Here’s your cover letter. What I need for you to do is to go through the red items and write them in more specific terms. Remember your ABCD’s: Audience, Behavior, Condition, Degree.Oh, wait, that’s for writing performance objectives. Still, it will work for you:Audience – Answers the question “Who?” in the form of a problem statement. Could be donors, management, or even patients in the hospitalBehavior – What specific steps you took to solve the problem.Condition – What were the obstacles you overcame?Degree – What were your success criteria, usually in terms of dollars made, dollars saved, units collected, loss prevented, new donors added, etc. Something quantifiable, even if it’s a percentage.
Just pulled up this FastCompany artilcle on the new Instagram Polaroid camera.
Not too long ago the news was that Polaroid was dead. It was an ancient technology that had served its purpose and was headed for the ash heap of history, nothing more than a quaint museum piece of long-forgotten technology. Why? Because the ability of folks to share photos through Instagram easily coupled with the ability to add cool effects without any Photoshop skills made it the latest new thing. No matter that the bulk of Instagram photos were girls making duck faces in the bathroom mirror or people posting pictures of food. This was THE app to have on your phone. But now Instagram may be partnering with Polaroid to create an Instagram camera. And it looks sharp.
This got me to thinking. What other “old” is new? Especially in the training and education world? Blooms taxonomy is old but has been revised of late so it is new. I’ve seen discussions here and there about folks either pronouncing it dead or staunchly defending it. Maybe it’s time to match Bloom up with something new and different and see what comes out?
I had an interview this week about a project to increase usage of a client’s Data Warehouse application to generate reports. When I was talking to then about measurement, they suggested maybe we could measure how many people click on the training or complete the course. I suggested that we look at database usage instead. Seems to me like Kirkpatrick is something old that needs to be made new.
So am I just talking the talk here or is there a place for me to walk? I’m working with an individual looking for new opportunities outside her current job and she asked me for help with her cover letter. Part of what we needed to include was basic – she needed stronger accomplishment statements that focused on measurable outcomes. Instead of “Managed XYZ program and increased donations” I told her it needs more punch. So I pulled out of the dark recesses of my minds some Instructional Design Theory – Mager’s and Gagne’s methods for writing performance objectives – and used the ABCD method in the new context of job seeker cover letters to marry one thing with another. Who would have thought that ISD theory was a part of a career search strategy? This is what I sent her on Wednesday:
We did come up with a nice set of statements focusing on her five key skills that she wanted to promote using the above formula. And just like the Instragram Camera, it was a little bit of both and a lot like neither. We just need to be on the lookout for ways to bring the old (think tried-and-true) into the new.