Title page for ETD etd-06122000-18370042

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Porter, Robin K.
URN etd-06122000-18370042
Title Levels of Effectiveness of Communication Skills Used by College Students During The Job Search Process
Degree Master of Arts
Department Educational Leadership and Policy Studies
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Hirt, Joan B. Committee Chair
Janosik, Steven M. Committee Member
Ratcliffe, Donna E. Cassell Committee Member
  • Communication
  • Academic College
  • Gender
  • Race
Date of Defense 2000-05-30
Availability unrestricted
Levels of Effectiveness of Communication Skills Used by College Students During The Job Search Process


Robin Porter

Committee Chair: Joan B. Hirt

Educational Leadership and Policy Studies


One historic mission of higher education has been to produce good citizens. To ensure

that students develop into productive citizens, institutions of higher education aim to assist

students in exploring their career interests and finding jobs upon graduation.

Employers have reported that college students conducting job search processes do not

posses the skills they seek in applicants. Specifically, employers have mentioned the lack of

written and oral communication skills among applicants.

It would seem that there is a clear distinction between the communication skills that

employers seek and the communication skills that students offer. Employers believe that students

lack the basic skills of speaking and listening. They also believe the writing skills of applicants are


This study was designed to gain a better understanding of the level of effectiveness of the

communication skills used by college students during a job search process. Specifically this study

will look at written communication skills. The sample will include 120 students involved in a job

search process during the spring, 2000 academic term. Data will consist of cover letters and

resumes that students use when conducting a job search. Results will be analyzed by rating the

data on issues like grammar, language and spelling, and clarity. Results will be analyzed for all

participants. Analysis will also be conducted to explore differences by race, gender, and academic

college (Arts and Sciences, Engineering, and Business).

The results of this study provided some interesting information about the written

communication skills used by students during their job search. Overall, students demonstrated that

they have a good understanding of how to present Aesthetically pleasing Cover Letters and

Resumes that appropriately address the components in these documents. Results also showed that

women have stronger written communication skills than men. Majority students proved to be

more adept than minority students at composing Cover Letters and Resumes. Finally, results

showed that students from the College of Business have stronger written communication skills

than students from the College of Engineering.

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