Note on Application Letters & Resumes

At this point, you have completed two major writing assignments: an application letter and accompanying résumé, both of which compliment one another. Generally speaking, these are the two most important pieces of writing you will use to represent yourself on paper (or on screen) in professional life, especially when you apply for a job. Remember the two main purposes of the application letter: [1] to demonstrate how an applicant can represent thoughts, feelings and desires in words; [2] to expand on important jobs, duties, and accomplishments listed on the resume. (NOTE: Often employers will only look at cover letters, or they will only look at resumes, or they will skim both, or one. It is vital that every sentence is dynamic, pointed, and meaningful.)

Reading & Comprehension

Read correspondence and methods of development.

Review memos.

Read and make sure you understand Commonly Misused Words & Phrases. (NOTE: This section is located on the final two pages of the textbook.)

Read adjustment letters and complaint letters. Note these key questions and answers:

What are some of the purposes of adjustment letters? To address the complaint, but also to create goodwill for the company.

Why is it important to be respectful in both complaint and adjustment letters? To avoid alienating your audience and having your complaint dismissed or making your customer even more unhappy.

What is the difference between a FULL ADJUSTMENT and a PARTIAL ADJUSTMENT? FULL: An apology and specific plan of action when the company is in fact at fault. PARTIAL: If the customer’s complaint is illegitimate or somehow unjustified, you may need to explain why the problem occurred (user error) and then explain specifically why you have decided to accept the claim and what you have done.

What pattern should be used for a complaint letter? Identify the problem along with the key information—part names, numbers, etc. Explain what went wrong and identify what you want your reader to do to remedy the situation.


Memos: Write a memo that describes how you perform your job (or a job you have had) for an employee who may be replacing you while you are on vacation. Write two versions of this memo, one for each of the following employees: [1] an employee hired through a temporary agency from outside the organization, and [2] an employee who works in your department but not in the same job. Submit via Pilot on the same MS-Word document. DUE DATE & TIME: Friday, Oct. 12, 9 a.m.

Abstract: Read this sample formal report in conjunction with abstracts. Then write a 250-word abstract that summarizes and highlights the main points of the report. Be sure that you paraphrase the report, putting it in your own words. DUE DATE & TIME: Friday, Oct. 19, 9 a.m.

Complaint & Adjustment Letters: Write a complaint letter—then switch and write an adjustment letter. Follow the format in The Business Writer’s Handbook in the adjustment letters and complaint letters sections. You should create your own scenarios using a local business—e.g., restaurants, dry cleaners, health professionals, post offices, etc. You must find the actual addresses and relevant information for the place of business to which you are making complaints. Submit via Pilot on the same MS-Word document. DUE DATE & TIME: Friday, Oct. 26, 9 a.m.