The Rhetoric of the Resume by Steve W. Anderson
Abstract: A conceptual model can be devised based on J. Kinneavy’s formulation of the rhetorical triangle, which states that basic to all uses of language are a person who encodes a message, the signal or language that carries the message, the reality to which the message refers, and the decoder or receiver of the message. In the case of the job search, the encoder or job applicant is an outsider and the decoder or personnel officer an insider. Each has a different perception of the reality being dealt with in the search. This situation can be used by the applicant to help evaluate material for inclusion in the resume. Insiders have control over the description of the type of person they are seeking, but they have little control over how outsiders style themselves to fit that description. The applicants are, largely, what they say they are; that is, the readers of resumes know only what they are told. Outsiders should use this opportunity to make themselves appear to be insiders.
Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the College English Association (Clearwater Beach, FL, April 12-14, 1984)….. if anyone wants to find it….