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Lesson 8

Applying for a Job

Lessons >>> Lesson 8

      Finding permanent or summer employment is often a difficult and confusing process, with hectic deadlines, stress-inducing interviews, and unfamiliar rules of etiquette. However, by becoming familiar with the recruiting schedule and process it is possible to land the perfect job with little effort.

1. Write a CV/resume

The first step is to compose a CV/resume. Many word processing programs, including Word and Framemaker, have resume templates. Searching on the Internet will yield both personal CV/resume posted online in addition to the many sites which describe how to write a CV/resume. The most important information to include is relevant professional and class experience. Large laboratory or research projects can be listed as experience as well, especially if teamwork and problem solving were involved.

Less important but still significant is a list of skills such as computer competence and foreign languages, as well as awards or honors. Finally, be sure to include contact information, including your phone number, street address, e-mail address, and web page URL.

Resumes traditionally open with a purpose or objective. this is a two or three sentence overview of your skills, qualities, hopes, and plans. But this trend is increasingly becoming optional, as the statement doesn't do a good job in differentiating students.

Sometimes to apply for a job, the employer will send you an application form. You should still use a cover letter, and send your CV/resume also unless told not to. Application forms need as much care to write as CVs/Resumes. Plan everything you will say on a separate piece of paper. Only complete the real form when you are exactly sure what is the best thing to say. Follow the directions and keep the form neat.

2. Write a cover letter

Often companies will require a cover letter along with a CV/resume. The letter should demonstrate an understanding of what the company does and why you would be an asset to it. Indicate how you heard about the company and that you are seeking an interview. This is a chance to stand out from the many CVs/resumes that the company is undoubtedly receiving, so be sure to emphasize why you stand out.

Effective cover letter explains the reasons for your interest in the organization and identify your most relevant skills or experiences. They should express a high level of interest and knowledge about the position you are applying for.

Ask yourself, "Why do I want to work for this organization?" Newspaper stories or magazines article may be available at the local library. The employer may be in the yellow pages or advertise over the radio or local television. When we can speak intelligently about a place of business, we have given that employer respect. By focusing on the employer we are better able to determine if the company can meet our needs. By focusing on the employer we are displaying interest in the needs of the company.

Also, the purpose of the cover letter is to make sure that the CV/resume arrives on the desk of the correct person. Take the trouble to telephone, and find the name of the person who will be dealing with applications or CVs/resumes, and address your letter, and envelope, to that person by name.

3. The interviewing process

Since we can not hide our energy, it would be well not to seek opportunities when we are depressed or feeling ill. Smile because happy people get hired faster. Basically, the object is to be yourself. Most employers prefer people who are open, honest and speak straight across, person to person. It is not necessarily the person with the most skills who gets hired. It is a person who the employer likes and believes will fit into the organization. Success in establishing comfort naturally increases with additional visits. The impression is dependant upon how we look, how we feel and also, how we act.

During the interview, be sure to dress appropriately, make eye contact, and greet the recruiter with a firm handshake. Answer the questions posed concisely and with a degree of modesty. Come prepared with questions about the company itself. Do research in advance on the corporate web site so that job descriptions and company projects are familiar.

Be able to briefly talk about your education, experience and abilities in relationship to the job for which you are applying. Be ready to discuss what you have learned about the company that has motivated you to apply for the job. Practice means saying the words out loud, not to memorize, rather just to have experience saying the words. Thinking about what you will say is not the same as saying what you will say.

Some interviewers like to use a rather sneaky tactic called 'stress questions'. These bizarre queries usually come out of the blue and are designed to confuse and fluster you. For example:

  • If you could be any animal which would you be?
  • What is the meaning of life?
  • The point of these is to test your sense of humour and see how you react under pressure. Often, what you answer is less important than keeping calm and composed.

    Always remember that you are in control of everything you say, so don't merely answer questions; respond to them in a way that allows you to prove your suitability for the position.

    Bottom line, employers want people who will come to work on time, every day they are scheduled, who can get along with the other employees and are willing to do the job the way the employer wants it done. In essence, every job requires on the job is training. New employees must learn the rules of the organization and how to get along with the other employees. Every job is hardest at the beginning and gets easier with experience. Saying something like, "I know I can learn your method of operation," tells an employer you have faith in your ability to learn the way the employer wants it done.

    After an interview, it is advantageous to send the recruiter a thank-you note. This helps establish a relationship with the recruiter, shows interest in the position, and indicates personal responsibility.

    The first interview may be followed up with second rounds on-site or over the phone. From there it is a short wait until the company calls back with their offer, or mails a rejection -- hopefully the former.


    Vocabulary
      1. to apply for a job - кандидатствувам за работа
      2. permanent - постоянен
      3. employment - служба, работа; наемане на работа
      4. hectic - трескав, възбуден
      5. deadline - последен/фатален срок
      6. to induce - причинявам, докарвам
      7. unfamiliar - непознат, неизвестен
      8. recruit - набирам, вербувам
      9. to land a job - намирам работа
      10. resume (Am.)/CV (Br.) - резюме/автобиография, биографични данни
      11. to yield - давам, нося, донасям
      12. cover letter - мотивационно писмо
      13. relevant - уместен, съответен
      14. team-work - организирана съвместна работа; работа в екип
      15. to involve - включвам
      16. award - награда
      17. honours (pl.) - отличие (особено при специализиран курс)
      18. objective - цел, обект
      19. increasingly - все повече
      20. optional - незадължителен, по избор
      21. differentiating - различавам, разграничавам; отличавам
      22. application - молба, заявление
      23. asset - предимство, придобивка, ценно качество
      24. to stand out - изпъквам, откроявам се
      25. to determine - определям, установявам
      26. employer - работодател
      27. to hire - наемам
      28. to fit in/into - приспособявам (се)
      29. appropriately - подходящо
      30. to recruit - набирам, вербувам
      31. firm - уверен, енергичен
      32. to pose - поставям, предявявам, повдигам
      33. concisely - сбит, стегнат
      34. modesty - умереност, скромност
      35. sneaky=sneaking - подъл; прикрит
      36. query - въпрос
      37. to fluster - обърквам (се), смущавам (се)
      38. pressure - натиск, затруднение
      39. calm - спокоен, хладнокръвен
      40. composed - сдържан, спокоен
      41. to get along (with someone) - погаждам се, разбирам се
    (с някого)
      42. employee - служещ, чиновник
      43. in essence - по същество, в основата си
      43. advantageous - полезен; благоприятен, изгоден
      45. on-site - на място
      46. rejection - отхвърляне, отказ
      47. former - първият (от споменатите двама); бивш, предишен
     Site, Cite or Sight


     Curriculum Vitae (resume, in American English) - comes from Latin and literally mean "the course of one's life." Your CV is a biographical summary of your life and is usually written to describe details of education and achievements in chronological order.


    CV/resume writing tips

    Your CV/resume is the first step to getting the job you want, so it's worth putting a bit of effort into making it as impressive as possible. While there is no standard CV/resume, we have compiled a list of tips to ensure your CV/resume gets you seen.

    • Use a standard typeface and font size 11-14 points.
    • List information in descending order of importance.
    • Ensure that you write about your achievements. Don't write about things you are not so good at.
    • Keep format left-justified.
    • Do not underline, bold or italicize text.
    • Stick to a common font: Courier, Arial or Times New Roman.
    • Do not use bullets, lines, columns, brackets.
    • To insert a line break, use hard return instead of word wrap.
    • The standard length of a CV/resume is two pages.
    • Generally, the following information should be excluded: age, ethnic identity, political affiliation , religious preference, marital status, health.
    • Always check and double-check your CV/resume form for spelling errors and punctuation
    • "Sign" with your full name
    • Your CV/resume is meant to sell you to the employer, so be as positive as possible, but never lie.
    • Finally, remember that however perfect you may feel your CV/resume is, it will be still down to the individuals who read it to judge what is valuable to them.
    • When you print your CV/resume, use the best quality printer and paper you can afford. Use A4 white paper (printed on one side only) and black ink, as it's easiest to read and photocopy.
    • Do not fold or staple CV/resume or cover letter; send in large, flat envelope.
    • If you are sending your CV/resume to potential employers electronically, e-mail it to a friend first to check that the layout remains as you intended it.
    • And a last tip: keep copies of all letters, applications forms, and CVs/resumes sent, and records of telephone calls and names of those you spoke to.

    CURRICULUM VITAE (optional at top of page)

    (Note: See the following categories that are usually included on a CV/resume. These are suggestions.
    You should adopt those that best fit your needs.)

    PERSONAL DETAILS

    Name

    Date of Birth

    Nationality

    Marital Status

    Address and Telephone - include local and/or permanent address and phone number, with ZIP and area codes. List email if you check it daily. List a message phone number if you do not have an answering machine.

    EDUCATION AND QUALIFICATION

    Education - use the reverse chronological order, since it is more important what master’s degree you have rather than that, very probably, you went to high school in your native town. No matter for which order you decide - chronological or reverse - you should keep it the same throughout the rest of your CV/resume.

    Examinations and qualifications

    AWARDS - you should introduce this header right after the education. Here is the place to mention scholarships, stages abroad you had to compete for, prizes in contests, any kind of distinction.

    WORK EXPERIENCE - list your most recent experience first. Give the name of your employer, job title, and very important, what you actually did and achieved in that job. Part-time work should be included. Don't feel ashamed with what you did, don't try to diminish your accomplishments! The idea is that when you apply for a job you have to show growth-potential.

    PUBLICATIONS - list articles you have published and those that have been accepted for publication

    RESEARCH - Give the employer insight into your professional abilities and training by listing the past and present research projects in which you have participated. List specific research skills with which you are familiar.

    SKILLS AND INTERESTS

    Languages - list here all the languages you speak, with a one-word description of your knowledge of that language. We suggest the following scale: conversational, intermediate, advanced, and fluent. List any certificates and/or results like TOEFL scores, with date.

    Computer Skills - Employers expect computer literacy. List hardware, software, and operating systems with which you are familiar. Write everything you know, including Internet browsers and text editing skills.

    Interests and Activities - here you may list any sport activities, singing, playing an instrument, reading, photography, Internet, socialising with friends, etc. They will be particularly interested in activities where you have leadership or responsibility, or which involve you in relating to others in a team. If you have been involved in any type of volunteer work, do give details.

    REFEREES - here you can list with contact details persons ready to recommend you. Generally a reference sheet will consist of the name, title, phone number and email address of two or three academic and/or business references. Do not use relatives, friends or other students as references. Be sure to obtain permission from each person you plan to list prior to distributing your reference sheet
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