are fearful, shy, or lack confidence.
Self-disclosureInformation, thoughts, or feelings we tell others about ourselves that they would not otherwise know. Take small steps as you come to know your colleagues, taking care to make sure who you are does not speak louder than what you say. In the same way, it is not a wise strategy to post photos from the weekenda€™s escapades on your MySpace, Facebook, or similar social networking Web page. The dyadic effectThe expectation that when we reveal something about ourselves, others will reciprocate. Even if you dona€™t agree with your coworker, understand that self-revelation communicates a measure of trust and confidence. This may sound formal at first, but if you listen to casual conversations youa€™ll often find there is an inherent list or central point where the conversational partners arrive.
Failure to attend to this stage can lead to the need for additional interactions, reducing efficiency across time. If you know that a twenty-minute call is scheduled for a certain time, you can anticipate that your phone may ring may be a minute or two late, as interviews are often scheduled in a series while the committee is all together at one time.
It is also OK to include your GPA if you're proud of it, because among other things a good GPA can help show that you are disciplined and organized. You may want to say that you can communicate, but we dona€™t all speak the same language, and communication is a universal process across species.
You may hear the voice of your boss, or perhaps of one of your parents, admonishing you about personal responsibility and duty. Who are you at this moment in time, and will the self you become an hour from now be different from the self that is reading this sentence right now? How we see ourselves and how we feel about ourselves influences how we communicate with others. Did your description focus on your characteristics, beliefs, actions, or other factors associated with you? When part of the merger process is announced and the news of layoffs comes, those coworkers who have never been particularly outgoing and have largely kept to themselves may become even more withdrawn. It can be interpreted as an unwillingness to communicate, and may actually discourage interaction. Employers are increasingly aware of their employeesa€™ Web pages, and the picture of you looking stupid may come to mind when your supervisor is considering you for a promotion.
By clearly articulating, either in written or oral form, the main points, you provide an outline or structure to the conversation. Even if you only have one interview, your interviewers will have a schedule and your sensitivity to it can help improve your performance. Have your professional interview attire clean and ready, and focus on what you can controla€”your preparation and performance. It is a formal process with several consistent elements that you can use to guide your preparation.
Poor grammar, misspelled words, lengthy listings of irrelevant experience, and messy formatting motivate hiring managers to move quickly to the next candidate. You may be tempted to respond to the question a€?what are you?a€? by saying something along the lines of a€?I think, therefore I ama€?a€”but what is thinking, and are humans the only species with the ability to think?
As humans, we have an innate need to connect with each other, even when that connection can (and does) sometimes produce conflict. What you are thinking now and how you communicate impacts and influences how others treat you. In the first quadrant of the figure, information is known to you and others, such as your height or weight.
From your internal monologue and intrapersonal communication, to verbal and nonverbal communication, communication is constantly occurring.
If you stay quiet or decline to answer after everyone else has taken a turn, what will happen? An employment interviewAn exchange between a candidate and a prospective employer (or their representative). We can choose to listen to others when they communicate through the written or spoken word while refraining from preparing our responses before they finish their turn is essential. With each new person comes a multiplier effect on the number of possible interactions, and for many that means the need to establish limits. For many, these exercises can prove challenging as we try to reconcile the self-concept we perceive with what we desire others to perceive about us, as we try to see ourselves through our interactions with others, and as we come to terms with the idea that we may not be aware or know everything there is to know about ourselves. The second quadrant represents things others observe about us that we are unaware of, like how many times we say a€?umma€? in the space of five minutes. Regardless of how much satisfaction you may receive from a job well done, a paycheck ultimately represents meeting basic needs for many.
What do you communicate about yourself by the clothes (or brands) you wear, the tattoos you display, or the piercing you remove before you enter the workplace? They may be put off at first, they may invent stories and let their imaginations run wild, or they may reject you. Verbal clues are sometimes present, but you may also notice the half step back as conversational partners create additional space in preparation to disengage. Finally, you may want to raise the possibility of your ability to reason and act, recall the past, be conscious of the present, and imagine the future; or your ability to contemplate the abstract, the ironic, even the absurd. We can take mental note of when we jump to conclusions from only partially attending to the speaker or writera€™s message.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, you may know people where you work that are often seeking attention and affirmation.
Self-disclosure is a process by which you intentionally communicate information to others, but can involve unintentional, but revealing slips. It may involve actively hiding or withholding information, or may involve social tact, such as thanking your Aunt Martha for the large purple hat shea€™s given you that you know you will never wear. Can you think of any professions that require individuals to make decisions where the safety of others comes first?
Schutz describes overpersonalsPeople who have a strong need to be liked and constantly seek attention from others. Steven Beebe, Susan Beebe, and Mark Redmond offer us five principles of self-disclosure that remind us that communication is an integral part of any business or organizational setting.
Finally, the fourth quadrant involves information that is unknown to you and your conversational partners. Strangers go from being unknown to known through a series of steps that we can observe through conversational interactions. Taking it step by step, and not rushing to self-disclose or asking personal questions too soon, can help develop positive business relationships. The more we know about others, and become accustomed to how they communicate, the better we can predict how they will interact with us in future contexts.
For example, a childhood experience that has been long forgotten or repressed may still motivate you.
The person who strikes a healthy balance is called a personal individualThe person who strikes a healthy balance in terms of human interaction.. If you learn that Monday mornings are never a good time for your supervisor, you quickly learn to schedule meetings later in the week.
As another example, how will you handle an emergency after youa€™ve received first aid training?
The predicted outcome value theoryAsserts that not only do we want to reduce uncertainty, we also want to maximize our possible benefit from the association.
We look at how others treat us, what they say and how they say it, for clues about how they view us to gain insight into our own identity. Predicted outcome value during initial interactions: A reformulation of uncertainty reduction theory. When ignorance is bliss: The role of motivation to reduce uncertainty in uncertainty reduction theory. This theory would predict that you would choose Tuesday or later for a meeting in order to maximize the potential for positive interaction and any possible rewards that may result. One theory involves the avoidance of fear while the other focuses on the pursuit of reward. Together, they provide a point of reference as we continue our discussion on interpersonal relationships.

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