At interviews, you will probably be asked questions that fall into the following three categories.
How should you prepare for these questions?
1. Come with examples. Don’t just say you have a skill, show and describe it with an anecdote.
2. Come with questions. Bring a few questions about the company or job. Usually interviews end with an opportunity to ask questions, so be prepare to ask something.
3. Practice. Run through questions on your own or with a friend. It will help you stay on point during the interview.
Cover letters are your chance to narrate your work history. Think of the resume as raw data and the cover letter as the presentation. It gives you the chance to highlight or de-emphasize information, as well as add your voice to your application.
Cover letters should be concise, but they should also reveal your point of view. Answer these questions to make a powerful impression.
Paragraph 1: What is your interest in this job?
How will you help the company or excel in the position?
What makes you shine?
Paragraph 2: What is your most relevant work experience?
How does your work history prepare your for this job?
What have you learned from your previous jobs?
Paragraph 3: How can they reach you?
When should they call you?
In general, American companies want brief and precise explanations of your qualifications. As a result, they tend to ask for a fairly formulaic outline. They want to know your educational background, work experience, and references. How do you make your resume stand out even though it is following a formula? Live by these tips.
1. Keep it to one page. It may be tempting to add the details of your work history and go over the page limit, but it is not a good idea. You are likely competing with many applicants and the reviewers want to get to the point. Instead opt to highlight the most relevant information and leave the rest for the interview.
2. Use active verbs. Basically, this means stay away from the common verbs do, have, and be. Choose verbs that are more powerful and descriptive. Find out more about active verbs here.
3. Match your verb forms. In other words, don’t forget parallelism. This means that when you list your job duties, use the same verb tense. Don’t switch between the present, past, and gerund forms. It also means that you need to start each bullet point with a verb.
4. Tailor your resume to the job. It is a good idea to have a comprehensive resume that you can adapt to individual jobs. Take out points that are irrelevant and let the important details shine through.
Teachers can find more job hunting lesson plans here.
Small talk. You find it everywhere. It is that loose, informal conversation held between acquaintances and sometimes even strangers. Many find it hard to master in a second language, but it is important to try. Why? Small talk helps you network and build relationships with new people. It helps your colleagues or classmates remember you and what you have to say. Most importantly, small talk is polite.
So, how do you get started. Check out this video, one of the lessons from East Bay ESL's Small Talk for ESL Students Udemy course (check back soon for its release).
East Bay ESL is an English language school for adult students in the San Francisco East Bay.