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Workplace Writers

Summary:

This page provides links to resources for workplace writers and people writing during the job search process.

Contributors:Allen Brizee
Last Edited: 2011-07-20 01:03:38

For access to all OWL resources, click here. Please click on the links below to access resources for workplace writers and people writing during the job search process:

Effective Workplace Writing - This resource explains two dominant ideas in professional writing that will help you produce persuasive, usable resumes, letters, memos, reports, white papers, etc. This section outlines the concepts of rhetorical awareness and user-centered design, provides examples of these ideas, and contains a glossary of terms.

Audience Analysis - This section helps you build Information about your readers. It discusses your communication's complex audience and provides key questions you can ask to determine readers' needs, values, and attitudes. This section also provides useful charts to help you with your audience analysis.

Tailoring Employment Documents for a Specific Audience - This handout provides information on how to tailor your employment documents to a specific audience to help you land an interview.

Prewriting - This section explains the prewriting (invention) stage of the composing process. It includes processes, strategies, and questions to help you begin to write. While invention may seem to apply only to academic contexts, these strategies may also help professionals tackle workplace writing challenges and begin the research process necessary for white papers, reports, and proposals.

Employment Documents: The Cover Letter, Job Acceptance Letter, and Personal Statement

Job Skills Checklist - This handout provides a large skills inventory list that you can use to help build your cover letter and resume.

Action Verbs to Describe Skills, Jobs, and Accomplishments in Employment Documents - This section offers a categorized list of action verbs that can be utilized to explain the daily tasks completed by an individual on the job. In addition to the categorized lists, there are examples with some of the actions verbs being used; and there is also a sample resume provided for further assistance.

Cover Letters 1: Quick Tips - This page provides a guide to writing cover letters. Here you will find brief answers and lists of what you should include in a cover letter, how to order and format such a letter, and what to do before sending it out.

Cover Letters 2: Preparing to Write a Cover Letter - Before you start to write a cover letter, you should gather information about yourself, the company, and the job. This page will help you learn what kind of information to find, where to find it, and how and why to use that information to "sell yourself" in a cover letter.

Cover Letters 3: Writing Your Cover Letter - This resource offers a series of short documents that walks you through the creation of a cover letter. Here you can see the information in the "Quick Tips for Cover Letters" and "Preparing to Write a Cover Letter" pages put to use. This page guides you through adapting your experiences to the content in your cover letter and its different sections.

Letters Concerning Employment - This section covers writing additional correspondence beyond cover letters including reference requests, interview follow-up letters, inquiry letters, acceptance and rejection letters, request for further negotiations letters and thank you letters.

Academic Cover Letters - When you're applying for a faculty position with a college or university, the cover letter is your first chance to make a strong impression as a promising researcher and teacher. Below you'll find some strategies for presenting your qualifications effectively in an academic context.

Writing a Job Acceptance Letter - This slide presentation is an interactive presentation to help students and professionals understand how to prepare a job acceptance letter. This presentation is ideal for students and professionals who are involved in the job search process.

Writing the Personal Statement - This handout provides information about writing personal statements for academic and other positions.

Example Employment Documents - These annotated employment documents provide examples of resumes, CVs, and cover letters for a variety of disciplines.

Working Class Job Search Documents - These resources, developed with WorkOne Express at the Lafayette Adult Resource Academy (LARA), explain how to compose cover letters and resumes, as well as follow up and thank you letters, for working class jobs.

Employment Documents: The Resume and Curriculum Vitae (CV)

Resume Design - This handout offers advice making informed design choices in creating a resume. We also have a sample resume that uses these design principles available in the media section above.

Resumes 1: Introduction to Resumes - Before beginning to write your resume, it is a good idea to understand what you are writing, why you are writing it, and what is expected as you write it. This basic introduction will aid both new resume writers and those who may have forgotten certain details about resume writing.

Resumes 2: Resume Sections - When writing a resume, you need to understand the specific needs of each section. This resource, with information about contact information, education, and work experience sections, will help explain what each section requires.

Resumes 3: When to Use Two Pages or More - You have probably heard the saying, "Keep your resume to a page." Although this is true for most cases, many employers are accepting longer resumes...in certain instances. Use this resource to gain more understanding about what constitutes the page length of a resume.

Resumes 4: Scannable Resumes - This handout provides a traditional resume sample and a scannable resume sample for a comparison as well as general guidelines on writing scannable resumes.

Management Resumes - This handout describes how to tailor your resume when applying for management positions.

Writing the Curriculum Vitae - This handout provides an overview of strategies for writing an effective curriculum vitae. This topic is particularly important for graduate students who are entering the academic job market for the first time.

Reference Sheets - This section details how to develop and format a reference sheet.

Example Employment Documents - These annotated employment documents provide examples of resumes, CVs, and cover letters for a variety of disciplines.

Working Class Job Search Documents - These resources, developed with WorkOne Express at the Lafayette Adult Resource Academy (LARA), explain how to compose cover letters and resumes, as well as follow up and thank you letters, for working class jobs.

More Professional Writing Resources

Email Etiquette - Although instant and text/SMS messaging is beginning to supplant email for some groups' primary means of Internet communication, effective and appropriate email etiquette is still important. This resource will help you to become an effective writer and reader/manager of email.

Writing the Basic Business Letter - This handout covers the parts of the basic business letter.

Business Letters: Accentuating the Positive - This handout provides information on accentuating positive news in writing business letters.

Model Letters for Various Purposes - This handout provides several model letters for various job-search purposes including: a reference request model, a request for further negotiations model, and a reply to a rejection model.

Sales Letters: Four Point Action Closing - This handout covers four points on how to write a good conclusion for a sales letter.

Writing Report Abstracts - This handout discusses how to write good abstracts for reports. It covers informational and descriptive abstracts and gives pointers for success.

Memo Writing - This handout will help you solve your memo-writing problems by discussing what a memo is, describing the parts of memos, and providing examples and explanations that will make your memos more effective.

Writing a White Paper - A white paper is a certain type of report that is distinctive in terms of purpose, audience, and organization. This resource will explain these issues and provide some other tips to enhance white paper content.

Writing a Research Paper - This section provides detailed information about how to write research papers including discussing research papers as a genre, choosing topics, and finding sources.

Handbook on Report Formats - This resource is an updated version of Muriel Harris’ handbook “Report Formats: a self instruction module on writing skills for engineers,” written in 1981.

Medical Writing - This resource contains information on medical journalism. The material explains the objectives of medical journalism and its applications in the media. Moreover, this resource demonstrates ways writers can accurately translate complex, scientific literature into layperson's terms.

INDOT Workshop Resources for Engineers - This area contains resources for the Purdue Writing Lab-Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) Workshops. These detailed materials will help engineers from all disciplines, workplace writers, and students compose clear, dynamic, and effective technical communication. Elements of writing covered in these resources include grammar and mechanics, visual and document design, and overall organization.

Writing Definitions - This resource provides suggestions and examples for writing definitions.

Writing for a North American Business Audience - This handout provides examples and information (written for non-North Americans) on how to write for a business audience. It includes information on getting to the point, keeping it simple, active and passive voice, nondiscriminatory language, and verb overgeneralizing.

Writing for a Chinese Business Audience - This handout provides examples and information on writing in English for both domestic and international audiences doing business in China. It includes information on letters and memos, as well as important stylistic considerations.

Writing for an Indian Business Audience - This handout provides examples and information on writing for both domestic and international audiences doing business in India. It includes information on letters and memos, as well as important stylistic considerations. The handout concludes with comments on some important characteristics of English writing in India, and on the status of English in business writing compared with native Indian languages, such as Hindi and Bengali.

Tips and Terms for the International Student's Job Search - If you are an international student looking for a job in the United States, it is important to understand what specific job search terms mean in the United States as opposed to in your home country in order to be able to meet a prospective employer’s expectations. Listed below are some key terms that you will frequently hear while conducting a job search as well as important tips for creating a resume in the United States.

Style, Language, Research, and Revision

Paragraphs and Paragraphing - The purpose of this resource is to provide some basic instruction and advice regarding the creation of understandable and coherent paragraphs.

HATS: A Design Procedure for Routine Business Documents - The HATS presentation introduces students and instructors to the basic elements of document design. The presentation outlines how to use headings, (information) access, typography (fonts), and space in routine professional documents to promote user-centered communication.

Tone in Business Writing - This handout provides overviews and examples of how to use tone in business writing. This includes considering the audience and purpose for writing.

Transitions and Transitional Devices - This resource discusses transition strategies and specific transitional devices to help fs' and professionals' essays or reports and sentences flow more effectively.

Adding Emphasis in Writing - This handout provides information on visual and textual devices for adding emphasis to student and professional writing including textual formatting, punctuation, sentence structure, and the arrangement of words.

Conciseness - This resource explains the concept of concise writing and provides examples of how to ensure clear prose.

Paramedic Method: A Lesson in Writing Concisely - This handout provides steps and exercises to eliminate wordiness at the sentence level.

Sentence Variety - This resource presents methods for adding sentence variety and complexity to writing that may sound repetitive or boring. Sections are divided into general tips for varying structure, a discussion of sentence types, and specific parts of speech which can aid in sentence variety.

Using Appropriate Language - This section covers some of the major issues with appropriate language use: levels of language formality, deceitful language and Euphemisms, slang and idiomatic expressions; using group-specific jargon; and biased/stereotypical language.

Parallel Structure in Professional Writing - Provides information and examples on parallel structure in business documents.

Research: Overview - This section provides answers to the following research-related questions: Where do I begin? Where should I look for information? What types of sources are available?

Searching the World Wide Web - This section covers finding sources for your writing in the World Wide Web. It includes information about search engines, Boolean operators, web directories, and the invisible web. It also includes an extensive, annotated links section.

Conducting Primary Research - This section includes information on what primary research is, how to get started, ethics involved with primary research and different types of research you can do. It includes details about interviews, surveys, observations, and analysis.

Evaluating Sources of Information - This section provides information on evaluating bibliographic citations, aspects of evaluation, reading evaluation, print vs. Internet sources, and evaluating internet sources.

Quoting, Paraphrasing, and Summarizing - This resource will help you become more comfortable with the uses of and distinctions among quotations, paraphrases, and summaries. This handout compares and contrasts the three terms, gives some pointers, and includes a short excerpt that you can use to practice these skills.

Avoiding Plagiarism - This resource offers advice on how to avoid plagiarism in your work—there are few intellectual offenses more serious than plagiarism in academic and professional contexts.

Prioritizing Your Concerns for Effective Business Writing - When you are revising your resume or other business messages, there are priorities of concerns in choosing what to look for and work on. This handout provides tips for reviewing the content and quality of your business documents.

Punctuation - This resource will help clarify when and how to use various marks of punctuation. When speaking, we can pause or change the tone of our voices to indicate emphasis. When writing, we must use punctuation to indicate these places of emphasis.

Revision in Business Writing - Provides information on revising business documents for audience and purpose with emphasis on language, tone, organization, and correctness.

Proofreading Your Writing - This section provides information on proofreading, finding and fixing common errors.

Commas - This resource offers a number of pages about comma use.

Writing and Research Help by Email - Still have questions about your writing? Haven't found what you need? Send us an email! Our staff will provide individualized writing help online.

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