At some point along way, most of us have used what are commonly called "fill-in-the-blank" writing templates. We might have used them to write a letter, format an essay, or set-up a resume or CV.
You know what I'm talking about here. It's those form letter templates that you see in many writing texts and workbooks.
For example, in case of a letter, a "fill-in-the-blank" template would look something like this:
Dear [NAME OF RECIPIENT]:
This is to advise you that your probation period in position [POSITION NAME] expired on [DATE].
The [NAME OF REVIEW COMMITTEE] met on [DATE OF MEETING] and determined that your probationary appointment was successful and that you should be immediately appointed to [NAME OF POSITION] [NAME OF ORGANIZATIONAL UNIT].
Accordingly, this is to inform you that effective [DATE OF APPOINTMENT] you are officially appointed to position of [NAME OF POSITION] for an initial period of [NUMBER OF YEARS/MONTHS]. Terms and conditions of your employment are covered by [OFFICIAL CONTRACT NAME/NUMBER].
Would you please report as soon as possible to [NAME OF OFFICIAL], [TITLE OF OFFICIAL] in [OFFICIAL NAME OF HR GROUP] so that details of your appointment may be properly documented.
Congratulations [NAME OF APPOINTEE]. All of us at [COMPANY OR ORGANIZATION NAME] look forward to working with you in future.
[NAME AND TITLE OF ORIGINATOR]
Although this "fill-in-the-blank" approach can work, it has a number of shortcomings as follows:
DISADVANTAGES OF FILL-IN-THE-BLANK TEMPLATES
- Because of their generic nature, they tend to generalize so much that they resemble a computer generated form letter.
- They don't provide specific information on how a professional would properly fill in required information [BLANKS].
- They don't provide mental stimulation or show how a professional might word letter in a specific real-life context.
- The content is typically watered down to try and cover every possible situation.
- Thus, they are virtually useless for 98% of real-life situations, since they lack real-life content.
On other hand, here's what a "real-life" template would look like for a similar situation:
This is to advise you that your probation period in position Customer Service Agent (Temporary) expired on November 30, 2001.
The Staffing Review Committee met late last week and determined that your probationary appointment was successful and that you should be immediately appointed as Customer Service Agent (Ongoing).
Accordingly, this is to inform you that effective December 1, 2001 you are officially appointed to position of Customer Service Agent in Customer Support Group for an initial period of 36 months. Terms and conditions of your employment are covered by Customer Service Group Employment Agreement.