Simple Tips for Effective Written Communication: Resumes, Applications, and More By Ellen Mehling, Career Development Consultant, METRO

 

Summer is here! A time for enjoying the sunshine, possibly some traveling, and, hopefully, taking it easy. In the spirit of this more relaxed season, here are some easy-to-do tips for communicating in writing.

Always customize your résumé and cover letter to the job posting. Keep the information the reader is seeking in mind and make sure that s/he finds it easily. Delete or de-emphasize information unrelated to the duties and responsibilities of the job. Your profile/summary is especially important, as it comes right after the contact information and gives you a chance to capture hiring managers’ attention so they read further.

Choose a font for your résumé and other communications with care. Typefaces can influence how what is read is perceived. There are many to choose from that are easy to read, but a good choice for a blog post might not be a good choice for your résumé and vice versa. Do a little research and get some feedback from others to make sure you are creating the right impression.

If there is a job number, make it clear. Include it (along with the job title) in the Subject line when applying via email and in a “Re:” note in bold above salutation in the cover letter. These are easy-to-do, small courtesies to the recipient/reader that show you understand how the job is referred to internally. Human resources staff may review application documents for a number of different positions each day; they will appreciate that you are specifying the position you are applying for.

 

 

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Mastering the Teaching Game July 17, 2014

Recently, I heard Sven Groeneveld being interviewed on my car radio. He is one of the top tennis coaches of all times, having helped four players become grand slam winners, among many other achievements. The BBC reports that the coach can “see things in the other players, read a match, second guess what the game plan would be, what a certain player was doing wrong, and crucially how he could put it right.”

My knowledge of tennis is thin, so I almost switched to another station, until I realized that Groeneveld’s message was the kind of advice that I give to my young pre-service teachers at the University of Virginia’s Curry School of Education — only he is more articulate and confident than I am.

There are several paraphrased points that I hope will resonate with other educators as affirmations, challenges, or both. These eight ideas synthesize what four decades in classrooms have taught me are the most important principles for teachers to understand.

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