Posted: April 3rd, 2021

Professional writing | writing for managers

1. Revise a Formal Memo  ???? ????FORMAL MEMO: Revise a formal memo to improve the “You-Attitude.” See Unit 2, Module 6, p. 99Imagine you are a manager in an office building undergoing some renovations. A member of your staff writes the following memo:Subject: Status of Building Renovations We are happy to announce that the renovation of the lobby is not behind schedule. By Monday, October 9, we should be ready to open the west end of the lobby to limited traffic. The final phase of the renovation will be placing a new marble floor in front of the elevators. This work will not be finished until the end of the month. Please exercise caution when moving through the construction area. The floor will be uneven and steps will be at unusual heights. Watch your step to avoid accidental tripping or falling. Failure to pay attention can result in injury or worse, so don’t walk and text or read your phone while moving in this area.While not a poorly written memo, grammatically speaking, there are many ways this memo can be revised to reflect principles discussed in LO 6.1 – LO 6.5. See, too, the sample letter on p. 95 as it also lacks the “You-Attitude.” Note: Do not just add words. Revise what is here for the “You-Attitude.”Here are some examples of sentences revised for the You Attitude:

  • Sentence:  I have worked hard to get you the best contract possible.  Or:  You’ll be happy to learn that we’re ready to offer you the best contract possible.
  • Problems:  Writer, not reader, oriented writing: the writer is concerned about himself, how hard he worked or how happy he is, rather than what the reader receives (benefits)
  • Revisions: Under the new contract you’ll receive dental insurance.
  • Sentence:  You need to send us your overdue balance of $550, or we’ll probably take you to court.      
  • Problems: Selfish and divisive pronouns us/we and you creates a personal conflict between the writer and reader.   
  • Revision: Please pay the overdue balance of $550 to avoid possible legal actions.  If you need help making this payment, please contact our credit department for assistance at 999-999-9999.    
  • Sentence: I have requested that your order is sent out today.
  • Problems: Where are the reader benefits to this message? What should the reader expect?
  • Revision: You will receive your order by Wednesday.

2. Write a Formal EmailUSING READER BENEFITS: Write an Email to a Potential Customer. See Unit 2, Module 8, Activity 8.10, p. 121Imagine you are now working as a manager or owner of a business in your field. You have been given a lead to a person who may be interested in contracting your company or hiring your services. For example, if you are a health care, you want that person to visit your office to encourage the person to use your facility. If you are in sports management, you want that person to employ your services. If you in Homeland Security, you want that person to hire your company to strengthen his or her company’s security apparatus. Be creative, but realistic. In your email to the individual, be sure to anticipate and address feelings, fears, or needs that may have motivated him or her to reach out to your office/company/institution. Be sure to identify the features you offer and how those could benefit him or her. Reference all of Module 8 and in particular, see the examples in LO 8-3.Ensure your email is:

  • Reader Benefits-Focused
  • Adapted to the Audience
  • Based on Intrinsic advantages
  • Supported by clear logic and explained in adequate detail
  • Phrased with the You-Attitude

3. Write a Formal MemoNEGATIVE MESSAGING: Announcing the Elimination of a Position. See Unit 2, Module 11, p. 183Your organization is facing a significant budget shortfall, and in addition to cuts in office supplies and the travel budget, your department must eliminate one position. Though you can make a case for keeping everyone in the department you have no choice, and the only position that seems possible to cut is Robin’s, the department secretary. Now, you must announce this decision via memo to the department. Robin is popular and has worked with the company for many years. There’s more: once Robin’s position is eliminated there will be more work for the rest of the staff to complete on their own. 

  • Think about the emotional impact losing a colleague can have on the department. What can you do to soften the blow? What fears might people have about their own job security?
  • Care must be taken to avoid the impression that Robin is being let go for any other reason than the budget. Keep in mind, however, that confidentiality issues may affect what you can say.
  • You like Robin and regret having to eliminate the budget. Would it be wise, though, to criticize the company or appear irritated by the decision?
  • Be sure to avoid negative messaging and emphasize positive messaging. Pay particular attention to  LO 11-4 on sharing bad news with peers and subordinates as well as LO 11-5 on layoffs.

4. Evaluating Sources  ???? ????One of the responsibilities often associated with management is the gathering of career-specific information on resources or professional development. Familiarity with professional sources shows you have interest in your field and invest time to stay current with developments and debates in your industry.For this assignment, you will identify credible sources related to your field. You will identify the sources using accurate APA format. Then, for each source, you will write two complete paragraphs that

  1. Summarize the source;
  2. Comment on the source’s benefits and currency.

For your sources, you should include at least one of each of the three following sources:

  1. An academic or professional source from the Keiser e-library database. Avoid single articles, too. Try to identify a database or a journal relevant to your field.
  2. A professional news in your field or a respected commercial site like The New York TimesThe Wall Street Journal. An online magazine such as Forbes or Fortune might be appropriate, depending on your field. 
  3. An organizational site such as .org, .edu, and .gov site. Examples could include American Medical Association, the National Criminal Justice Association, the American Dairymen’s Association, and so forth.

Clue: When using sources, you want to analyze the source of the data, the numbers, and what the words mean to those who may have been surveyed. For your Final e-Portfolio you will include these sources and an introductory paragraph (250 words minimum) on your skills in researching appropriate sources and vetting them for credibility and relevance to your field.
1.  Write a Prospecting Letter  ???? ???? Write a Prospecting Letter. See Unit 7, Module 28, pp. 474-481A prospecting letter is, in short, a letter written to a company that is NOT actively searching for a candidate publicly. Pick a company you would like to work for and apply for a specific position. This company can be a local company such as a hospital near your home or it can be a national company, such as a S&P 500 Tech Firm. The position for which you are crafting this letter can be one that already exists or one that you would create if you could to match your unique blend of talents.Please do NOT reply to a job posting as that is NOT a prospecting letter.Address your letter to the correct person or office. This may take some research. Follow the principles and examples provided in the pages mentioned above. Take some time to assess your interests and qualifications, too, as these are the first step in the employment process.2. Write  A Resume  ???? ????Write a Resume that an Employer Will Notice. See Unit 7, Module 27, pp. 449-470Thinking about the company you chose for the assignment above (the prospecting letter) and what it would be looking for in the position you desire, craft a resume that you would attach to your prospective letter. The resume should

  1. demonstrate how your qualifications fit the job (LO 27-1),
  2. be attractive and grammatically sound (LO 27-2),
  3. have a clear and specific career objective listed (LO 27-5),
  4. and have a list of references readily available (“Available upon request” is NOT acceptable).

You may create a resume that employs any of the examples (i.e. chronological, skills, etc.) mentioned in Module 27. Pay particular attention to “action verbs” (pp. 457-458)Do NOT just submit any old resume you have used for many years.3. Write a Formal LetterFORMAL LETTER: Request a Letter of Recommendation from Your Instructor. See Unit 3, Module 9, pp. 126-137When submitting your prospective letter and resume from above, imagine you also wish to include a letter of recommendation from the instructor of this class. Create a formal letter that requests such a recommendation. What information does your instructor need to include? You would want to indicate the company and the position. It would also be good to include accomplishments that you would like included and, in particular, what you have done in your instructor’s class that makes you a good candidate for him or her to recommend.   Refer to pp. 202-203 for information that should be included in a letter of recommendation.   Also, see 12.21 Items “A” and “B” on p. 213.Here are some additional pieces of information you would likely want your instructor to address:

  1. What information you would like to see included in the letter
  2. To whom to send the letter
  3. When the letter needs to received
  4. Where to send the letter

4. Write an EmailFORMAL EMAIL: Follow-Up with an Interviewer. See Unit 3, Module 13, pp. 217-227; Unit 7, Module 30, pp. 507-512Imagine you have completed an interview for the position for which you completed the prospecting letter, your resume, and the recommendation from your instructor. Send an email thanking the person you met. Thank your interviewer for his or her hospitality. Demonstrate that you listened closely. Make yourself stand out by reiterating any points that you want the interviewer to remember about you, your interview, and your skills. Remind them of points that stood out during the interview and that separated you from everyone else (This may take creativity). Allay any negatives that remain. Be enthusiastic about the company. See pp. 508-509 for additional help.  TIP: It is illegal to ask the question, “Have you ever been arrested for a crime?” during an interview.For Formal Email Writing see p. 219 for examples of how to format an email for professional inquiries. Click here for a Keiser University video on dealing with illegal questions. Your submission for this assignment should include all elements of the email: Address, Subject Line, Salutation, and Signature Block. Compose this in a document. Do NOT use screen shots. 

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