Business & Technical Writing/letter


hello there - i am applying for a job with Motorola. In the letter of application what can i say about what i have to offer to the employer? what do i write about me skills and experience? I have used programming languages in the past to create programs.

i have just recently graduated from university. Motorola have his vacancy: IT analyst.

please help what to mention in my letter, as i am really confused.

thank you.


Well, sir, for starters, you should make sure that spells your name right. It came to me as 'Criag.'

For another, I recommend that you get in the habit of editing your e-mails before you send them. Eliminate typographical errors ("me skills"), avoid being redundant ("I have used programming languages in the past to create programs" - what else would such a language be used for, Craig??), and make sure your grammar doesn't clink ("Motorola have"). You should also say "I," not "i." The latter form is an indication of laziness to most of us.

Now, obviously, Craig, I know nothing about you, so I am clueless as to what you should tell Motorola. Since you're an IT guy, though, you know how to use the internet. Therefore, 'google' this phrase: "functional resume". For new college graduates and also those changing careers, the functional format trumps the traditional layout based on chronology and jobs held. Few new college grads have relevant job experience, so putting those on a resume is a waste of valuable 'resume real estate.'

After you get what you think is a very good functional resume, you are welcome to send it to me for me feedback. My e-mail address is:

I hope this is helpful. Please do me the favor of completing the 'rate-the-expert' e-mail you'll receive on the heels of this reply. Your ratings and, especially, your written comments help me do a better job of helping folks like you.

Take care, and good luck with job-hunting. I look forward to seeing your resume. . .but make sure it is high-quality just like what you'd want to send to a prospective employer; in other words, don't send me a draft - send me a polished document in which you have invested hours of your time. BTW, it usually takes at least ten hours to get a good version. This is a tough market for new grads.


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Warren D. Miller


I believe I can answer nearly any question about business writing. That goes in spades if the target audience is a lay readership. I make my living writing and speaking. N.B.: I DO NOT ANSWER QUESTIONS MARKED 'PRIVATE' because I believe that knowledge should be shared, not hoarded. I also believe such questions are likely to be submitted by people trying to cheat. In addition, don't waste your time asking me to write something for you. You don't learn anything if I do that. I'm happy to critique something that YOU write, of course. That's the best way for you to learn how to write well.


My profession is business valuation, which means appraising businesses whose shares are not publicly traded. This requires in-depth knowledge about a number of disciplines, including economics, finance, strategic management, accounting, anthropology, statistics, and psychology. The left-brain part of me must conduct rigorous research and financial analysis. The right-brain side must then separate what matters from what doesn't and then explain it all in writing (and in everyday English) to people (usually business owners, but sometimes judges and juries) who do not have the expertise that I have been lucky enough to acquire over the years. I love what I do and consider myself fortunate to live in a country where I can do what I love doing and make a nice living doing it. I am glad to help with writing issues, but NOT, please, with any valuation, business consulting, or other non-writing questions.

CFA Institute, American Society of Appraisers, Strategic Management Society, Academy of Management, Culver Legion, National Association of Scholars.

Besides two published books (search for "Warren D. Miller" on Amazon), I have written for the Harvard Business Review, American Fly Fisher, Business Valuation Review, CPA Expert, Academy of Management Executive, CFA Digest, Valuation Strategies, and others.

MBA - Oklahoma State U. (1991); BBA - U. of Oklahoma (1975); Chartered Financial Analyst designation (2006) Accredited Senior Appraiser (2006) Certified Public Accountant (1992)

Awards and Honors
Business Valuation Volunteer of the Year (2001) - American Institute of CPAs Winner - Oklahoma Humorous-Speaking Contest - Toastmasters International (1971)

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