Communications seniors taking the COMM 490 capstone seminar reported this week that approximately 80% of the course is just straightforward instructions on the correct formatting for addressing a cover letter.
The capstone, which is described in the course guide as “an interdisciplinary look at the professional world applications of a communications major,” is set up to prepare graduating seniors for future corporate careers, starting with the application process.
“We’re trying to position comm majors as competitive corporate candidates,” said COMM 490 Professor Alicia Grimes. “There is no step more important than the first impression. That’s why the first three weeks of this class are dedicated solely to formatting the date at the top of the cover letter correctly.”
According to the syllabus, the course also stresses the importance of starting cover letters with the formal “dear,” emphasizing the importance of avoiding “to whom it may concern,” and using margins no smaller than one inch.
“As a communications student, it’s important I am not only able to tell the difference between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ news sources, but that I’m also able to express those skills concisely in the cover letter I plan on copying and pasting the names of at least 40 different companies into,” said senior Laura Feldman.
According to course reviews, the last 20% of the course is dedicated to proper verb usage in resumes.