short writing , resume revision and prospecting cover letter

Learning Outcomes

To recognize what constitutes a strong resumé.

To apply PAIBOC to select and utilize the best resumé format and content.

To be able draft a strong non-solicited cover letter.


Resumé for a reporter
With a sigh, you send out the email invitations to Derek’s farewell dinner. An intern on a placement from the career retraining program at Humber College, he’ll be gone by the end of the week. You don’t have the budget to hire him – you would if you could – so the least you can do is send him off well and do what you can to help him find a real reporting job.

Derek fell into being a reporter. He trained as a real estate representative, but discovered he liked talking to people and preparing listing sheets and newsletters much better than he liked standing around some kitchen while prospective buyers trooped through an open house. He wasn’t terribly successful at selling houses, either, which likely spurred his career change.

Reporting seems like a good field for him. He has a knack for drawing information from the people he interviews, and his interest in photography is a plus. He’s eager to learn, and volunteers to do extra work like setup and teardown at community events sponsored by your paper.

But then there’s the résumé he sent you with a request for help. He seems to know it won’t make him stand out from hundreds of new journalism graduates and seasoned reporters looking for a change. But he can’t figure out how to fix it. It’s not so much the way it looks, although that could certainly use some help, too. The immediate problem is that it doesn’t make Derek sound like someone another managing editor would want to meet.

  • Review Derek’s résumé (below) and revise it to make it stronger in form and content.
  • Write a prospecting cover letter (no more than one page in length, in a reasonable font). Address it to:

Mary Smith, Managing Editor, Small Town Herald

Tips And Hints

  • Apply PAIBOC analysis
  • Pay attention to format and organization as well as content
  • Review key principles and samples in the text book
  • Clearly understand the reasons for your changes and choices
  • Proofread everything carefully for the 5Cs
  • Use the Writing Centre for final proofing and edits if English skills are not strong


Module 9 ( Persuasive Messages)

Module 24 (Creating Persuasive Resumés)

Modules 25 (Creating Persuasive Application/Cover Letters)


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