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Business and Technical English Writing

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• Reader-Centered Writing

In this lecture you will learn

• Writing your resumes

– Defining your objectives

– Planning

– Drafting

– Evaluating


In this lecture you will learn

• Writing your letter of application:

– Defining your objectives

– Planning

– Drafting

– Evaluating


Writing your Resume:

• Defining your objectives

– The first activity of writing, defining

objectives, is especially important whether

you are writing a letter or a job application


– When defining your objectives, you tell

what you want your communication to do.

– Thus your objectives form the basis of all

your other work at writing.


• To take the reader centered approach,:

you need to look at three things

– The final result you desire

– The people who will read your


– The specific way you want your

communication to affect the people as they

read your communication


• To take the reader centered approach,:

you need to look at three things

– The final result you desire

– The people who will read your


– The specific way you want your

communication to affect the people as they

read your communication


• In the first stage, employers try to attract:

applications from as many qualified

people as possible.

• At this stage of recruiting, resumes are

usually read by people who work in

personal office.


• To help understand the first stage you may:

find it helpful to draw an imaginary portrait of

one of them.

• Imagine a man who sat down to read a stack

of 25-50 new applications that arrived in

today’s mail.

• He doesn’t have time to read through all the

applications so he sorts quickly those

applications which merit additional



• He quickly finds reasons to disqualify

most applicants.

• Only occasionally does he read a full


• As you write your resume you must

keep in mind that it must quickly attract

and hold that man’s attention.


• In the second stage of recruiting,:

employers carefully scrutinize the

qualifications of the most promising


• Often this involves the visit of the

candidates to the employer’s work


• The second stage reader of your

resume include managers of the

department you have to work for.


• To represent your reader you can:

imagine the head of department at this


• This person is shorthanded and wants

rapidly to fill one or more openings.

• When she gets the resumes, she knows

precisely what qualifications she seeks.


• Of course, some job searches vary from:

two-stage recruiting procedure as

described above.

• If you interview at a campus placement

center, you will probably hand in your

resume to the company recruiters at the

same time you meet them.

Deciding how want your resumes to affect your readers

• After you have identified the readers,

you should determine how you resume

will affect them in the job that you are


• More precisely you should define how

your resume is to affect your readers

while they read it.


• To determine that, you can think about two things

– The way you want your communication to

alter your reader’s attitude.

– The task you want to help your readers

perform while they read.

Altering your Audience’s


• First determine how your audience feels

before reading what you are writing, and

then decide how you want them to feel

after they have read it.

• However your reader’s attitude before

they read anything is neutral towards



• Once you have described your reader’s

present and desired attitudes, try to find

out things about your reader that will

help you plan a strategy for persuading

them to change their attitudes the way

you specified.

• To begin, find out what will appeal to

your audience.

Altering your employer’s attitudes:

• As common sense will tell you, your

employers will want to hire people who


– Capable – applicants must be able to

perform the tasks assigned to them

– Responsible – applicants must be

trustworthy enough to benefit the


– Pleasant – Applicants must be able to

interact compatibly with other employees

th j b


• Of course these qualifications are stated only generally.

• The reader of your resume will look for

specific terms.

• Instead of asking “Is this applicant

capable?” he will ask “Can this person

program in Java” etc.

Helping your readers perform their tasks

• Different kinds of communication

invlove different tasks.

• When you know what those tasks are,

you can write your communications in a

way that will help your readers perform

them easily.


• When reading your resume, your

reader’s primary task is to get the

answers to the following questions

– What exactly does the person want to do?

– What kind of education does the person

have for the job?

– What experience does the person have in

this or a similar job?


– What other activities has the person

engaged in that have helped him prepare

for the job?

– How can I get more information about the

person’s qualifications?

Knowing that your readers will be looking for

the answers to these questions tells you a

great deal about what to include in your



• When you plan you decide what to say

and how to organize your material.

• In addition you should find any relevant

expectations your readers have about

your communication.

• Those expectations may limit the

choices you make concerning content

and organization.

Deciding what to say

• Your definition of résumé's purpose

provides you with direct help in

determining what to say.

• In addition your resume is a persuasive

argument whose purpose is convince

your readers to hire you.

• The persuasive argument has two

elements; a claim and evidence to

support your claim.


• Your definition in of your objectives tells

you what the implicit claim of your

resume should be.

• That is, you are the kind of capable,

responsible and pleasant person that

employers want to hire.


• Furthermore, your objectives can help

you identify the specific facts you can

mention as evidence to support the

claim about yourself.

• Your objectives do that by alerting you

to the kind of questions your readers will

be asking about your resume.

Organizing your material

• When planning a communication, you

need to decide not only what you will

say but also how you will organize your


• For example your definition of resume

objectives requires you emphasize the

points as major evidence that you are

qualified for the job you seek.


• More than one organizational pattern

can be used to achieve those


• Most resumes are organized around

applicant’s experience.

• Thus you can categorize them under

educational experiences, work

experiences, and so on.


• However some individuals choose to

organize a substantial part of their

resume around their accomplishments

and abilities.

• Such a resume is called a functional

Resume because it emphasizes the

functions and tasks the applicant can



• Whichever organizational pattern you

choose, you must still decide the order

you will present your resume.

• If you think about your readers in the act

of reading your resume, you will see

that you have to make your name and

professional achievements prominent.


• If you are writing a conventional resume

you can provide the desired prominence

by placing the name and professional

objectives at the top.

• If you are designing a non-conventional

resume you may place your name along

the bottom or side.


• After stating your professional objective,

you should organize your remaining

material by following one of the most

basic strategies for writing at work; put

the most important information first.

• This will ensure that your hurried

readers come to the most important

information quickly.

– 18DoneFinding out What’s expected


• For example people in conservative

fields take a similar conservative

approach to resumes.

• To them resume should be typed in a

white, buff or gray paper with the

applicant’s name and address at the



• Keep in mind, the conventions in your

fields may be different and you may

have to do some investigating to learn

whether or not that is the case.


• When you draft, you transform your

plans – your notes, outlines, and ideas

– into a communication.

• For your resumes that you create at

work, you must not only draft a prose

but also draft the design the visual

appearance of your message.

Drafting the Prose:

• While you draft the prose of your

resume, keep in mind your imaginary

portraits of your readers.

• Remember that your purpose is to

enable those people to locate the

answers to their questions relating you.


• The feeling by personnel manager may

surprise you

– “After all, once I present my qualifications,

shouldn’t an employer be able to match me

to an appropriate opening?”

– The answer to that question lies in your

imaginary portrait of your reader.


• What should your professional

objectives look like?

• By convention, such statements are one

or two sentences long and are usually

general enough that the write could

send them, without alteration to many

prospect employers.


• If you follow the convention for example

you would not say

– “I want to work in the process control

department of Adam Jee cloth

manufacturing unit.”

• Instead you would make a more general

statement like

– “I want to work in the process control of a

mid-sized cloth manufacturing unit.”


• This does not mean, however, that you

need to develop a single professional

objective that you can send to all

employers you might contact.

Professional Objectives:

• When you state your professional objective,

you answer your reader’s questions ‘what

exactly do you want to do?’; your answer can

be extremely important to the resume.

• In contrast people in other fields such

as advertising are accustomed to

seeing highly unconventional resumes,

perhaps printed on pink paper.

• In a survey, personnel officers of 500 largest

corporations of United States reported that

th t i bl th fi d ith th


• Consequently, the challenge you face

when writing your professional objective

is to be neither too general nor too


• You have struck the proper balance if

you could send the same resume to

several companies and if your readers

can see that you want to work in a

particular kind of organization.


• When describing your education you

provide evidence that you are capable

of performing the job you applied for.

• The basic evidence is your college

degree, so you should name the college

and your degree and the date of



• If your grades are good, mention them

• If you have earned any

honors mention them.

• If you have any specialized

experience, such as a co-cp assignment

or internship, describe it.


• By looking at Ramon and Sharon’s

resumes you can how three very

different people have elaborated on the

way their education qualify them for the

jobs they want.

• Ramon for example describes his

honors in a separate section, thereby

making them more prominent than they

would have been under the simple

heading of ‘Education’

Ordering your jobs:

• When deciding on the order in which to

present your jobs, remember that you

want to enable your busy readers to see

your most impressive qualification.

• Most people can achieve that objective

by stating their jobs in the reverse

chronological order because their most

recent job is also their most impressive.

In this lecture you learnt:

• Writing your resumes

– Defining your objectives

– Planning

– Drafting

– Evaluating

– Reviding

In this lecture you will learnt:

• Writing your letter of application

– Defining your objectives

– Planning

– Drafting

– Evaluating


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