I handled Markel's chapter on Writing Job Application Materials and came up with the following summary report for the group research project.
Job application is a challenging process because the primary objective is to get hired despite the competition in the job market. The entire process involves writing whether it is online or the traditional way. Application letters can be sent through attaching formal letters and resumes through emails. The choice of words is essential to be shortlisted for an interview. Markel says
"...looking for professional work is the first non-academic test of your technical-communication skills..."
The process of lifelong learning is essential. Job application is part of this life learning process. Companies perceive employees to be the most valuable resources and therefore the recruitment process is always thorough and rigorous. Recruiters need potential individuals who help in determining the organizational objectives.
Understanding the Job Application Process
Job application is a process that requires prior preparation, and this takes a long time. The process involves planning, drafting, revising, editing and proofreading (387). Planning and drafting involve learning and making decisions while reviewing, editing and proofreading are about perfection (387).
Establishing Professional Brand
Markel agrees that personal branding is different from traditional branding. Personal branding involves a series of techniques which shapes an appealing identity and maximizes an individual's chances of attracting new attention. The author further adds that it is essential to reflect oneself, not as a learner, or a worker in that particular organization, but as an expert having a brand which he/she needs to establish and maintain (387). The following are the guidelines for developing a professional brand (388).
- Previous research
- Honesty and truthfulness
- Professional Communication
- Description of job skills
- Focusing on problem solving and accomplishments
- Active online participation
The professional brand is presented in the following ways (389):
- Creating an online presence
- Participating in LinkedIn
- Being active on Facebook'
- Engaging on Twitter
- Creating a business card
- Practising an elevator pitch
Planning Job Search
Markel (391) suggests the following process of planning for job research which proceeds personal branding.
- Doing self-inventory: strengths and weaknesses, subjects /courses liked, organizations one would wish to work for and geographical presences.
- Leaning about prospective employers- attending career fairs and discovering more tendencies in your career (392)
- Organizing a resume and job application letter
- Putting portfolio items online
"...a portfolio is a collection of your best work, including your resume, letter of recommendation, transcripts and professional certifications, reports, websites, slides of oral presentations and other documents you have written as a student or an employee..." (Markel, 392)
Major Ways to Look for in a Position
According to Markel, there are four primary strategies to look for a job opportunity (393).
Job board on the internet-AfterCollege, CareerBuilder, CareerOneStop, Indeed.com, Monster, CareerMag, among others
College and university placement office/professional placement (396). Markel says that colleges and university placement act as a link between students and companies.
Markel (397) gives three motives why it is essential to develop your resume.
- You know yourself better than anyone else
- Human resource management is aware of the style of local agencies. They can determine whether a resume is yours or not
- It helps in adapting to different situations
Markel (395) asserts that companies use resume application software to examine resumes into databanks and search for words. Resumes which lack keywords are not considered. Markel (398) identifies the essential elements which must be included in a resume. These are:
- Personal information such as full names, address, email address, and phone numbers
- Summary statement
- Employment history: skills, equipment, salary and amount of money you were responsible for, documents such as reports, proposals, manuals; the personnel-the number of people you supervised, the clients-the number you interacted with in representing your organization, etc.
- Interests and activities
- Other elements- military experience, computer skills, willingness to relocate, language ability, etc.
Markel (400) insists on the importance of using active instead of passive voice when describing functions, positions, and responsibilities. The author also emphasizes the importance of including accomplishments in the resume.
Markel (411) explains that job applicants can give more information in cover/application letters than resumes. Application letters give applicants the opportunity to clearly explain how they are the best candidates that the employer requires. Application letters also display to the employer their writing skills.
- Preparing for Job Interviews
- Studying job interviews
- Studying the organization
- Thinking about what you can offer
- Familiarize yourself with the common questions
- Compiling a list of inquiries which you wish to ask the panel
- Follow up Mails
Markel (414) insists on the importance of follow-ups. Writing a letter or email of appreciation is essential. When the applicant gets the job opportunity after a successful interview, it is crucial to writing a letter of acceptance or rejection.
- Letter of appreciation for thanking the organization's representative.
- Letter of Acceptance-to express appreciation
- Letter of rejection
- Letter acknowledging rejection-written to maintain good relations
Markel offers step by step guidelines which are detailed and may benefit the department when conducting recruitments and also molding the staff when seeking further career opportunities. When the guidance provided is followed, our job applications will be competitive and more effective.
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