A Conventional Business Letter Format.

Law Firm: Lincoln Partners, Esq.
Employment Discrimination Law.

A Conventional Business Letter Format.

For this project, you will write:

 Two application letters addressed to different prospective employers and that apply for

two different jobs. The letters should highlight different aspects of your experience

relevant to the different jobs.

 Two resumes that may well differ significantly in content or in layout or both. The

choices of content and layout should emphasize appropriate experience for each job.

 A cover memo addressed to me that overviews the two jobs, reviews what you know

about these particular employers, and describes the strategies and tactics you have

used to adapt your letter and resume to each situation.


Application Letters

The purpose of the application letter is to persuade that specific employer to grant you an interview.

Just as you appreciate being treated as an individual rather than as a statistic, so does an

employer.  Use the following guidelines:

 Content and Organization. The goal is to show the reader both that you know what that

specific company needs and that you have what it takes. You may organize this section

in various ways: around your training and experience, around what the job or the

company requires, or some other way. The letter should close by inviting a response.

 Style. Application letters are difficult to write because they aim at somewhat conflicting

goals. On the one hand, you want to make a good first impression. So you want to

sound polite and fairly formal. On the other hand, you want to stand out from the crowd

– otherwise, why should the employer hire you rather than any of the other applicants?

The best policy is probably to talk to your reader as directly and naturally as possible.

Avoid hype.

 Format. Use a conventional business letter format. Be brief: if possible, stick to one



The purpose of the resume is to describe your qualifications for a type of job. Since this

project requires you to apply for two somewhat different jobs, you will create two resumes that will be

different in content and/or arrangement. Use the following guidelines:

 Content. The goal is to argue that you are qualified for a particular type of job and that

you would be a capable, responsible, and personable employee who communicates


 Format. Your format may be traditional or innovative as long as it is appropriate and as

long as the information is highly accessible and is organized in a way that highlights the

most important items – from the employer's perspective.

 Style. Your style should be fairly formal. You need not use complete sentences, but you

should use a concise, active style and show consistency in expression from section to


Cover Memo

Write a brief memo (two – three pages, single-spaced) addressed to me that will help me read,

understand, evaluate, and "coach" your resumes and application letters. For each of the two jobs,

the memo must contain a separate job description and audience analysis, as well as a commentary

highlighting how you adapted your resumes and application letters to the different jobs.  Include the

following information:

 Audience Analysis. Investigate the companies you are applying to. You may obtain

information on companies from the library, on the Internet, from Career Services, or

other places. You may also contact the personnel office of the company directly. Then

write one or two paragraphs that specify any special qualities or experience that this

company may be looking for in its employees. This is also the place to describe

anything you know about the particular person you are writing to.

 Job Descriptions. You may base your job description on job listings that you find in a

professional or trade journal, on the Internet, or in other resources on campus at Career

Services http://www.sa.psu.edu/career/. The jobs should be different enough that you

will have to emphasize different parts of your experience to qualify for the positions. You

may also (with my permission) write for a summer job, an internship, or for a

scholarship or other award.

 Rhetorical Analysis. Describe how you adapted each resume and application letter for

its particular type of job, company, and reader and why you made those changes. Your

reasons will be closely related to the information in the job description and audience


Instruction Files

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