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This is a€?Business Writing in Actiona€?, chapter 9 from the book Communication for Business Success (Canadian Edition) (v.
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Letter writing is an excellent way of slowing down this lunatic helterskelter universe long enough to gather onea€™s thoughts. Review the different kinds of common business communication writing covered by the main headings in this chapter. Text messages and e-mails are part of our communication landscape, and skilled business communicators consider them a valuable tool to connect.
Whatever digital device you use, written communication in the form of brief messages, or textingWritten communication in the form of brief messages using a digital device., has become a common way to connect.
It is often said that you can tell how old someone is by how he or she inputs a phone number on a cell phone.
Electronic mail, usually called e-mailElectronic mail., is quite familiar to most students and workers. Many businesses use automated e-mails to acknowledge communications from the public, or to remind associates that periodic reports or payments are due. E-mails may be informal in personal contexts, but business communication requires attention to detail, awareness that your e-mail reflects you and your company, and a professional tone so that it may be forwarded to any third party if needed. Proper salutations should demonstrate respect and avoid mix-ups in case a message is accidentally sent to the wrong recipient. E-mail ahead of time if you are going to attach large files (audio and visual files are often quite large) to prevent exceeding the recipienta€™s mailbox limit or triggering the spam filter.
We create personal pages, post messages, and interact via mediated technologies as a normal part of our careers, but how we conduct ourselves can leave a lasting image, literally. Her rules speak for themselves and remind us that the golden rule (treat others as you would like to be treated) is relevant wherever there is human interaction.
Social customs that exist in traditional, live, human interaction also influence the rules and customs by which we interact with each other in the online environment. Choose at least three e-mails you have sent or received that are good examples of business communication.
Find a a€?flame wara€?, or heated discussion in an online forum, and note how it is handled.
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. In order to be successful in business and industry, you should be familiar with the business proposal. You can be creative in many aspects of the business proposal, but follow the traditional categories. Title page with name, title, date, and specific reference to request for proposal if applicable. Like an abstract in a report, this is a one- or two-paragraph summary of the product or service and how it meets the requirements and exceeds expectations. What currently exists in the marketplace, including competing products or services, and how does your solution compare?
A clear presentation, often with visual aids, of the process, from start to finish, with specific, dated benchmarks noted.
Delivery is often the greatest challenge for Web-based servicesa€”how will people learn about you? What are the initial costs, when can revenue be anticipated, when will there be a return on investment (if applicable)? Ethos refers to credibility, pathos to passion and enthusiasm, and logos to logic or reason. In the same way, if you are not enthusiastic about the product or service, why should the potential client get excited? RFPs typically specify the product or service, guidelines for submission, and evaluation criteria. Search for an RFP (request for proposal) or similar call to bid, and post it to your class. Choose a type of report by its function, and display the information in a vivid way that is easily understood. Reports come in all sizes, but are typically longer than a page and somewhat shorter than a book. Table 9.3 "Types of Reports and Their Functions" includes common reports that, depending on the audience needs, may be informational or analytical.
Pay attention to these essential elements when you consider your stakeholders, or those who have an interest in the report. Like the cover of a book, sometimes a picture, image, or logo is featured to introduce the topic to the reader.
This report presents the current status of the X tarpit sands, the study of oil recoverability, and the findings of the study with specific recommendations. Oil sands recovery processes include ways to extract and separate the bitumen from the clay, sand, and water that make up the tar sands.
Analysis and Recommendations: Analysis of the data and recommendations based on that analysis.
This portion clearly indicates the main results and their relation to recommended action or outcome. Write a report on a trend in business that youa€™ve observed, and highlight at least the main finding.
A sales messageThe central persuasive message that intrigues, informs, persuades, calls to action, and closes the sale. In general, appeals to emotion pique curiosity and get our attention, but some attention to reason and facts should also be included.
Build interest by appealing to common needs and wants, and include a purpose statement to set up expectations. Establish credibility, discuss attractive features, and compare with competitors, addressing concerns or potential questions before they are even considered. Sum it up and offer solution steps or calls to action, motivating the audience to take the next step. Make the sale, make them remember you, and make sure your final words relate to the most important information, like a contact phone number. Your sales message will compete with hundreds of other messages and you want it to stand out.Price, D. Regardless of the product or service, the audience is going to consider first what is in it for them. A sales message combines emotion and reason, and reinforces credibility, to create interest in a product or service that leads to a sale.
MERX is a Canadian public tenders service, representing goods and services contracts that range from hundreds to millions of dollars. The New York Times blog a€?Gadgetwise: Getting Smart About Personal Technologya€? discusses an ever-changing variety of questions related to netiquette. 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. 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. Employment interviews come in all shapes and sizes, and may not be limited to only one exchange but one interaction. In the process of exploring occupations and landing a job, you will likely participate in a variety of interviews.
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 behavioural 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. 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. Strategic Communication in Business and the Professions - 7th Edition by Dan O'Hair, Gustav W. Today only, save on used books and help us reach 15,000 books sold to double the donations.
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. Make a note of which kinds of documents you have produced in the past and which you have not.
It is useful for short exchanges, and is a convenient way to stay connected with others when talking on the phone would be cumbersome. If the person uses his or her thumb while holding the digital device, that person may have been raised on video games and be adept at one-handed interfaces. Research shows that the likelihood of an accident increases dramatically if the driver is texting behind the wheel.Houston Chronicle. You may also be assigned to a€?populatea€? a form e-mail in which standard paragraphs are used but you choose from a menu of sentences to make the wording suitable for a particular transaction. Identify yourself by creating a signature block that automatically contains your name and business contact information.
An e-mail is not a text message, and the audience may not find your wit cause to ROTFLOL (roll on the floor laughing out loud). Include line breaks between sentences or divide your message into brief paragraphs for ease of reading. Watch out for an emotional responsea€”never reply in angera€”but make a habit of replying to all e-mails within twenty-four hours, even if only to say that you will provide the requested information in forty-eight or seventy-two hours.
Do not send your reply to everyone who received the initial e-mail unless your message absolutely needs to be read by the entire group.
Capital letters are used on the Internet to communicate emphatic emotion or yelling and are considered rude. The photograph you posted on your Facebook page may have been seen by your potential employer, or that nasty remark in a post may come back to haunt you later.


The content and formatting of an e-mail message should reflect professionalism and follow the rules of netiquette.
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. It features many of the common elements of a report, but its emphasis on persuasion guides the overall presentation. Much like a report, with several common elements and persuasive speech, a business proposal makes the case for your product or service. While you may be able to present your normal product, service, or solution in an interesting way, you want your document and its solution to stand out against the background of competing proposals. Be clear, concise, specific, and provide a comprehensive list of immediate, short, and long-term benefits to the company. If you are bidding on a gross lot of food service supplies, this may not apply to you, but if an audience is required for success, you will need a marketing plan.
Again, the proposal may involve a one-time fixed cost, but if the product or service is to be delivered more than once, and extended financial plan noting costs across time is required. All three elements are integral parts of your business proposal that require your attention. It is not enough to make baseless claims about your product or servicea€”you have to show why the claims you make are true, relevant, and support your central assertion that your product or service is right for this client. The solicitation may come in the form of a direct verbal or written request, but normally solicitations are indirect, open-bid to the public, and formally published for everyone to see.
List three companies that you would like to sell your product or service to and learn more about them. Within your organization, there may be employer-specific expectations that need to be addressed to meet audience expectations.
An informational report informs or instructs and presents details of events, activities, individuals, or conditions without analysis. An analytical report presents information with a comprehensive analysis to solve problems, demonstrate relationships, or make recommendations. You need to be flexible and adjust to the needs of the audience while respecting customs and guidelines. That may include the person(s) the report is about, whom it is for, and the larger audience of the business, organization, or industry. For example, from the rising cost of textbooks to the Unnamed Publisher approach to course content, textbooks are a significant issue for students.
That doesna€™t mean we need to spell out the technical manual on the product on the opening sale message, but basic information about design or features, in specific, concrete ways can help an audience make sense of your message and the product or service. The more background research you can do on your buyer, the better you can anticipate their specific wants and needs and individualize your sales message to meet them. Gain the audiencea€™s attention with drama, humour, or novelty and follow with specific facts that establish your credibility, provide more information about the product or service, and lead to your call to action to make the sale.
Invest your time in planning and preparation, and consider the audiencea€™s needs as you prepare your sales message. 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. 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.
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.
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. In almost every interview situation, youa€™ll be asked, a€?What can you do for this company?a€? Practice your answer. 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. 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?
Fast shipping and a 100% money-back guarantee from an award-winning, socially responsible business. 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). Writing in an online environment requires tact and skill, and an awareness that what you write may be there forever.
Texting is not useful for long or complicated messages, and careful consideration should be given to the audience. If he holds the digital device with one hand and inputs the number with the other, he may be over thirty, or may be less comfortable with some technological devices.
Given the complexity of communication, and the useful but limited tool of texting, be aware of its limitation and prevent misinterpretation with brief messages.
Do you feel lost or a€?out of ita€? if you dona€™t have your cell phone and cannot connect to people, even for fifteen minutes? In business, it has largely replaced print hard copy letters for external (outside the company) correspondence, as well as taking the place of memos for internal (within the company) communication.Guffey, M. Although e-mail may have an informal feel, remember that when used for business, it needs to convey professionalism and respect. It will take more time and effort to undo the problems caused by a hasty, poorly written e-mail than to get it right the first time. Spam filters may have intercepted your message, so your recipient may never have received it. Some fifteen years ago, when the Internet was a new phenomenon, Virginia Shea laid out a series of ground rules for communication online that continue to serve us today.
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. If your organization is going to expand and needs to construct a new wing, it will probably be put out to bid. Business proposalsDocument designed to make a persuasive appeal to the audience to achieve a defined outcome, often proposing a solution to a problem. Each aspect of your proposal has its place and it is to your advantage to respect that tradition and use the categories effectively to highlight your product or service. There should be no errors in spelling or grammar, and all information should be concise, accurate, and clearly referenced when appropriate.
Few decision-makers can ever afford to read more than one page when deciding if they are interested in a deal or not. A request for proposal (RFP), request for quotation (RFQ), and invitation to tender (ITT) are common ways to solicit business proposals for business, industry, and the government. ITTs also emphasize cost by accepting the lowest-priced bid without negotiations, and are used when two or more sources are considered capable of delivering the product or service.
They can, however, be tailored to specific businesses with time and effort, and the demonstrated knowledge of specific needs or requirement can transform an otherwise generic, brochure-like proposal into an effective sales message. Reports are part of any business or organization; from credit reports to police reports, they serve to document specific information for specific audiences, goals, or functions. The function of the report is its essential purpose, often indicated in the thesis or purpose statement. This chapter discusses reports in general terms, focusing on common elements and points of distinction, but reference to similar documents where you work or additional examination of specific sample reports may serve you well as you prepare your own report. An example of this report may be a field report by a Public Health Agency of Canada physician from the site of an outbreak of the H1N1 virus, noting symptoms, disease progression, steps taken to arrest the spread of the disease, and to make recommendations on the treatment and quarantine of subjects. Ask yourself who the key decision makers are who will read your report, who the experts or technicians will be, and how executives and workers may interpret your words and images. Draw from your experience as you bring together sources of information to illustrate a trend.
If your sales message focuses exclusively on reason with cold, hard facts and nothing but the facts, you may appeal to some audience, but certainly not the majority. Audiences tend to remember the information from the beginning and end of a message, but have less recall about the middle points. 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).
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.


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. 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. The screening process may include formal tests that include personality tests, background investigations, and consultations with previous employers.
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. Just as giving a speech may produce a certain measure of anxiety, you can expect that a job interview will make you nervous. Research press releases, stories in the Globe and Mail, annual reports, blogs, Web sites, the news, and so on. 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. 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. From memos to letters, from business proposals to press releases, your written business communication represents you and your company: your goal is to make it clear, concise, and professional.
Of course, there is no actual correlation between input and age, but it is a useful example to use when considering who your audience is when writing a text message.
Sometimes being unavailable for a time can be healthya€”everything in moderation, including texting.
Deadly distraction: Texting while driving, twice as risky as drunk driving, should be banned. Never write or send anything that you wouldna€™t want read in public or in front of your company president. 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. Everything from office furniture to bedpans could potentially be put out to bid, specifying a quantity, quality, and time of delivery required. Every category is an opportunity to sell, and should reinforce your credibility, your passion, and the reason why your solution is simply the best. Your credibility may be unknown to the potential client and it is your job to reference previous clients, demonstrate order fulfillment, and clearly show that your product or service is offered by a credible organization. Information that pertains to credibility should be easy to find and clearly relevant, including contact information. This is even more true for people of a different culture or language,a€? said Adnan Khashoggi, a successful multibillionaire.Riley, P. Getting your tailored message to your target audience, however, is often a significant challenge if it has not been directly or indirectly solicited. The type of report is often identified by its primary purpose or function, as in an accident report, a laboratory report, a sales report, or even a book report. The function will also influence the types of visual content or visual aids, representing words, numbers, and their relationships to the central purpose in graphic, representational ways that are easy for the reader to understand. The report will note the time, date, place, contributing factors like weather, and identification information for the drivers involved in an automobile accident.
While there is no universal format for a report, there is a common order to the information.
Whether your sales message is embedded in a letter, represented in a proposal, or broadcast across radio or television, the purpose stays the same. Buyers make purchase decisions on emotion as well as reason, and even if they have researched all the relevant facts about competing products, the decision may still come down to impulse, emotion, and desire. They may gain social status, popularity, sex appeal, or even reduce or eliminate something they dona€™t want. You want to hear a€?yesa€? and make the associated sale, and if you confuse the audience with too much information, too many options, steps to consider, or related products or service, you are more likely to hear a€?noa€? as a defensive response as the buyer tries not to make a mistake. 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. 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.
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. 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. 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.
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. Know the companya€™s philosophies, goals, plans, new products, targeted customers, new executives, and major directional changes. 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. 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. If the person is a one-hander, and knows all the abbreviations common to texting, you may be able to use similar codes to communicate effectively. 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. Janitorial services may also be bid on each year, as well as food services, and even maintenance. By association, if your organization is credible the product or service is often thought to be more credible. Unsolicited proposals are often regarded as marketing materials, intended more to stimulate interest for a follow-up contact than make direct sales. The function may also contribute to parameters like report length (page or word count) or word choice and readability. Each element supports the main purpose or function in its own way, playing an important role in the representation and transmission of information. If your sales message focuses exclusively on emotion, with little or no substance, it may not be taken seriously.
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. 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.
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. 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. Both conversational partners will have goals in terms of content, and explicitly or implicitly across the conversational exchange will be relational messages. 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. Here are eleven common questions you are likely to be asked in an employment interview:McLean, S. Structure the information in a logical fashion and then practice saying it aloud until your delivery is smooth, natural, and confident.
Contains: Illustrations, black & white, Line drawings, black & white, Line drawings, color, Tables, color, Figures.
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. Using the power of bidding to lower contract costs for goods and services is common practice.
If the purchase decision is made solely on price, it may leave you little room to underscore the value of service, but the sale follow-through has value. Your thorough understanding, and your demonstration of that understanding, communicates dedication and interest.
If the document is submitted in an electronic form, it should be in a file format that presents your document as you intended. Sue Baugh and Robert Hamper encourage you to resist the temptation to a€?shoot at every target and hope you hit at least one.a€?Baugh, L.
Sometimes they simply a€?report the factsa€? with no analysis at all, but still need to communicate the information in a clear and concise format. Finally, if your sales message does not appear to have credibility, the message will be dismissed.
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.
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€?). Texting can be a great tool for connecting while on the go, but consider your audience and your company, and choose words, terms, or abbreviations that will deliver your message.
E-mail can be very useful for messages that have slightly more content than a text message, but it is still best used for fairly brief messages. 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.
Word processing files may have their formatting changed or adjusted based on factors you cannot controla€”like screen sizea€”and information can shift out of place, making it difficult to understand. Instead, you would see a€?Driver failed sobriety tests and breathalyzer test and was transported to the station for a blood sample.a€? The police officer is not a trained medical doctor and is therefore not licensed to make definitive diagnoses, but can collect and present relevant information that may contribute to that diagnosis. In the case of the sales message, you need to meet the audiencea€™s needs that vary greatly. Persuasive advertising for entrepreneurs and small business owners: How to create more effective sales messages. 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. In this case, a portable document format (PDF)a€”a format for electronic documentsa€”may be used to preserve content location and avoid any inadvertent format changes when it is displayed. While a report may have conclusions, propositions, or even a call to action, the demonstration of the analysis is the primary function.
It is a formal process with several consistent elements that you can use to guide your preparation. In addition, your proposal may focus on a common product where you can anticipate several vendors at similar prices. Poor grammar, misspelled words, lengthy listings of irrelevant experience, and messy formatting motivate hiring managers to move quickly to the next candidate.
How can you differentiate yourself from the rest by underscoring long-term relationships, demonstrated ability to deliver, or the ability to anticipate the companya€™s needs? Clear and concise proposals serve the audience well and limit the range of information to prevent confusion.
It is, however, supposed to report sales to date, and may forecast future sales based on previous trends. A targeted proposal is your most effective approach, but recognize the importance of gaining company, service, or brand awareness as well as its limitations.



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