4.1 Review of Brian Wang’s Application Package

To:                        Brian Wang, ENGL 301 Student

From:                   Diane Keyes, ENGL 301 Student, DK

Date:                    December 14, 2019

Subject:               Peer Review of Application Package

Dear Brian,

Thank you for the opportunity to review your application package. Overall, this draft presents a strong start to a convincing application package. Well done! It appears that you are applying to two different companies (BMO in Toronto and a different company in the USA) as the job description was not referring to BMO. Nevertheless, below is a series of recommendations based on a peer review template created specifically for this assignment. I hope they provide some support as you further develop your already strong application package!

Here is a copy of this document in Word format: ENGL 301 – Diane Keyes – Peer Review of Application Package for Brian Wang

Job Posting Citation

Criteria Comments
·        Job posting cited with correct MLA citation formatting. Citation:

“Job ID : 122213 F19 Data Science Co-Op 122213B .” UBC Science Co-Op, https://scope.sciencecoop.ubc.ca/myAccount/co-op/postings.html.

·        The job posting was mostly correctly formatted using the MLA.

·        An extra space was added between ‘Job ID’ and the colon ‘:’ in the citation.

·        Citations are generally listed at the end of a document on a separate page with the title ‘Works Cited’ centered on the page.

·        Note the date you accessed this website in the format: month date, year.

·        In addition to the MLA formatting resources in the textbook, I find the site OWL Purdue useful for citation instructions.



·        A style of resume was chosen, and the format was consistent throughout the entire document.

·        Includes: contact information, career interests, education, experience, relevant interests, and references

·        A functional resume format was chosen.

·        Name, email, and phone number provided.

·        Only include UBC Co-op contact information if needed.

·        Include names of people providing you references and their contact information or write ‘references available upon request’ at the end of the resume.

Career Objective Section ·        Include a heading at the very top of the resume entitled ‘objective’ or ‘career objective’ and list your career goal in one sentence. (See page 372 and 375 for the textbook examples.)
Highlights and Qualifications Section ·        Including this section at the beginning was a great idea, helping catch reader’s attention and communicating the most important elements, also distinguishing your application from others! Nice choice! I am unsure if it is necessary to include these points later in the document since they have been included in this section. Consider consulting Dr. Paterson or other resume resources regarding this point.

·        Consider moving the note on awards to the last bullet point and putting the last bullet point (about managing the climate stations) first to highlight your work experience (which is more valuable than awards as it demonstrates your skills).

·        Nice use of active words like ‘managed’ and ‘maintained.’

Education Section

·        List the most recent education first, and include the name of school, year of graduation, degree title.

·        List relevant university courses.

·        Since it looks like you might be working outside of the Canadian context (in the USA based on the job posting), consider including the country name in the location of your experiences (for example, people from outside Canada might not know that ‘Vancouver, B.C.’ is in Canada).

·        Date of graduation provided.

·        Name of institution provided.

·        Nice choice to list relevant courses in the education section to highlight training relevant to the job you are applying for!

·        Consider explaining briefly what ‘Jerico lands’ is (and I think it is spelled ‘Jericho’).

·        Remember to include punctuation at the end of each bullet point (like a period) and ensure it is consistent in other sections of the resume as well.

Technical Skills Section ·        Nice choice to divide technical skills from work experience.

·        The textbook suggests listing your work experience before education if it related to the job. It suggests listing the most recent jobs first. Indicate if the job was part- or full-time.

Awards Section ·        Consider moving this section after ‘Work Experience’ as experience demonstrates skills more than awards do.
Work Experience Section

·        If your work experience relates directly to the job, list it before education.

·        Include the employer, job title, duration of employment, and number of hours per week.

·        Describe duties performed using active verbs like ‘managed’ and ‘organized.’ Avoid simply stating ‘responsible for__’.

·        Job title, employer, and date of engagement listed.

·        Include number of hours per week or if it was full- or part-time.

·        Duties clearly and concisely described using active verbs.

·        Consider reversing the order of tasks so readers read the most complex or technical tasks first. For example, this could be applied to the bullet point ‘Soldered new/extending current wire connections and assisted in re-writing data collection code resulting in an organized experiment setup and readable code for future experiments’ under the ‘Research Technician’ header.

Additional Material ·        Consider making a note at the end of the resume stating ‘portfolio available upon request’ along with ‘references available upon request.’

·        Consider listing any interests, hobbies, languages, other special skills, or groups you are a member of that might be of interest to the employer.

Formatting, Style, and Grammar ·        Using a darker colour for headings can make it easier to read. As well, a darker colour might work better if the resume is printed and copied.

·        Nice use of colour to help catch reader’s attention and add an aesthetic touch.

·        Consider decreasing the number of fonts used; keeping it to 1 or 2 is best to maintain a more simple and easy-to-read aesthetic.

·        Consider using a different bullet point than the hyphen to increase the aesthetic appeal.

·        Keep the dates consistent: if you abbreviate ‘Dec.’ then do this for all other months.

·        Ensure that all the dates listed on the right side of the page align. For example, the date ‘May 2019 – Present’ under ‘Work Experience’ needs to be flushed further right.

·        Ensure all the hyphens are the same length. For example, the hyphens are different sizes for ‘July 8 – 18 2019’ (next to ‘Poster Abstract Accepted’) and ‘May 2019 – Present’ (next to USRA Student).

·        Ensure the font size is consistent throughout the headings. For example, the subheading ‘Ecohydrology…’ is 12 point font while the subheading ‘UBC Glaciology…’ is 14 point font.

·        A thorough read through with attention to correct singular/plural is suggested. For example, ‘electrical scheme’ in the last bullet point under ‘Technical Skills’ might need to be made plural: ‘electrical schemes’.

Overall Comments Well-written resume with mostly formatting concerns. Impressive set of experiences which speak volumes for the skills you have developed outside theoretical course work. Concisely written.


Cover Letter

Contact Information

·        Sender’s address, the date, and receiver’s name, position, company, and address are listed at the opening of the letter.

·        Almost all contact was information provided.

·        Include your mailing address or PO box before the date at the top of the page (unless you are posting this online and want to protect your privacy).

·        List the specific BMO branch you are applying to in Toronto if applicable. If you know the branch, consider finding the name of the hiring manager and listing their name.

·        Add a line space between ‘Toronto’ and ‘Re: Data Scientist’

Formatting, Style, and Grammar

·        Text split appropriately into small paragraphs.

·        Letter contains introduction, body, and concluding paragraphs.

·        Tone is professional, positive, and appropriately enthusiastic.

·        Spelling and grammar are correct.

·        Text is divided into paragraphs with appropriate length.

·        The letter contains introduction, body, and concluding paragraphs.

·        Tone is professional yet friendly.

·        Concise yet detailed evidence is presented to back up claims of strong work ethic and technical skills.

·        A few cases where attention to grammar is need (these have been specified in the sections below).

Introduction Paragraph

·        Up to five lines in length.

·        Includes: the job position, where you heard about the job, identifies you, describes your background.

·        Name the specific position being applied for in the introductory paragraph.

·        Provides relevant information on academic background and skills pertinent to working as a data scientist.

·        If possible, make the statement ‘I am interested in applying my skills in different technology domains at BMO’ more specific.

Body Paragraphs

·        Precisely describes relevant experiences that qualify you for the position (for example, instead of writing ‘completed several reports’ write ‘completed 5 formal reports’).

·        Relate your background and experience to the needs of the employer.

·        Include evidence to back up your claims to particular skills or capacities (‘show, don’t tell’).

·        Specify how many research groups you worked with when you mention ‘various UBC research groups’ in the first sentence of the second paragraph.

·        Does ‘pandas’ need to be capitalized in the second paragraph?

·        Consider re-writing ‘in working with NASA’s…’ to ‘while working with NASA’s…’ in the second paragraph.

·        When writing ‘taking five courses in my last academic year,’ consider specifying that five courses is a ‘full’ course load since it might not be known to employers who have been out of university for some time.

·        In the third paragraph, consider re-writing ‘and in a tight deadline’ to ‘and on a tight schedule…’

·        In the third paragraph, consider re-writing ‘…reflects my ability to thrive under pressure as a result of efficient time management skills’ to ‘…reflects my ability to thrive under pressure and time management skills.’

·        In the third paragraph, consider re-writing ‘I look forward to continuing challenging myself while working at BMO’ to ‘I look forward to continuing to challenge myself while working at BMO.’

·        In the fourth paragraph, specify what this employment was when you write ‘subsequent employment at UBC.’

·        Consider writing the sentences in paragraph four with a ‘you’ attitude, which means starting the sentences without ‘I’.

Concluding Paragraph

·        Reiterate your interest in the position.

·        Offer an actionable next step (like having an in-person or skype interview).

·        Provide contact details (email and phone number) and your availability (for example, ‘weekdays between 9:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m.’).

·        Appropriate closing salutation (like ‘sincerely’), signature, and typed full-name provided at end of document.

·        Strong closing paragraph that communicates professionalism and enthusiasm.

·        Provide contact information and a more specific follow up request, such as a request for an interview.

·        Include your signature between ‘sincerely’ and your typed name.

Overall Comments Overall a strong, detailed yet concise cover letter that presents an impressive case!


Reference Letter Requests

Formatting, Style, and Grammar

·        Provides further details such as job posting, job posting citation (in case they want more information), and resume.

·        Formatting consistent with an official letter.

·        Salutations appropriate to your relationship with this person.

·        Writing in an official letter format would provide an added level of professionalism, however, the email format you chose also works when the relationship with the reference writer is very close.

·        Opening and closing salutations are sufficiently formal yet warm.

·        Include a copy of the job description to the reference writer.



·        Explains why you are asking them for a reference.

·        Names the content the reference writer should include in their reference letter.

·        Provides specific dates of your work together, for example, the title of the course and the year you attended with this particular professor. (Important as they might want to include these dates in their reference letter!)

·        Examples, if possible, of how you demonstrated these traits in your engagement with this person (this helps jog their memory).

·        Include a list of writing points for the reference writer so they are clear what character traits would be helpful for them to focus on. Also include a list of your engagements with them and the dates they took place in order to help jog their memory.


Overall Comments Clearly written and straightforward request with a friendly tone. Needs elaboration regarding what specific content and character traits the reference writer should include.


Concluding Remarks

To summarize the recommendations:

  • Consider taking another look at MLA citation requirements for the job posting.
  • Attention to formatting (include size of fonts, punctuation, spacing, etc.) is recommended, especially for the resume.
  • The reference letter requests need further elaboration.
  • A review of the cover letter with attention to writing with a ‘you’ attitude is also recommended.
  • Overall very well written documents presenting a convincing package! Impressive ability to write concisely and yet with detail. (I am taking your writing forward as an example for my own revisions when it comes to conciseness, so thank you!)

Thank you once again for the opportunity to review your work, and I wish you the best in the final revisions! If you have any questions or comments regarding my feedback, please feel free to reach out at: diane.d.keyes@live.com.

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