Pros Write

Communicating at work with Kim Sydow Campbell, PhD

Résumé Activities

antecendents & outcomes[Return to the Workshop Agenda.]


  1. To increase your awareness of linguistic and visual cues in workplace documents.
  2. To recognize the connection between cues and outcomes in résumés and online profiles.
  3. To increase your understanding of cues in successful résumés and online profiles.
  4. To increase your understanding of the quality of evidence in the content of successful résumés and online profiles.

Individual Activity (5 minutes)

1. Scan this résumé from 2014 MSA grad, Mary.

Class Discussion Activities (20 minutes)

1. Answer the following questions about Mary’s résumé:

About the rhetorical context of this document (PurposeAudience):

  • Who is the writer?
  • What’s the bottom-line message?
  • What is the relationship of the audience to the writer (power difference, value difference, social distance)?
  • What is the relationship of the audience to the message (knowledge level, sensitivity)?
  • What are the ideal reader consequences after this document is delivered?
  • What are the ideal writer consequences after this document is delivered?

2. Answer the following questions about the different cues that will influence the consequences of delivering this document.

About the effectiveness of the content of the message for this rhetorical context (Informative ProsePersuasive ProseGraphics):

  • Does the writer provide enough and the right kind of information (defining, describing, giving examples, comparing/contrasting, classifying, using outside sources)?
  • Does the writer provide evidence and interpretation for any claims? (see STAR guidance)

About the effectiveness and efficiency of the organization of content and the visual impression for this rhetorical context (Format):

  • What order is the content presented in? Is that order effective for the audience?
  • Is the page layout (margins & other white space, line spacing, justification, color, etc.) effective?
  • Is typography (typeface, size, position, boldface, etc.) used consistently and for emphasis?
  • Are any groups of items presented in a list with characters or numbers to enumerate them?
  • Does the writer create a visual text that enhances efficiency for reading?

About the effectiveness and efficiency of the style for this rhetorical context (Conciseness;VoiceParallelismWord ChoiceTone):

  • Is the word choice appropriate?
  • Is the style appropriately concise?
  • Does the writer present parallel items in parallel form?
  • Is the style appropriately active or passive?
  • Is the level of formality appropriate?
  • Does the writer’s style achieve reader-orientation?

About the effectiveness of the mechanics of the message for this rhetorical context (PunctuationAgreement):

  • Are there misspellings or typos that will distract the reader from the content of the message?
  • Are there sentence fragments, comma splices, or any other punctuation issues that are likely to distract the reader?
  • Are there any subject-verb disagreement issues that will be distracting?

Individual Activities (10 minutes)

1. Scan  Mary’s LinkedIn profile,

Group Activity (10 minutes)

1. Explain how Mary’s online profile is similar to and different from her résumé.

2. Which cues matter more in the online profile?

Classroom Discussion Activity (10 minutes)

1. Share your evaluation of the differences between résumés and online profiles.


[Return to the Workshop Agenda.]

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