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Written Communications

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EPSO AST Pre-Selection – Secretarial Skills: Written Communications Arboreus Online EU Training – Study Materials www.eutraining.eu 2010 ARBOREUS, Some Rights Reserved You are free to share (copy, distribute, transmit) this e-book under the Creative Commons license as long as you do not modify it in any way and attribute it to Arborues Online EU Training. Commercial use is forbidden. Arborues is an innovative e-learning company offering professional online training on European Union policies and EU careers. Our services include test preparation and live online webinar trainings on European Personnel Selection Office (EPSO) EU civil service recruitment exams, study materials and online courses on European Affairs.


EPSO AST Pre-Selection – Secretarial Skills: Written Communications This Online EU Training study material is intended as preparation help for the European Personnel Selection Office’s (EPSO) Assistant competitions: 

AST1 (EPSO/AST/111/10) – these are secretarial positions where anyone with the right qualification can apply from any of the EU's 27 Member States as long as their main language is one of the following: Danish, German, English, Spanish , French, Dutch, Portuguese, Swedish or Maltese;

AST3 (EPSO/AST/112/10) – these are secretarial positions where anyone with some relevant work experience can apply from any of the EU's 27 Member States regardless of what is your main language! Positions will be available in the following fields: o o o o

Statistics Finance / Accounting Human Resources Communication / Information Technology

In the pre-selection or admission phase of the these competitions, candidates are required to take a Secretarial Skills test intended to measure the skills needed to perform the following duties:         

organising and coordinating meetings, including compiling files and working documents, answering, filtering and transferring telephone calls, handling correspondence, managing email boxes and functional mailboxes, managing timetables, supervising the schedule and ensuring that deadlines are complied with, providing general administrative support, in particular for document management, preparing and managing missions; managing absences, presenting and checking documents (page layout, formatting and tables), drafting (secretarial level) draft notes, letters and reports, in translation departments: receiving, managing and processing translation requests, in particular preparing, processing and finalising documents, mainly using translation software.

The exam also includes the following test types: - Accuracy Test - Organising and Prioritising Test - Verbal Reasoning - Numerical Reasoning - Abstract Reasoning Practice tests are available for all the test types featured in EPSO AST competitions on Online EU Training – check our online test packages today: http://www.eutraining.eu/eutest_packages


Written Communications Reports • as an administrative assistant, you may be asked to create a variety of different reports for your supervisor • some of the reports will be routine and will be created from various sources already available • other more formal reports will require input from your supervisor in the form of dictation, supplied documents, and a series of reviews and revisions • there are 4 general types of reports: 1. 2. 3. 4.

Memorandum Report Letter Report Short Report Formal Report

Memorandum Report • a routine and informal report that might be prepared on a weekly basis to, for example, report the status of projects to higher offices • objective and impersonal in tone • there may be some introductory comments, however, they are very brief • headings and subheadings are used for quick reference and to highlight certain aspects of the report • usually single-spaced and printed on plain paper Letter Report • normally a one-page letter that is printed on company letterhead • letterhead second sheets are used for continuation pages • most often sent outside the department or institution to o

consultants

o

clients

o

board of director-generals, ministers, etc.

• the report should have headings and subheadings to organise the content

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Short Report • differs from the memorandum and letter reports because it has o

a title page

o

a preliminary summary with conclusions and recommendations

o

authorisation information

o

a statement of the problem

o

findings

o

conclusions

o

recommendations

• may contain tables and graphs and can be either single- or double-spaced • headings and subheadings are used to organise the content and to emphasise certain aspects • the title page has: o

the name, title, address of the person or the office to whom the report is being submitted

o

includes the preparer’s name, title, and address

Formal Report • more complex and has a greater length compared to the short report • included in the formal report usually are the following: • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Report Cover Title fly Letter of authorisation Foreword or Preface Table of Contents List of Figures Report Body Appendix Bibliography Flyleaf Title page Letter of transmittal Acknowledgements List of tables Synopsis Endnotes and footnotes Glossary Index

• when writing a the formal report, you have to observe a number of specific formal requirements For more information, the following URL might be useful: http://www.uoit.ca/assets/Section~specific/Departments~And~Staff~/Learner~Support~Centre/documents/Formal_Report_Writing.pdf

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Report Templates • if you are using a word-processing programme such as Microsoft Word, you can create a report by using one of the report templates that are available • by clicking FILE, NEW, and then clicking the REPORTS tab, you will see three default reports that you can choose from: o

Contemporary Report

o

Elegant Report

o

Professional Report

Press Releases • when writing a press release, start with the main idea first • followed by major details related to the idea • finally supplemental information • the major elements to include are the 5 Ws: o

who

o

what

o

when

o

where

o

why

• also, do not forget to explain, how • a press release should be: o

factual

o

interesting

o

informative

• all details should be carefully verified and proofread • they should be printed on normal size office paper and double-spaced • the top of the press release should include contact information with o

name

o

address

o

phone number

o

e-mail

• the words:

Press Release

For Immediate Release For Release (and then the date) should also be included

• if a press release is longer than one page, MORE is typed at the bottom of the first page in all capital letters, centred on the right side • subsequent pages are numbered and should include a short title caption, left justified • at the conclusion, type five number signs ##### or – end – or (END)

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Editing and Proofreading • editing a document requires checking for the following: o

Grammar

o

Punctuation

o

Style

o

Spelling

o

Accuracy

• the traditional lines between copyediting and proofreading have blurred with the use of computers in business • many administrative assistants must proofread and edit their own documents before they are distributed • in some large offices, a technical writer or documentation specialist may edit reports that will be distributed to wide audiences • sometimes your supervisor proofreads and copyedits documents and sends them back with corrections • depending on who is performing these tasks, an administrative assistant may need to make corrections to documents that contain proofreading symbols and abbreviations

Common Proofreading Symbols Symbol

Meaning insert a comma insert an apostrophe insert something use double quotation marks use a period here delete transpose elements close up this space a space is needed here begin new paragraph no paragraph

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Common Proofreading Abbreviations Abbreviation Ab Agr S/V or P/A

Meaning a faulty abbreviation agreement problem: subject/verb or pronoun/antecedent

Awk

awkward expression or construction

Cap

faulty capitalisation

CS

comma splice

Dgl

dangling construction

DICT

faulty diction

-ed Frag ||

problem with final –ed fragment problem in parallel form

P/A

problem with pronoun/antecedent agreement

Pron

problem with pronoun

Rep

unnecessary repetition

R-O

run-on sentence

Sp

spelling error

-s

problem with final –s

STET S/V T

let it stand problem with subject/verb agreement verb tense problem

Wdy

wordy

WW

wrong word

Copyediting • use the following checklist when copyediting a document or manuscript: o

Are the headings and subheadings consistently used?

o

Is the spelling correct?

o

Are all lists parallel in structure?

o

Are numbered lists correctly numbered?

o

Are all proper names accurate?

o

Do all nouns and verbs agree?

o

Are all dates correct?

o

Is all punctuation correct and consistent?

o

o o

Are all alphabetical lists in alphabetical order? Is all capitalisation correct and consistent? Are all bibliographical references accurate and consistent?

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Proofreading • use the following checklist when proofreading a document or manuscript: o

Are all headings and other text elements consistent in style and layout?

o

For letters, is the dateline, reference line, initials, enclosure, and carbon-copy notation accurate?

o

Are all cross-references accurate?

o

Are all margins consistent and proper?

o

Are all tables aligned correctly and consistently?

o

Have any footnotes been omitted?

o

Are all end-of-line word divisions accurate?

o

Are there any accidentally repeated words in the document?

o

Are the page numbers correct?

o

Are headings and captions separate?

Electronic Revisions • rather than make edits on paper, you can make edits electronically on a word-processing document • by using the Track-Changes feature, you can allow multiple people to add revisions and comments • revisions show up in a different colour font • after you have reviewed the revisions, you can accept them one at a time or reject them

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Services Arboreus is an innovative e-learning company offering professional online training on European Union policies and EU Careers. Our clients include European graduates, officials, managers, job seekers, Brussels professionals and others. Given the high interest in EU careers, institutional affairs, competition law, trade policy, consumer protection, environmental issues and other regulatory matters, we offer our online training and webinar services to the global business and academic community as well. We do this by creating a community of professionals, academics, diplomats and job seekers covering European affairs all over the world so they can network and learn about the EU. Click on the links to learn more about our services: 

Online Test Packages for all EPSO Exams: http://www.eutraining.eu/eu_packages

Study Materials to help in your preparation: http://www.eutraining.eu/study_material

Tips & Tricks for succeeding at EPSO exams: http://www.eutraining.eu/tipstricks 

The Motivation Challenge: What to Write in your EPSO Application? http://www.eutraining.eu/tipstricks_details/the_motivation_challenge_what_to_write_in_your_epso_application

Assistant to Barroso or Surfing in Australia? link: http://www.eutraining.eu/tipstricks_details/assistant_to_barroso_or_surfing_in_australia

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