Write a job application cover letter for the included job, also complete Communication Strategy Worksheet

Assignment is due 10:00 PM Eastern Time Mar 25 (about 26 hours from now)


Please read the attached documents to effectively write a job application cover letter.

 Task: Complete a Communication Strategy Worksheet for the job applitcation letter.  The Communication Strategy Worksheet and instructions on how to complete it are attached. Then write a one-page letter, using the 5-paragraph formula as demonstrated in the attached documents, applying for the selected job.  The job to apply for is in the document “Jobad x”.  My current resume to help write the cover letter is also attached.  It is the file “resume_upload x.”


Communication Strategy Worksheet

Stage One: Planning a Message


Describe them.




Narrow your possibilities.


What emotion is the audience’s take away?


Written: letter, email, memo, etc.? Verbal: face-to-face, phone, etc.?


Direct or Indirect


Purpose statement/preview statement/scope/attention getting statement


List the points you need to make, then group/rank them in paragraph order.


Close it how.


More than narration. Brain is 30% to visual processing.

1.  Who is your audience?  Describe them.

2.  What is your purpose?  You have to sure of your needs and intended outcomes, as your message needs to be created to achieve this purpose.

3.  What is your focus?  Your story?  On every topic, there is lots and lots of information.  In order to be interesting, keep your audience’s attention, you need to create the context, the focus…the story.

4.  Included in creating the story, is the decision of the emotion.  What emotions do you want your audience to feel?  Is there more than one emotion – from what feeling to what feeling?

5.  What format is appropriate for your message?  Letter, memo, email, phone, voice mail, video, face-to-face, meeting, etc.?

6.  What is the approach?  Direct (stating the purpose in the opening) or indirect (presenting the evidence first).

7.  Brainstorm the introduction.  It’s the most critical aspect.  You need to get their attention in order to maintain their attention.

8. List the body points.  Then group the points into like-kind groups. Eventually these items equate to headings or perhaps paragraphs.

9.  Brainstorm your conclusion.  What do you want them to remember? What is the feeling you want them to take with them when they leave?

10.  What visuals help tell your story?

Store General Manager – Store 1000 Chicago Job

Best Buy


Location: Somewhere, US

Store General Manager – Store 10000 Somewhere

Job Number: 13000000OO

At Best Buy, retail is a business that requires constant innovation, new ideas, new ways to delight our customers and new ways to work together. To meet the unique product and service needs of our customers, our stores and operating models are being transformed to shift our focus from product-centric to customer-centric – a move that poises Best Buy to truly offer the entertainment and technology solutions that meet our customers’ needs, end-to-end.
Best Buy Store General Managers are responsible for managing a Best Buy store, end-to-end, within the standard operating platform (SOP), to maximum sustainable profitability, within the Integrated Frame (Employee, Customer, and Shareholder) and through the company Values. The Store General Manager directly manages and develops the Assistant Manager team and provides leadership to their entire store team and in their market. As Best Buy’s store-based executive, ensures that no customer is ever left unserved, or underserved.
Key Responsibilities:
– Leads store’s employee engagement and development efforts, ensuring that employees are valued, safe and feel empowered to serve their customers and create their futures at Best Buy. Is responsible in partnership with district leadership for recruiting and hiring world class employees and casting them into appropriate roles, ensuring that they are fully trained, and are empowered to serve their customers.
– Analyzes store’s performance indicators against company business strategies and goals and leads Assistant Manager team to develop plans to improve the business in partnership with district leadership
– Conducts regular store meetings, attends District/Territory meetings, participates in special projects/initiatives as assigned, and performs other duties as assigned.

Basic Qualifications:
– High school diploma or equivalent
– 3 years retail supervisory/management experience

Preferred Qualifications:
– Associates or Bachelors Degree in Business Management or Marketing
– 2 years budget responsibility experience
– 2 years sales related experience

Job: Retail Management
Organization: Best Buy US Retail


Store General Manager at BestBuy


The University of North Carolina at Greensboro, School of Business and Economics

Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, 2014

Minor in Economics

Magna Cum Laude

Related Courses:

· Operations Management

· Business Process Information Technology

· Legal Environment of Business

· Business Communications

· Creativity, Innovation/Vision in Business

Deans List


South Post Main Exchange, Ft Bragg NC (22 Jan 2011-Present)

Garden Center Supervisor

· Worked with manager on planning specials, events, and coordinating store projects

· Analyzed sales reports

· Planned employees required training

· Evaluated employees performance

North Post Main Exchange, Ft Bragg NC (23 Jan 2010- 21 Jan 2011)

Senior Accounting Associate

· Counted, balance, and reconciled all register tills daily

· Submitted store deposits

· Filed daily financial reports

North Post Main Exchange, Ft Bragg NC (07 Sep 2008-22 Jan2010)

Senior Store Associate Electronics

· Assisted customers in purchasing electronics

· Provided necessary product information/recommendations

· Developed basic public relation skills

· Collaborated with Customer Service in resolving product returns issues0

24 Hour Shoppette Ft Bragg, NC (1 June 2008-06 Sep 2008)

Store Associate

· Operated cash register

· Processed Western Union money transfers

· Established customer relations at the point of sale

Volunteer Experience

Co-taught Sunday School (2002-2005)


Computer: Proficient in Microsoft Office Suite

Language: Spanish, Intermediate

I want the job. Thesis statement & set up points







Topic sentence. Supporting evidence.

Topic sentence. Supporting evidence.
Topic sentence. Supporting evidence.

I request an interview. You may reach me at….


Application Letter Construct

5 Paragraph Letter Format

While there are multiple ways to approach writing an application letter, we focus on this construct and I expect your work to be in the 5 paragraph construct.

You need an introduction that states you want the job. You need a body that describes how you have the ‘things’ they require and conclude with asking for an interview and offering your contact information. The next three slides offer more details on the sections.


Introduction –

State you’re apply for the job

If possible state some-kind-of connection to the organization

State a summary sentence (thesis)

Spark interest. Create curiosity.

Audience-centered attitude

Application Letter Construct

The introduction of an application letter is as important as all other first impressions. Remember, they are feeling you as they read, so create the experience through your words that you want them to have.

In the intro,

Be direct (remember that means telling upfront what you want – your purpose). State the job and your interest. Saying what you want in an assertive manner demonstrates confidence.

If you have a connection with that organization, talk about that, but be every-so-brief.

State a summary sentence – All communications need a thesis statement. And in that thesis statement inform the reader regarding specific focus – preview the 3 items you will detail in the body.

Create curiosity. Build their interest in you in the way you language.

Remember, once again, I tell you – be audience-centered. It’s about your contribution, not you.

Oh, and, this paragraph is NOT to be the longest one on the page. Typically it the second smallest with the conclusion being the smallest.


Application Letter Construct


Choose your points by studying the advertisement and selecting the top three requirements. Write to how you have these three.

Be thinking:

How do I set myself apart?

The key to getting called for an interview is in the connection you make in your letter. The winning strategy is to understand your potential employer’s top 3 qualification requirements and write to those items. Here’s how.

Study their advertisement. What requirement did they list first? That is a powerful indicator of what they see as most important. Second, look for the patterns…what did they say over and over in differing way. Study the solicitation until you can pick the organization’s top three requirements. These are the three item points or body points you will write to in your application letter. That is audience-centeredness.

I am here to tell you, know what they are looking for and demonstrate how you can deliver this requirement. That is a winning strategy. That is what will set you apart from the rest.



Ask for an interview. Give your contact information.

End on a positive, forward-looking note.

Application Letter Construct

The Conclusion

It’s simple – ask for the interview and give your contact information. You want to make it easy for them to find you.


How to Write a Persuasive Application Letter

Business Communication, MGT309

University of North Carolina at Greensboro

Writing that Works (2010). Oliu, Brusaw, & Alred

Welcome to the presentation on ‘How to write a persuasive application letter.’ The purpose of an application letter is to get the reader to read your resume. The purpose of the resume is to get them to invite you to an interview.
Let’s talk about the dos and don’ts of an application letter – also called a cover letter.

Management 309 – Fall 2012

Action Verbs

Management Skills


Communication Skills


Financial Skills


Creative Skills

Set up

Clerical or Detail Skills

Inspected Monitored


Stronger Verbs for Accomplishments


Teaching Skills

Set goals

Research Skills


Technical Skills


Programmed Remodeled

Helping Skills


From To Boldly Go: Practical Career Advice for Scientists, by Peter S. Fiske

MGT 309 (10) – Fall 2012 – Naidu

Application Letter – Checklist

Writing a Letter of Application

1. In the opening paragraph:

a. Indicate how you heard about the opening.

b. State your objective and interest in the job.

c. Mention the job title

2. In the body of the letter;

a. Cite project and previous employment experiences that demonstrate your qualifications for the job.

b. Indicate how college course work, your degree, and pertinent training add to your qualifications for the job.

c. Refer to your enclosed resume

d. Explain how your qualifications and achievements can contribute to the prospective employer

3. In the closing paragraph;

a. Request an interview

b. Provide your phone number and e-mail address so that you can be contacted

c. End with a goodwill statement

After signature….


Enclosure: Resume

Harnessing the Science
of Persuasion by Robert B. Cialdini

A LUCKY FEW HAVE IT; most of US d o not. A handful
/ \ of gifted “naturals” simply know how to cap-

/ \ ture an audience, sway the undecided, and
convert the opposition. Watching these masters of
persuasion work their magic is at once impressive
and frustrating. What’s impressive is not just the easy
way they use charisma and eloquence to convince
others to do as they ask. It’s also how eager those
others are to do what’s requested of them, as if the
persuasion itself were a favor they couldn’t wait
to repay.

The frustrating part of the experience is that
these bom persuaders are often unahle to ac-
count for their remarkable skill or pass it on to
others. Their way with people is an art, and
artists as a rule are far hetter at doing than at
explaining. Most of them can’t offer much
help to those of us who possess no more
than the ordinary quotient of charisma
and eloquence but who still have to wres-
tle with leadership’s fundamental chal-
lenge: getting things done through oth-
ers. That challenge is painfully familiar
to corporate executives, who every day
have to figure out how to motivate
and direct a highly individualistic
workforce. Playing the “Because I’m
the boss” card is out. Even if it
weren’t demeaning and demoraliz-
ing for all concerned, it would be
out of place in a world where
cross-functional teams, joint ven-
tures, and intercompany part-
nerships have blurred the lines
of authority. In such an en-
vironment, persuasion skills
exert far greater influence
over others’ behavior than
formal power structures do.


Jo leader can succeed without mastering the art of persuasion.

But there’s hard science in that skill, too, and a large body

3f psychological research suggests there are six basic laws of

rinning friends and influencing people.


H a r n e s s i n g t h e S c i e n c e o f P e r s u a s i o n

Which brings us back to where we started. Persuasion
skills may be more necessary than ever, but how can ex-
ecutives acquire them if the most talented practitioners
can’t pass them along? By looking to science. For the past
five decades, behavioral scientists have conducted exper-
iments that shed considerable light on the way certain
interactions lead people to concede, comply, or change.
This research shows that persuasion works by appealing
to a limited set of deeply rooted human drives and needs,
and it does so in predictable ways. Persuasion, in other
words, is governed by basic principles that can be taught,
learned, and applied. By mastering these principles, exec-
utives can bring scientific rigor to the business of securing
consensus, cutting deals, and winning concessions. In the
pages that follow, 1 describe six fundamental principles of
persuasion and suggest a few ways that executives can
apply them in their own organizations.


People like those who like them.


Uncover real similarities and offer
genuine praise.

The retailing phenomenon known as the Tupperware
party is a vivid illustration of this principle in action.
The demonstration party for Tupperware products is
hosted by an individual, almost always a woman, who in-
vites to her home an array of friends, neighbors, and rel-
atives. The guests’ affection for their hostess predisposes
them to buy from her, a dynamic that was confirmed by
a 1990 study of purchase decisions made at demonstra-
tion parties. The researchers, Jonathan Frenzen and
Harry Davis, writing in the Journal of Consumer Research,
found that the guests’ fondness for their hostess weighed
twice as heavily in their purchase decisions as their re-
gard for the products they bought. So when guests at a
Tupperware party buy something, they aren’t just buy-
ing to please themselves. They’re buying to please their
hostess as well.

What’s true at Tupperware parties is true for business
in general: If you want to influence people, win friends.
How? Controlled research has identified several factors
that reliably increase liking, but two stand out as espe-

Robert B. Cialdini is the Regents’ Professor of Psychology
at Arizona State University and the author of Influence:
Science and Practice (Allyn & Bacon, 2001), now in its fourth
edition. Further regularly updated information about the in-
fluence process can be found at www.influenceatwork.com.

cially compelling-similarity and praise. Similarity liter-
ally draws people together. In one experiment, reported
in a 1968 article in the Journal of Personality, participants
stood physically closer to one another after learning that
they shared political beliefs and social values. And in a
1963 article in American Behavioral Scientists, researcher
F. B. Evans used demographic data from insurance com-
pany records to demonstrate that prospects were more
willing to purchase a policy from a salesperson who was
akin to them in age, religion, politics, or even cigarette-
smoking habits.

Managers can use similarities to create bonds with a re-
cent hire, the head of another department, or even a new
boss. Informal conversations during the workday create
an ideal opportunity to discover at least one common
area of enjoyment, be it a hobby, a college basketball
team, or reruns of Seinfeld. The important thing is to es-
tablish the bond early because it creates a presumption
of goodwill and trustworthiness in every subsequent
encounter. It’s much easier to build support for a new
project when the people you’re trying to persuade are al-
ready inclined in your favor.

Praise, tbe other reliable generator of affection, both
charms and disarms. Sometimes the praise doesn’t even
have to be merited. Researchers at the University of
North Carolina writing in the Journal of Experimental So-
cial Psychology found that men felt the greatest regard for
an individual who flattered them unstintingly even if the
comments were untrue. And in their book Interpersonal
Attraction (Addison-Wesley, 1978), Ellen Berscheid and
Elaine Hatfieid Walster presented experimental data
showing that positive remarks about another person’s
traits, attitude, or performance reliably generates liking in
retum, as well as willing compliance with the wishes of
the person offering the praise.

Along with cultivating a fruitful relationship, adroit
managers can also use praise to repair one that’s damaged
or unproductive. Imagine you’re the manager of a good-
sized unit within your organization. Your work frequently
brings you into contact with another manager-call him
Dan – whom you have come to dislike. No matter bow
much you do for him, it’s not enough. Worse, he never
seems to believe that you’re doing the best you can for
him. Resenting his attitude and his obvious lack of trust
in your abilities and in your good faith, you don’t spend
as much time with him as you know you should; in con-
sequence, the performance of both his unit and yours is

The research on praise points toward a strategy for fix-
ing the relationship. It may be hard to find, but there has
to be something about Dan you can sincerely admire,
whether it’s his concern for the people in his department,
his devotion to his family, or simply his work ethic. In
your next encounter with him, make an appreciative
comment about that trait. Make it clear that in this case


Harnessing the Science of Persuasion

at least, you value what tie values. I predict that Dan will
relax his relentless negativity and give you an opening to
convince him of your competence and good intentions.


People repay in kind.


Give what you want to receive.

Praise is likely to have a wanning and softening effect on
Dan because, ornery as he is, he is still human and subject
to the universal human tendency to treat people the way
they treat him. If you have ever caught yourself smiling at
a coworker just because he or she smiled first, you know
how this principle works.

Charities rely on reciprocity to help them raise funds.
For years, for instance, the Disabled American Veterans
organization, using only a well-crafted fund-raising letter,
garnered a very respectable 18% rate of response to its ap-
peals. But when the group started enclosing a small gift in
the envelope, the response rate nearly doubled to 35%.
The gift – personalized address labels – was extremely
modest, but it wasn’t what prospective donors received
that made the difference. It was that they had gotten any-
thing at all.

What works in that letter works at the office, too. It’s
more than an effusion of seasonal spirit, of course, that
impels suppliers to shower gifts on purchasing depart-
ments at holiday time. In 1996, purchasing managers ad-
mitted to an interviewer from Inc. magazine that after
having accepted a gift from a supplier, they were willing
to purchase products and services they would have oth-
erwise declined. Gifts also have a startling effect on re-
tention. I have encouraged readers of my book to send me
examples of the principles of influence at work in their
own lives. One reader, an employee of the State of Ore-
gon, sent a letter in which she oftered these reasons for
her commitment to her supervisor:

He gives me and my son gifts for Christmas and gives
me presents on my birthday. There is no promotion for
the type of job I have, and my only choice for one is to
move to another department. But I find myself resist-
ing trying to move. My boss is reaching retirement age,
and I am thinking 1 will be able to move out after he re-
tires….[F]or now, I feel obligated to stay since he has
been so nice to me.
Ultimately, though, gift giving is one of the cruder

applications of the rule of reciprocity. In its more sophis-
ticated uses, it confers a genuine first-mover advantage
on any manager who is trying to foster positive attitudes

and productive persona! relationships in the office:
Managers can elicit the desired behavior from cowork-
ers and employees by displaying it first Whether it’s a
sense of trust, a spirit of ctwperation, or a pleasant de-
meanor, leaders should model the behavior they want to
see from others.

The same holds true for managers faced with issues of
information delivery and resource allocation. If you lend
a member of your staff to a colleague who is shorthanded
and staring at a fast-approaching deadline, you will sig-
nificantly increase your chances of gefting help when you
need it. Your odds wil! improve even more if you say,
when your colleague thanks you for the assistance, some-
thing like, “Sure, glad to help. I know how important it is
for me to count on your help when I need it.”


Social Proof:
People follow the lead of similar others. ,


Use peer power whenever it’s available.

Social creatures that they are, human beings rely heav-
ily on the people around them for cues on how to think,
feel, and act. We know this intuitively, but intuition has
also been confirmed by experiments, such as the one first
described in 1982 in the Journal of Applied Psychology. A
group of researchers went door-to-door in Columbia,
South Carolina, soliciting donations for a charity cam-
paign and displaying a list of neighborhood residents who
had already donated to the cause. The researchers found
that the longer the donor list was, the more likely those
solicited would be to donate as well.

To the people being solicited, the friends’ and neigh-
bors’ names on the list were a form of socia! evidence
about how they should respond. But the evidence would
not have been nearly as compelling had the names been
those of random strangers. In an experiment from the
1960s, first described in the Journal of Personality and 50-
ciat Psychology, residents of New York City were asked to
retum a lost wallet to its owner. They were highly likely
to aftempt to return the waUet when they !earned that an-
other New Yorker had previous!y aftempted to do so. But
!eaming that someone from a foreign country had tried
to retum the wallet didn’t sway their decision one way or
the other.

The lesson for executives ftom these two experiments
is that persuasion can be extremely effective when it
comes from peers. The science supports what most sales
professionals already know: Testimonials from satis-
fied customers work best when the satisfied customer

OCTOBER 2001 75

Harnessing the Science of Persuasion

and the prospective customer share similar circum-
stances. That lesson can help a manager faced with the
task of selling a new corporate initiative. Imagine that
you’re trying to streamline your department’s work
processes. A group of veteran employees is resisting.
Rather than try to convince the employees of the move’s
merits yourself, ask an old-timer who supports the initia-
tive to speak up for it at a team meeting. The compatriot’s
testimony stands a much better chance of convincing the
group than yet another speech from the boss. Stated sim-
ply, influence is often best exerted horizontally rather
than vertically.


People align with their clear commitments.


Make their commitments active,
public, and voluntary.

Liking is a powerful force, but the work of persuasion in-
volves more than simply making people feel warmly to-
ward you, your idea, or your product. People need not
only to like you but to feel committed to what you want
them to do. Good turns are one reliable way to make peo-
ple feel obligated to you. Another is to win a public com-
mitment from them.

My own research has demonstrated that most people,
once they take a stand or go on record in favor of a posi-
tion, prefer to stick to it. Other studies reinforce that find-
ing and go on to show how even a small, seemingly triv-
ial commitment can have a powerful effect on future
actions. Israeli researchers writing in 1983 in the Person-
ality and Social Psychology Bulletin recounted how they
asked half the residents of a large apartment complex to
sign a petition favoring the establishment of a recreation
center for the handicapped. The cause was good and the
request was small, so almost everyone who was asked
agreed to sign. T\vo weeks later, on National Collection
Day for the Handicapped, all residents of the complex
were approached at home and asked to give to the cause.
A little more than half of those who were not asked to
sign the petition made a contribution. But an astounding
92% of those who did sign donated money. The residents
of the apartment complex felt obligated to live up to their
commitments because those commitments were active,
public, and voluntary. These three features are worth con-
sidering separately.

There’s strong empirical evidence to show that a choice
made actively – one that’s spoken out loud or written
down or otherwise made explicit – is considerably more

likely to direct someone’s future conduct than the same
choice left unspoken. Writing in 1996 in the Personality
and Social Psychology Bulletin, Delia Cioffi and Randy Gar-
ner described an experiment in which college students in
one group were asked to fill out a printed form saying
they wished to volunteer for an AIDS education project
in the public schools. Students in another group volun-
teered for the same project by leaving blank a form stat-
ing that they didn’t want to participate. A few days later,
when the volunteers reported for duty, 74% of those who
showed up were students from the group that signaled
their commitment by filling out the form.

The implications are clear for a manager who wants to
persuade a subordinate to follow some particular course
of action: Get it in writing. Let’s suppose you want your
employee to submit reports in a more timely fashion.
Once you believe you’ve won agreement, ask him to sum-
marize the decision in a memo and send it to you. By
doing so, you’ll have greatly increased the odds that he’ll
fulfill the commitment because, as a rule, people live up
to what they have written down.

Research into the social dimensions of commitment
suggests that written statements become even more pow-
erful when they’re made public. In a classic experiment,
described in 1955 in the Journal of Abnormal and Social
Psychology, college students were asked to estimate the
length of lines projected on a screen. Some students were
asked to write down their choices on a piece of paper, sign
it, and hand the paper to the experimenter. Others wrote
their choices on an erasable slate, then erased the slate im-
mediately. Still others were instructed to keep their deci-
sions to themselves.

The experimenters then presented all three groups
with evidence that their initial choices may have been
wrong. Those who had merely kept their decisions in their
heads were the most likely to reconsider their original es-
timates. More loyal to their first guesses were the students
in the group that had written them down and immedi-
ately erased them. But by a wide margin, the ones most re-
luctant to shift from their original choices were those who
had signed and handed them to the researcher.

This experiment highlights how much most people
wish to appear consistent to others. Consider again the
matter of the employee who has been submitting late re-
ports. Recognizing the power of this desire, you should,
once you’ve successfully convinced him of the need to be
more timely, reinforce the commitment by making sure it
gets a public airing. One way to do that would be to send
the employee an e-mail that reads, “1 think your plan is
just what we need. I showed it to Diane in manufacturing
and Phil in shipping, and they thought it was right on tar-
get, too.” Whatever way such commitments are formal-
ized, they should never be like the New Year’s resolutions
people privately make and then abandon with no one the
wiser. They should be publicly made and visibly posted.


Harnessing the Science of Persuasion

More than 300 years ago, Samuel Butler wrote a cou-
plet that explains succinctly why commitments must be
voluntary to be lasting and effective: “He that complies
against his will/Is of his own opinion still.” If an undertak-
ing is forced, coerced, or imposed from the outside, it’s not
a commitment; it’s an unwelcome burden. Think how you
would react if your boss pressured you to donate to the
campaign of a political candidate. Would that make you
more apt to opt for that candidate in the privacy of a vot-
ing booth? Not likely. In fact, in their 1981 book Psycho-
logical Reactance (Academic Press), Sharon S. Brehm and
Jack W. Brehm present data that suggest you’d vote the
opposite way just to express your resentment of the boss’s

This kind of backlash can occur in the office, too. Let’s
return again to that tardy employee. If you want to pro-
duce an enduring change in his behavior, you should
avoid using threats or pressure tactics to gain his compli-
ance. He’d likely view any change in his behavior as the
result of intimidation rather than a personal commitment
to change. A better approach would be to identify some-
thing that the employee genuinely values in the work-
place – high-quality workmanship, perhaps, or team
spirit-and then describe how timely reports are consis-
tent with those values. That gives the employee reasons
for improvement that he can own. And because he owns
them, they’ll continue to guide his behavior even when
you’re not watching.


People defer to experts.


Expose your expertise; don’t assume
it’s self-evident

T\vo thousand years ago, the Roman poet Virgil offered
this simple counsel to those seeking to choose correctly:
“Believe an expert.” That may or may not be good advice,
but as a description of what people actually do, it can’t be
beaten. For instance, when the news media present an ac-
knowledged expert’s views on a topic, the effect on pub-
lic opinion is dramatic. A single expert-opinion news story
in the New York Times is associated with a 2% shift in pub-
lic opinion nationwide, according to a 1993 study de-
scribed in the Public Opinion Quarterly. And researchers
writing in the American Political Science Review in 1987
found that when the expert’s view was aired on national
television, public opinion shifted as much as 4%. A cynic
might argue that these findings only illustrate the docile
submissiveness of the public. But a fairer explanation is

that, amid the teeming complexity of contemporary life,
a well-selected expert offers a valuable and efficient short-
cut to good decisions. Indeed, some questions, be they
legal, financial, medical, or technological, require so much
specialized knowledge to answer, we have no choice but
to rely on experts.

Since there’s good reason to defer to experts, execu-
tives should take pains to ensure that they establish their

Surprisingly often, people mistakenly

assume that others recognize and

appreciate their experience.

own expertise before they attempt to exert influence. Sur-
prisingly often, people mistakenly assume that others rec-
ognize and appreciate their experience. That’s what hap-
pened at a hospital where some colleagues and I were
consulting. The physical therapy staffers were frustrated
because so many of their stroke patients abandoned their
exercise routines as soon as they left the hospital. No mat-
ter how often the staff emphasized the importance of
regular home exercise-it is, in fact, crucial to the process
of regaining independent function – the message just
didn’t sink in.

Interviews with some of the patients helped us pin-
point the problem. They were familiar with the back-
ground and training of their physicians, but the patients
knew little about the credentials of the physical therapists
wbo were urging them to exercise. It was a simple matter
to remedy that lack of information: We merely asked the
therapy director to display all the awards, diplomas, and
certifications of her staff on the walls of the therapy
rooms. The result was startling: Exercise compliance
jumped 34% and has never dropped since.

What we found immensely gratifying was not just how
much we increased compliance, but how. We didn’t fool
or browbeat any of the patients. We informed them into
compliance. Nothing had to be invented; no time or re-
sources had to be spent in the process. The staff’s exper-
tise was real -all we had to do was make it more visible.

The task for managers who want to establish their
claims to expertise is somewhat more difficult. They can’t
simply nail their diplomas to the wall and wait for every-
one to notice. A little subtlety is called for. Outside the
United States, it is customary for people to spend time in-
teracting socially before getting down to business for the
first time. Frequently they gather for dinner the night be-
fore their meeting or negotiation. These get-togethers can

OCTOBER 2001 77

Harnessing the Science of Persuasion

Persuasion Experts, Safe at Last

Thanks to several decades of rigorous empirical
research by behavioral scientists, our understand-
ing of the how and why of persuasion has never
been broader, deeper, or more detailed. But these
scientists aren’t the first students of the subject.
The history of persuasion studies is an ancient
and honorable one, and it has generated a long
rosterof heroes and martyrs.

A renowned student of social influence,
William McCui re, contends in a chapter of the
Handbook of Social Psychology, 3rd ed. (Oxford
University Press, 1985) that scattered among the
more than four millennia of recorded Western
history are four centuries in which the study of
persuasion flourished as a craft. The first was the
Periclean Age of ancient Athens, the second oc-
curred during the years of the Roman Republic,
the next appeared in the time of the European
Renaissance, and the last extended over the hun-
dred years that have just ended, which witnessed
the advent of large-scale advertising, mformation,
and mass media campaigns. Each of the three
previous centuries of systematic persuasion study
was marked by a flowering of human achieve-
ment that was suddenly cut short when political
authorities had the masters of persuasion killed.
The philosopher Socrates is probably the best
known of the persuasion experts to run afoul of
the powers that be.

Information about the persuasion process is a
threat because it creates a base of power entirely
separate from the one controlled by political au-
thorities. Faced with a rival source of influence,
rulers in previous centuries had few qualms
about eliminating those rare individuals who
truly understood how to marshal forces that
heads of state have never been able to monopo-
lize, such as cleverly crafted language, strategi-
cally placed information, and, most important,
psychological insight.

It would perhaps be expressing too much faith
in human nature to claim that persuasion experts
no longer face a threat from those who wield politi-
cal power. But because the truth about persuasion
is no longer the sole possession of a few brilliant,
inspired individuals, experts in the field can pre-
sumably breathe a littie easier Indeed, since most
people in power are interested in remaining in
power, they’re likely to be more interested in ac-
quiring persuasion skills than abolishing them.

make discussions easier and help blunt disagreements-
remember the findings about liking and similarity – and
they can also provide an opportunity to establish exp)er-
tise. Perhaps it’s a matter of telling an anecdote about
successfully solving a problem similar to the one that’s on
the agenda at the next day’s meeting. Or perhaps dinner
is the time to describe years spent mastering a complex
discipline-not in a boastful way but as part of the ordi-
nary give-and-take of conversation.

Granted, there’s not always time for lengthy introduc-
tory sessions. But even in the course of the preliminary
conversation that precedes most meetings, there is almost
always an opportunity to touch lightly on your relevant
background and experience as a natural part of a sociable
exchange. This initial disclosure of personal information
gives you a chance to establish expertise early in the
game, so that when the discussion turns to the business at
hand, what you have to say will be accorded the respect it


People want more ofwhat they can have less of.


Highlight unique benefits and
exclusive information.

Study after study shows that items and opportunities are
seen to be more valuable as they become less available.
That’s a tremendously useful piece of information for
managers. They can harness the scarcity principle with
the organizational equivalents of limited-time, limited-
supply, and one-of-a-kind offers. Honestly informing a
coworker of a closing window of opportunity-the chance
to get the boss’s ear before she leaves for an extended va-
cation, perhaps-can mobilize action dramatically.

Managers can learn from retailers how to frame their
offers not in terms of what people stand to gain but in
terms ofwhat they stand to lose if they don’t act on the in-
formation. The power of “loss language” was demon-
strated in a 1988 study of California home owners written
up in the Journal of Applied Psychology. Half were told
that if they fully insulated their homes, they would save
a certain amount of money each day. The other half were
told that if they failed to insulate, they would lose that
amount each day. Significantly more people insulated
their homes when exposed to the loss language. The same
phenomenon occurs in business. According t o a 1994
study in the journal Organizational Behavior and Human
Decision Processes, potential losses figure far more heavily
in managers’ decision making than potential gains.


Harnessing the Science of Persuasion

In framing their offers, executives should also remem-
ber that exclusive information is more persuasive than
widely available data. A doctoral student of mine, Amram
Knishinsky, wrote his 1982 dissertation on the purchase
decisions of wholesale beef buyers. He observed that they
more than doubled their orders when they were told that,
because of certain weather conditions overseas, there was
likely to be a scarcity of foreign beef in the near future.
But their orders increased 600% when they were in-
formed that no one else had that information yet.

The persuasive power of exclusivity can be harnessed
by any manager who comes into possession of informa-
tion that’s not broadly available and that supports an idea
or initiative he or she would like the organization to
adopt. The next time that kind of information crosses
your desk, round up your organization’s key players. The
information itself may seem dull, but exclusivity will give
it a special sheen. Push it across your desk and say, “I just
got this report today. It won’t be distributed until next
week, but I want to give you an early look at what it
shows.” Then watch your listeners lean forward.

Allow me to stress here a point that should be obvious.
No offer of exclusive information, no exhortation to act
now or miss this opportunity forever should be made un-
less it is genuine. Deceiving colleagues into compliance is
not only ethically objectionable, it’s foolhardy. If the de-
ception is detected-and it certainly will b e – i t will snuff
out any enthusiasm the offer originally kindled. It will
also invite dishonesty toward the deceiver. Remember the
rule of reciprocity.

Putting It All Together
There’s nothing abstruse or obscure about these six prin-
ciples of persuasion. Indeed, they neatly codify our intu-
itive understanding of the ways people evaluate informa-
tion and form decisions. As a result, the principles are
easy for most people to grasp, even those with no formal
education in psychology. But in the seminars and work-
shops I conduct, I have learned that two points bear re-
peated emphasis.

First, although the six principles and their applications
can be discussed separately for the sake of clarity, they
should be applied in combination to compound their im-
pact. For instance, in discussing the importance of ex-
pertise, I suggested that managers use informal, social
conversations to establish their credentials. But that con-
versation affords an opportunity to gain information as
well as convey it. While you’re showing your dinner com-
panion that you have the skills and experience your busi-
ness problem demands, you can also learn about your
companion’s background, likes, and dislikes – informa-
tion that will help you locate genuine similarities and
give sincere compliments. By letting your expertise sur-
face and also establishing rapport, you double your per-

suasive power. And if you succeed in bringing your din-
ner partner on board, you may encourage other peopie
to sign on as well, thanks to the persuasive power of so-
cial evidence.

The other point I wish to emphasize is that the rules
of ethics apply to the science of social influence just as
they do to any other technology. Not only is it ethically
wrong to trick or trap others into assent, it’s ill-advised in
practical terms. Dishonest or high-pressure tactics work
only in the short run, if at all. Their long-term effects are
malignant, especially within an organization, which can’t
function properly without a bedrock level of trust and

That point is made vividly in the following account,
which a department head for a large textile manufacturer
related at a training workshop I conducted. She described
a vice president in her company who wrung public com-
mitments from department heads in a highly manipu-
lative manner. Instead of giving his subordinates time
to talk or think through his proposals carefully, he would
approach them individually at the busiest moment of
their workday and describe the benefits of his plan in
exhaustive, patience-straining detail. Then he would
move in for the kill. “It’s very important for me to see
you as being on my team on this,” he would say. “Can I
count on your support?” Intimidated, frazzled, eager to
chase the man from their offices so they could get back
to work, the department heads would invariably go along
with his request. But because the commitments never
felt voluntary, the department heads never followed
through, and as a result the vice president’s initiatives all
blew up or petered out.

Tliis story had a deep impact on the other participants
in the workshop. Some gulped in shock as they recog-
nized their own manipulative behavior. But what stopped
everyone cold was the expression on the department
head’s face as she recounted the damaging collapse of her
superior’s proposals. She was smiling.

Nothing I could say would more effectively make the
point that the deceptive or coercive use of the principles
of social infiuence is ethically wrong and pragmatically
wrongheaded. Yet the same principles, if applied appro-
priately, can steer decisions correctly. Legitimate exper-
tise, genuine obligations, authentic similarities, real so-
cial proof, exclusive news, and freely made commitments
can produce choices that are likely to benefit both parties.
And any approach that works to everyone’s mutual ben-
efit is good business, don’t you think? Of course, I don’t
want to press you into it, but, if you agree, 1 would love it
if you could just jot me a memo to that effect. ^

Reprint R0109D
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MGT 309 Faculty: Bryan School of Business and Economics

What Decisions to Create a “Get the Job” Resume

Thirty to forty-five seconds that’s all the time you have to impress your potential employer.  When the resume-reader sits down to review the application letters and resumes, the leader’s first task is to sort the applicants into three interview choice piles –  yes, no,  and maybe.  And of course, we want our resume to land in the ‘yes’ pile to get the call for the interview.   So, now let’s review your document-creation decision-points, so that you get the leader’s attention.  

Before we start talking about the resume, we need to first talk about you.  Do you know where you are going?  You need to choose your life’s direction.  Where do you want to be in 1 year, in 5 years and in 20 years from now.  When you know where you’re going, you can create the steps to achievement.  It’s focused attention that yields success.  So, your preparation step is to study you – your strengths, your gifts and talents, your likes and dislikes, your limitations.

After you know more about you, then you’re ready to make your resume document-creation decisions.  Let’s explore them now.

Decision One:  What are the company values? 

For instance, let’s say you value ‘customer wow’ – you just love to go out of your way to impress the customer, and let’s say you are researching a company and learn that they value timeliness.  It’s likely that you, at some point, will be in a dilemma situation when these two values  conflict – Do you spend lots of time with a particular customer to impress them or not?  If you spend too much time with them, your employer will not be happy with you.  This is a base-line decision.  In order to be happy and in order for your employer to be happy, you and the organization need to care about the same thing. 

Decision Two:  Who is the reader? 

What are the person’s values?  You must know who will read your resume.  Does this person think hierarchically or collaboratively?  Does this person prefer details or big-picture thinking?   Maybe this leader values details to a heightened level.  You need to know your reader in order to craft your language to better connect that person.  If you are unable to learn information about the decision-maker, then write toward the company values.  Study the advertisement or job description to know what they want. You decision is to understand your audience and match your language to his/her perspective within the bounds of honesty and integrity.

Decision Three:    List an objective or don’t list an objective? 

Employers can tell how much interest you have in the company and the open position by the way you write your objective.  Here’s the hint – be sure you write a very short direct objective, like Systems Analysis for ABC Corporation.  Don’t write something like ‘to obtain a position with a local company where I can utilize my education and experience.’  That last statement tells the reader that you do not know what you want.  And if you tell the prospective employer that you do not have clear direction, you are sending your resume directly to the ‘no’ pile.  Leaders want confident employees.

Decision Five:  What is the best language for the reader?   

The words, the language, that you use will engage or repel the reader.  You need to make a number of decisions.

· How formal or not formal

· Just a few powerful words and concise elaboration

· Number of bullet points for the categories (The more bullet points a category gets, the more important you are saying that information is.)

· The way you word the bullet point as it links to your objective

Decision Six:  What is the best organization for the reader? 

Organization is key.  Since the reader is only giving you seconds of initial attention, you document needs to be easy to read.  And what makes the document easy to read is…it’s organization and beauty on the page.  Your resume needs to be readable in a glance.  Be sure to ask yourself what information needs to be the power positions on the page.  The power positions are the top 2/10ths – 3/10th’s  of the page and the last position on the page.  Be smart about what you locate in these positions and how much weight you give that information.  This decision tells the leader what you deem valuable.

Decision Seven:  How much personality do I show and how do I do that?  

Your employer is going to choose someone that positively connects.  All of us want be with people we like.  So, in your resume document, notice what sets you apart from others, review your words thinking about you – what picture are your painting about yourself. 

The important question that the leader is answering is ‘Are you a perfect fit?” 

Writing: Persuasive Application (Cover) Letter

Study the job advertisement and notice the top three ‘things’ the employer wants.  Simply, write your response to how you have these three (given that you do.)


Your Name
Your Street Address
Your City, State & Zip

Contact’s Name
Contact’s Job Title
Contact’s Company Name
Contact’s Street Address, Suite #
Company City, State, Zip

Dear Mr./Ms. Contact,
The first paragraph connects to purpose – tell the reader why you’re contacting him/her and how you came to know of the position. This statement is to be quick & simple and catchy. A last line is to give a brief synopsis of who you are and why you want the position framed towards the audience – not you, maybe name 3 body point items.

Item one – topic sentence – use the same word that you spoke as the intention (that’s being in integrity). And a couple of sentences that tell the story of evidence. Use Emotional Word Pictures for persuasion.

Item one – topic sentence – use the same word that you spoke as the intention (that’s being in integrity). And a couple of sentences that tell the story of evidence. Use Emotional Word Pictures for persuasion.
Item one – topic sentence – use the same word that you spoke as the intention (that’s being in integrity). And a couple of sentences that tell the story of evidence. Use Emotional Word Pictures for persuasion.

The final paragraph (of usually two sentences) is a cordial exit, a request for an interview, and your contact information. (Write nearly a full-page.)


Confident Writer

Writing: Persuasive Application (Cover) Letter

Study the job advertisement and notice the top three ‘things’ the employer wants.  Simply, write your response to how you have these three (given that you do.)


Your Name
Your Street Address
Your City, State & Zip


Contact’s Name
Contact’s Job Title
Contact’s Company Name
Contact’s Street Address, Suite #
Company City, State, Zip

Dear Mr./Ms. Contact,

The first paragraph connects to purpose – tell the reader why you’re contacting him/her and how you came to know of the position. This statement is to be quick & simple and catchy. A last line is to give a brief synopsis of who you are and why you want the position framed towards the audience – not you, maybe name 3 body point items.

Second Paragraph: Item one – topic sentence – use the same word that you spoke as the intention (that’s being in integrity)/body point items. And a couple of sentences that tell the story of evidence. Use Emotional Word Pictures for persuasion.

Third Paragraph: Item one – topic sentence – use the same word that you spoke as the intention (that’s being in integrity) body point items. And a couple of sentences that tell the story of evidence. Use Emotional Word Pictures for persuasion.

Fourth Paragraph: Item one – topic sentence – use the same word that you spoke as the intention (that’s being in integrity)/ body point items. And a couple of sentences that tell the story of evidence. Use Emotional Word Pictures for persuasion.

The final paragraph (of usually two sentences) is a cordial exit, a request for an interview, and your contact information. (Write nearly a full-page.)


Confident Writer

encl: ?

Howto Write


ccomplishment Statements

Your résumé is to highlight your accomplishments that relate to your career objective. (Notice that an objective is the premise in this strategy –it’s not optional.)

I. An accomplishment is something that you made happen that demonstrates a benefit because of what you did (What did you do and what was the outcome of your action?). Good accomplishment statements use strong action verbs and have the following characteristics:

· State what action you took to improve a situation

· Express how your action benefited the organization

· State the results of your action in numerical or percentage terms

· Begin with an action verb

II. Action statements are powerful to show what you did on the job and how your contributions were effective. Ask yourself the following questions:

· What am I proud of?

· What problem did I solve and what was the result?

· Whom did I help to accomplish what?

· How did I make a difference in an organization?

· How did you help making someone else’s life easier or more successful?




oordinated fundraiser and raised $ 5,000 for Habitat for Humanity

· Provided excellent customer service by assessing clients’ needs, suggesting appropriate services, and responding to questions

· Initiated cost reduction plan in my division, resulting in 27% ($135,000) cost reduction with no negative impact on production capability.

· Taught reading skills to 20 inner city kids resulting in all students passing the basic skills exam.

· Supervised a team of six service employees. Led team to win the annual team of the year award in our division.

· Initiated, organized, and successfully lead PTA.

· Scheduled travel arrangement for nine sales professional to ensure efficient use of their time.

· Designed and authored a training manual for sales force.

· Fostered an engaging and challenging learning environment for a diverse group of children to support their successful high school graduation.

III. Complete the following template in order to help develop powerful persuasive statements.

A. Describe a problem, situation, or opportunity you faced

B. The action you took (check action verb list)

C. The result/outcome of your action, quantify if possible

Then, summarize A, B, and C in one statement.




Into one Statement

First Last

XX XX Address

Jamestown, NC 27282

6/15/2012 Comment by laptop: Write out

Truliant Federal Credit Union

Member Service Specialist

Truliant Federal Credit Union

1835 Dueber Avenue Southwest

Canton, Ohio 44706

Dear Sir or Madam, Comment by laptop: No find out who – I am wondering if you reviewed the material

I am contacting you in regards to the Member Service Specialist position available in Canton, Ohio. I came to know of this position while browsing your website a few days ago. My name is First Name and I’m a recent graduate of UNC-Greensboro’s Bryan Business School
. As a graduate of one of the best business programs in the country, I feel I will be a suitable candidate for the position
. Comment by laptop: Don’t intro self Comment by laptop: Sounds too ego driven Comment by laptop: Where is your preview statement?

Throughout my life I have persevered by always aiming for perfection. Throughout my years in school, I maintained an A average and never allowed myself to become distracted. As a Truliant employee I will never take my eyes of the prize and will always serve my company and our member-owners with the highest quality of service Truliant is known for
. As a loyal member of Truliant, I grew up dreaming of one day working for the company I’ve always admired and I’m hoping that this is my chance. Comment by laptop: Do not exaggerate or use 100% words – they actually can cause doubt. Comment by laptop: This is not about Truliant

For the last four years I’ve worked with the biggest names in both retail and wholesale and I definetly know how to satisfy customers. As an employee of both Wal-Mart and Costco, I’ve learned that there is nothing more important that customer satisfaction. As an employee of Truliant FCU, I will make sure that our members are well taken care of and I will continue to provide the exceptional level of service that has come to be expected from me. Comment by laptop: Again another claim, not a story of how. Comment by laptop: By doing what?

My legendary customer service techniques aren’t my only skills. As a master of data basing technology as well as all Microsoft Office programs, I’ll be ready to hit the ground running on day one. I have also spent most of my life studying the financial sector and will be ready to serve Truliant’s member-owners with grace and competence.

I would like to thank you for taking the time to review my application and hope that you will find me to be the most suitable candidate for the job. I would love to be invited for an interview so I can answer any and all questions you may have in entirety. Comment by laptop: Where are your contact information? How should the potential employer reach you?


First Last

student@uncg.edu Comment by laptop: This letter is an example of student not having read the suggestions or the guidelines correctly.

First Last
2303 Address
Greensboro, NC 27407

June 7, 2012

Doug Anderson
453 Lincoln Street, First Floor
Carlisle, PA 17013

Dear Mr. Anderson,

I am delighted to respond to the advertisement for the Jr. Web Project Manager position with WebpageFX that appears at UNCG SpartanCareer website. I hope you will find my experiences and skills and make me the right candidate for the job. I am interested in working with WebpageFX. Comment by laptop: Missing preview statement. Note the intro is already longer.
Note: Adding a preview statement will likely make this para larger than the body points. So trim words as necessary.

I have a lot of experience from working in high quality university; especially most of my classes involve teamwork. In my Web Design class, I learned and practiced my knowledge about web design, development, and implementation with my team members. Also, my marketing class will help a lot on web marketing campaigns. My knowledge and ability could be very useful in your company. Comment by laptop: Language is too casual here. Comment by laptop: Again, language is too casual

I have working experience qualified the Web Project Manager position. When I am working in UNCG IT Service as lab consultant, I developed experience on web design skills. Through this experience, I do not only have good communication skills in teamwork, but also I can make customer satisfied in most efficient time. Comment by laptop: For example – tell me more story

Because I am working in UNCG Chinese Student & Scholar Association as the vice president, we are in process to design an official website to serve present and future students and scholars. I am leading this team to deliver multiple kinds of useful messages and trying to reach multiple clients’ satisfaction. Comment by laptop: Need more content

I hope to hear your thought on my resume and have the interview opportunity to express my concern. I can be reached at 336-699-4444 and looking forward to hear from you soon.


First Last

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