Investigative Report of Boston Consulting Group

Securing a job interview is largely the result of a wellwritten
and carefully designed résumé and cover
letter that takes into account the needs of the hiring company (the audience), the author’s demonstration
of how they can fill those needs (purpose in writing). A business writing class is the ideal place for
students to practice these rhetorical awareness and critical thinking skills, as business communication is
all about clear, concise, readercentered
communication that gets results. For this final project, we will
bring together the work we’ve done on analyzing rhetorical situations in business writing with exploring
the résumé and cover letter genres. For the employment materials assignment, then, you will complete the
following tasks:
Email 3 professionals in the field you would like to enter to solicit advice about entering the
Identify a real job/internship with a real organization that requests application materials (not a
job that only asks you to fill out a questionnaire with no required writing beyond filling in name,
employment history, etc.)
Conduct research on the job/internship AND the organization
Write an investigative report in which you create an accurate, composite picture of the
organization, what is needed to enter and succeed in the field, and then analyze what your
findings mean in terms of the résumé and cover letter that you plan to write and design.
Design a targeted résumé and cover letter; use your investigative report, the transferrable skills
checklist ( to be completed in class), assigned résumé and cover letter readings, and relevant
course handouts to guide your content, organization, style, and design decisions
Whether or not you actually submit your résumé and cover letter to the organization is up to you.
Task 1
Email 3 professionals in the field you would like to enter. A good place to start is looking for UC Davis
alums, or checking LinkedIn. You can also look at the staff or faculty directories at specific companies,
organizations or universities. Research the professionals and write a list of questions for each professional
that they can answer to provide you with information about how they got their jobs, what their work
entails, what sort of writing they do in their jobs, and what suggestions or advice they could offer you as
you prepare to embark on your career. Take into account when writing the questions what it is that you
want to find out from them, what specific advice or info might be the most helpful, etc. Also make sure
that your questions show that you’ve done your research about them, and the company for which they
Task 2
Find a job/internship advertisement that fits your major and interest, in a newspaper, magazine, the UC
Davis Internship and Career Center website, or another employment database, and make a
copy of the advertisement. The job must include a listing of information about the position, and you must
be able to submit a resume and cover letter with the job application.
Task 3
Do some research into the job/internship and the organization through various sources such as the
The job/internship ad (pay attention to its description of job responsibilities and qualification
The organizational literature such as the promotional materials produced by the organization
(look for key words as well as information on the organization’s mission, size, location, product,
or services provided)
Published materials in newspapers, magazines, or other resources
Friends, acquaintances, family members who know about the organization or the position
The internet: review the organization website and other websites that provide information about
this organization, such as
The Better Business Bureau
The Blue Pages
Task 4
Write an investigative report on the organization (see the entry “investigative reports” in the Business
Writer’s Handbook ) . In your report, synthesize and cite the research you found to create an accurate,
composite picture of the organization and then analyze what your findings mean (their significance) in
terms of the résumé and cover letter you plan to write and design (which will, of course, need to be
tailored to the specific position for which you plan to apply). The audience for your report will be an
informed audience who are still beginners at compiling employment materials – a junior or senior at UC
Davis, for example who is applying for their first internship or professional position.
Organize your report logically, grouping material in ways that helps you to achieve your purpose for
writing. You might want to follow the organization pattern suggested at the end of the entry “investigative
reports” in the Business Writer’s Handbook. Be sure to use descriptive headings and subheadings to
help me navigate your document. Consider using lists (numbered or bulleted) when they will help me
better understand or easily compare information. Your report should be thorough, and 10001250
in length. Include recommendations for how your reader should tailor their application materials based on
the analysis you have done of the position and the organization. Provide evidence for your
recommendations. Be careful to avoid any unintentional plagiarism by summarizing and paraphrasing
rather than copy and pasting information from sources, citing your sources, and including quotation marks
and discussion of any quotes.
Task 5
Write and design a résumé and cover letter that fit the position described in the job/internship
advertisement. Use examples and strategies from Business Writer’s handbook, as well as the samples and
resources we compile in class to guide your content, organization, and style decisions.


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