Typography is an important branch of graphic communication. Specifically, it refers to the appearance of printed letters on a page or a screen. Experienced graphic designers know how to manipulate this appearance to convey different messages or simply appeal to the eye. Thus, while the letter "s" always has the same linguistic value, a designer may decide to print that "s"--along with the rest of the alphabet--in a particularly typeface, such as Garamond, because of the way that typeface makes the letters look on the page. Knowing how to work with various typefaces and other typographical elements can improve your ability to communicate effectively. Here are some useful terms:
Resumes and Cover Letters
Employers take hiring very seriously. Before they start giving a stranger responsibility and a paycheck, they want to see evidence that he or she will contribute substantially to their organizations. Below are some tips for building the kind of evidence that will net you a good job. For more information, see Dr. Lisa Schaeffer, director of the Career Services Center at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke, from whom I have borrowed some of these suggestions.
As a summary of your qualifications for a job in a particular field, a resume is the most important component of the job-hunting process. To create an effective one, begin by brainstorming an extensive list of your skills, achievements, jobs, and educational experiences. Using word-processing software such as Microsoft Word, organize a resume into the following categories:
When you have completed a draft of your resume, trim the material to make it as concise as possible. The average time an employer examines a resume is 30 seconds. To impress that employer during that short time, you will want to prepare an attractive, clean, and well-organized resume. Experiment with margins, fonts, headings, lines, and bullets until you have a professional resume that will attract attention. Some word-processing programs, such as Microsoft Word, have templates--predesigned documents with graphic elements already built into them. All you have to do is fill in your information.
When you have completed your resume, write a one-page cover letter to a specific person at the organization where you are applying. This letter should begin by stating the postion you seek, briefly expand information in your resume, and close with a request for an interview.
Next, proofread both the cover letter and resume at least 10 times and ask three other persons, including an English teacher, to proofread them, as well. According to the February 1997 issue of Men's Health, 45 percent of the executives surveyed said they would not consider a job candidate who made one typographical error. Take your resume to a copy store and have copies of it printed on white paper of at least 20-lb. weight. Have copies of your cover letter made on normal paper. Carry copies of your resume whenever possible. You never know when you will meet someone who can help you find a good job. If possible, post your resume on the World Wide Web and carry cards with your name, telephone number, e-mail address, and the URL of your Web site. Keep your resume stored in your computer or on a diskette and update it whenever you have changed jobs, earned an award, or otherwise boosted your potential as an employee.
Finally, maintain a file in which you store any materials you might use later in applying for jobs: awards, college transcripts, performance evaluations, letters of appreciation from customers and co-workers, items you have published, and anything else that demonstrates your skills and work ethic. When you apply for a job, place the most impressive and relevant of these materials in an attractive portfolio and take it with you to interviews. Consider posting these materials, along with your resume, on the World Wide Web. Maintaining a resume on the Web makes it easier for employers to read about you, while also advertising your technical expertise. Commit the site's URL to memory and carry it with you on homemade business cards. To see an example of an electronic portfolio, visit my portfolio.
Updated January 5, 2000 | University of North Carolina at Pembroke
© Mark Canada, 2000 | firstname.lastname@example.org
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