Cover Letter Outline by Emilymohar

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									Professional Development
                    Cover Letter Outline

                                                           Your Address
                                                          City, State, Zip

(Ms. or Mr.) I.M. Hiring
Personnel Manager
Name of Company
Company Address
City, State, Zip
Dear (Ms. or Mr.) Hiring:

Your opening paragraph should arouse interest on the part of the reader.
Tell the employer why you are writing the letter. Do not say in the first
paragraph that you are looking for a job. Give information to show your
specific interest in the company.

Your middle paragraphs should create desire. Give details of your
background that will show the reader why one should consider you as a
candidate. Be as specific as possible about the kind of a job you want.
Don't make the reader try to guess what you would be interested in.

Refer the reader to your general qualifications on your enclosed resume
or other material. Use as much space as you need to tell your story but
keep it brief and to the point.

In your closing paragraph you ask for action. Ask for an appointment
suggesting a time when you will contact the individual. You may now list
your dates of availability.

Sincerely yours,

[Your Signature]

Type your name here

                     SD FFA Leadership Retreat 2009

                      Partnering SD FFA and Monsanto
Design 101

                    Design for All Print Materials
Four Design Principles:

  o Contrast (making elements look very different from each other)
        o If you use one script font, use a sans-serif font with it
  o Repetition (continuing the same idea throughout the design)
        o Use the same logo, colors, lines, etc. to stay consistent
  o Alignment (organizing elements to look unified)
        o You can justify design to the right, left, center (and
            sometimes more), just pick one and stick with it.
  o Proximity (placing related items together)
        o For events, put the time, date, location, etc. in the same
What else is important?

   o Audience (designing to attract a specific audience)
        o Ask yourself who is your audience and what do they want?
        o The elderly need bigger font sizes and probably wouldn‟t
           enjoy a fluorescent yellow flyer.
   o Typography (using two readable, contrasting fonts)
        o Always, always, always choose a readable serif font for any
           body copy!
        o Get fancy with headers, but make sure they are legible
        o Serif fonts have tails on the end of letters, like Times New
           Roman and Adobe Garamond Pro
        o Sans-serif fonts do not have tails, like Arial and Franklin
           Gothic Book
        o Don‟t use caps too much – it‟s harder to read
   o Simplicity (creating a clean design piece with enough white space)
        o Clean means not cluttered – the less on the page, the easier
           it is for the reader to digest the information
        o If something doesn‟t fit, delete it
   o White space (not necessarily white – but open space for readers‟
     eyes to rest)
        o Too much of anything can give someone a headache
   o Color (using color to add interest, but usually only two or three)
        o Don‟t use color because you want to, use it because it adds
           to the message
                   o Warm (red, orange, yellow) vs. cool (blue, purple,
                       green) colors, what do they mean to different

                    SD FFA Leadership Retreat 2009

                    Partnering SD FFA and Monsanto
Public Relations

  1. Do good work.
         a. If people aren‟t reading it, you are wasting time and money
         b. Put together something that you are proud of
  2. Check out other newsletters.
         a. What are they doing? How can you do it better?
  3. Content.
         a. Make a list of story ideas that should be in the newsletter
         b. Think about photo or graphic options for each story
                 i. Do not “borrow” online images. Find free images if
                    (EX: has both free and buyable
                ii. Consider taking your own photos which add a
                    personal touch
         c. Remember your audience and what they would like to learn
  4. Create a prototype.
         a. Choose a grid – newsletters are usually 3 – 5 columns for
            each page
         b. Choose colors – remember the audience
         c. Choose fonts – for headlines, body copy, etc.
         d. Design a flag (the newsletter name on the front page)
         e. Consider adding pull-out quotes to capture interest in a
         f. Consider lines, page numbers, and other possible elements
            to add consistency
         g. Show your co-workers, boss, etc. How do they feel about it?
  5. File type.
         a. Is this a print newsletter or an email newsletter?
                 i. Print: Talk to the printer and find out what they need
                    from you
                ii. Email: Use a file type that most computers have (EX:
                    PDFs work well, others use Word)

                    SD FFA Leadership Retreat 2009

                     Partnering SD FFA and Monsanto
Public Relations

         10 Do’s When Meeting with Community Leaders

1. Learn a little about their business or project before the meeting.

2. Brainstorm common questions to ask before the visit so you don‟t get
stuck without anything to say during the meeting.

3. Create a positive first impression. Look them in the eye, give them a
firm hand shake, and clearly introduce yourself.

4. Lead the meeting. Thank them for taking time to meet with you,
preview your objectives for the meeting and do a time check (ask how
much time they have for the meeting.)

5. Remember their name and use it throughout the visit. It might help
to repeat their name out loud during introductions. “Mr. Smith, it‟s nice
to meet you.” “Hi, Mr. Smith, I‟m Jane.”

6. Bridge your passion and mission with theirs. After listening to their
description of what they do, connect a piece of that to something you are
involved with, enjoy, or care about.

7. Be a professional…in conversation, actions, and body language.

8. Be yourself. It‟s important to maintain a professional, focused
attitude during the visit, but leaders will respect your ability to share
who you are and what‟s important to you.

9. Confirm any follow up steps at the end of the meeting. Ex: They will
donate to you, you will call them back to answer a question they had,
one of you will send further information, etc.

10. Have fun with this chance to learn about them and make a
connection with this leader. Thank them for their interest in you and
their service to your community.

                     SD FFA Leadership Retreat 2009

                      Partnering SD FFA and Monsanto
Supervised Agricultural Experience Opportunities

Ag Communications E/P                     Fiber & Oil Crop Production E/P

Agricultural Education                    Floriculture E/P

Ag Mechanics Design & Fabrication         Food Science and Technology E/P
                                          Forage Production E/P
Ag Mechanics Energy Systems
                                          Forest Management & Products E/P
Ag mechanics Repair & Maintenance
E/P                                       Fruit Production E/P

Ag Processing E/P                         Grain Production E/P

Ag Sales Entrepreneurship                 Home and/or Community
                                          Development E/P
Ag Sales Placement
                                          Landscape Management E/P
Ag Service E/P
                                          Nursery Operations E/P
                                          Outdoor Recreation E/P
Beef Production E/P
                                          Poultry Production E/P
Dairy Production E/P
                                          Sheep Production E/P
Diversified Ag Production
                                          Small Animal Production & Care
Diversified Crop P/E                      E/P

Diversified Crop Production               Specialty Animal Prod. & Care E/P
                                          Specialty Crop Production E/P
Diversified Horticulture E/P
                                          Swine Production Entrepreneurship
Diversified Livestock Production E/P
                                          Swine Production Placement
Emerging Ag technology E/P
                                          Turf Management E/P
Environ. Science & Nat. Resource
          E/P                             Vegetable Production E/P

          Equine Science E/P              Veterinary Medicine
                                          E/P (NEW!!!)

                       SD FFA Leadership Retreat 2009

                         Partnering SD FFA and Monsanto
Wildlife Management E/

Supervised Agricultural Experience Opportunities

                              5 Star Applications:
   1. Star Farmer

   2. Star Agri Business

   3. Star Agri Science

   4. Star Greenhand

   5. Star Agri Placement

                            Agri-Science Award
This award recognizes a individual who creates and reports on an
outstanding science project related to agriculture.

                     Agri-Entrepreneurship Award
This award recognizes an outstanding idea for a unique entrepreneurship

                     SD FFA Leadership Retreat 2009

                       Partnering SD FFA and Monsanto
Leadership Roles
  A) Chapter Leadership Roles: Basis for all of FFA. Chapter action.
     You are the leaders of this!
  ~Conduct chapter meetings

   ~Plan chapter activities

   ~Host chapter banquets

   ~Bring new ideas back to chapter

  B) District Officer Role:
  ~Legislative Breakfast (January)

   ~District Officer Training (January)

    ~Two Executive Meetings (usually just president, but all can attend)
  (September and February)

   ~District Activities (Dances, Farm Shows, etc.)

   ~State Convention Courtesy Corp

   ~State Fair

  C) State Ambassador Roles:
     ~Assist at leadership camps (1 ER and 2 WR)

     ~Manage the Animal Nursery at State Fair

     ~State Leadership CDE‟s

     ~District Officer Training and Legislative Breakfast

     ~State Convention

                   SD FFA Leadership Retreat 2009

                    Partnering SD FFA and Monsanto
Leadership Roles

D) State Officer Roles:
 ~Chapter Banquets

 ~Speech Training & Blast Off Training

 ~COLT & NLCSO Leadership Camps (Aurora NE)

 ~Soy Bio-Diesel Days

 ~SD Leadership Camps (1 ER and 2 WR)

 ~FFA Day at Dome (Minneapolis)

 ~State Fair

 ~Executive Meetings

 ~Chapter Visits

 ~District & State Leadership CDE‟s

 ~Dakota Farm Show

 ~District Officer Training/Legislative Breakfast

 ~Business and Industry Visits

                   SD FFA Leadership Retreat 2009

                   Partnering SD FFA and Monsanto
Career Development Event Opportunities
Fall Leadership CDE’s                Spring CDE’s

Ag Broadcasting                      Ag mechanics

Ag Communications                    Ag Sales

Ag Issues                            Agronomy

Ag Marketing                         Dairy Cattle

Ag Sales                             Dairy Foods

Creed Speaking                       Environmental & Natural
Extemporaneous Speaking
                                     Farm Business Management
Job Interview
Jr. Parliamentary Procedures
                                     Food Science & Technology
Sr. Parliamentary Procedures
                                     Horse Evaluation
Prepared Public Speaking
                                     Livestock Evaluation

                                     Meats Evaluation & Technology

                                     Nursery Landscape

                    SD FFA Leadership Retreat 2009

                    Partnering SD FFA and Monsanto
Professional Development
Interviewing Tips-

   Be on time!

   Be Prepared!

   Practice possible questions!

   First impression!

         o   Smile
         o   Dress Appropriate
         o   Firm Handshake
         o   Eye contact

  Do not talk too much!

SD FFA Scholarships

$750 Mary Hanson                        $500 Carhartt*

$500 SDSU Agriculture                   $500 Bob Titus Memorial *
                                        $500 Wade Lang Memorial*
$500 Blue and Gold *
                                        (* use the Blue and Gold
$500 Wosje Ag Business *                Application)

National FFA Scholarships

MANY awards to apply for – one application to complete! Application can
be found at the National FFA website (

                       SD FFA Leadership Retreat 2009

                       Partnering SD FFA and Monsanto
Professional Development
Items to Include on Your Resume

      ~ Objective: clear and concise

      ~ Education: year in school, any honor roll/class ranking, any
      specific classes that pertain to the job

      ~Skills: RELEVANT job skills

      ~Activities: volunteer or extra curricular positions

      ~References: available upon request, separate page, 2 professional and 1

 ~Bullets or concise sentences

 ~ Use keywords/ buzz words

 ~ Remain focused, avoid clutter, only relevant information

                     SD FFA Leadership Retreat 2009

                     Partnering SD FFA and Monsanto
Chapter Growth

                        Recruiting and Retention
-Invite prospective members to your banquet.
-Elect outstanding members as „Members of the Month‟
-Have some members talk with 8th/7th graders let them know what FFA
  is really about.
       *Could serve a treat like ice cream to help motivate them to attend.
-Invite non-members to attend a FFA meeting
- Write a letter to possible members as they entire middle school
-FFA week activities for the entire school/community
-Hold a “Farm Day” or “Ag-ventures Day” where young children (or even
  non-FFA members your age) visit and learn about animals, crops and
  the many agricultural industries. Use this opportunity to teach others
  about food safety, farm business management and much more.
-Tell your friends about what your doing in the FFA
-Multimedia presentations (PowerPoint/videos)
-Websites are a great tool for spreading the word of what your chapter is
       *People like to see pictures
-Create an experience at Chapter Meetings.
-Illustrate how your agricultural education program provides students
  with opportunities to:

      *Interact with people outside the school setting

      *Earn local, state and national recognition
      *Establish career skills

      *Establish work experience

      *Apply school lessons to real-life situations

      *Meet influential people

      *Take the lead

      *Learn to handle pressure

               *Enjoy real-world results

               *Build a positive attitude

                       SD FFA Leadership Retreat 2009

                       Partnering SD FFA and Monsanto
     Public Relations

                      How to Write a Press Release

 Company Letterhead, Name, Address, Phone Number, Web Address

 PRESS RELEASE in all caps

 Contact Person's Name

 Immediate Release or Release Date (all caps)


 BODY-Date/City-who, what, when, where and why.

 Catchy Text

 Sum it up...

 Basic Font, Double Spaced


                    SD FFA Leadership Retreat 2009

                    Partnering SD FFA and Monsanto
Chapter Awards

                     Chapter Booth Award:
Enter a booth at the State Fair in Huron. These booths have a wide
      range of topics, most are educational, (like the cuts of meat
      or something your Chapter is passionate about.)

                    Public Relations Award
This award is given at State Convention to Chapters who create a
      public relations scrapbook of the articles and pictures of
      their Chapter in any newspaper, magazine, or on the radio or

                    National Chapter Award
This award is both a state and national recognition. Applications
      are completed to show how the Chapter has grown in three
      different areas: student, chapter, and community

              SD FFA Leadership Retreat 2009

               Partnering SD FFA and Monsanto
      Chapter Fundraising Ideas

Selling Fruit
Running a Concession Stand at your school
FFA Farm
Car Wash
Labor Auction-Auction off members to work for community members
Meal with Entertainment-Have an FFA dinner theater and sell tickets.
“Find out what happens at the Anytown Chapter dinner theater
presentation, The Owl, The Gavel, and The Missing OD”
Donkey Basketball
Dodgeball Tournament-Hold a dodgeball tournament, have the teams
that enter pay an entry fee. Use the entry fees as part of the prize for the
winner and the rest is profit for your chapter. You‟re having fun, raising
money, and building a positive public image at the same time. Could be
used as a great opportunity to recruit with booths showing what the FFA
is about and what your chapter is doing.
Magazine Sales
Selling Cookie Dough
World’s Finest Chocolate Fundraiser
FFA Popcorn
Milk Machine-vending machine in your school with dairy products
Spaghetti Supper
FFA Carnival
      If your chapter has something specific that you are trying to
raise money for asking for sponsorship from local businesses may be
useful. Use only when appropriate.

                     SD FFA Leadership Retreat 2009

                      Partnering SD FFA and Monsanto
Personal Development
         Daily Activities that Ensure You’ll Grow
Be Yourself
Pocus on Possibilities
Access Your Inner Guidance
Taking Personal Responsibility
Listen to Others
Accept Your Life – Question what can I improve right now?
Have JOY!
Set LIFE Priorities
Love Yourself “As Is”
Serve Others

                    Personal Growth Titles
~Habitudes by Dr. Tim Elmore
~Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom
~How Full is Your Bucket? by Tom Rath and Donald O. Clifton,
~Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey
~The Bible or any books about your faith
~Portable Pep Talk “Motivational Morsels for Inspiring You to ~
~Succeed” by Alexander Lockhart
~Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren
~101 Series by John C. Maxwell
      Leadership, Relationship, Attitude and Equipping
~Tipping Point “How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference” by
~Malcolm Gladwell
~The Peacemaker, Student Edition by Ken Sande and Kevin
~1001 Things Every Teen Should Know Before Leaving Home by
Harry H. Harrison Jr.

              SD FFA Leadership Retreat 2009

              Partnering SD FFA and Monsanto

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