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Applying for a Job: The Five Laws
A necessary requirement to dive into the present job market (the doomsday party) is the written of our own Curriculum Vitae (“the road of life”) – in Macao or elsewhere. At first, it seems an easy task to accomplish but when it comes to do it, somehow, things get complicated with a strong feeling in the back of our mind that this document is never right and never finish. In fact, my experience tells me that every time I look at my Curriculum Vitae (CV), I always change or add something in it. After ten years, for instance, only last week I found out that I forgot to state my birth date and birth place.
Brought by the Career Center of the University of Saint Joseph, I was invited to be a “mentor” of year 4 students by starting to analyze their CVs since all of them were standing in the doorway of adult life. It became an appealing experience because the difficulties that I cross with this document, since ever, were mirrored on their writings, too. And this first law can be supported by my USJ colleagues in a quite desperate way.
The second law is there is no unique law on how to make a CV. If you google it on the Internet, the true is there is no universal and standard way to create a CV which enlarges this issue to a more confusing way, particular for beginners. Although major CVs do not follow the same pattern, yet, it is possible to find common sections:
Ø Personal Details: Name, home address, phone number, email address, gender, marital status, birth place, birth date, race, BIR number and Macau Welfare beneficiary. Web homepage? Include it if it is good. Please, no Facebook© address. Photo? If a formal one (no party, no wedding, no funeral… backgrounds).
Ø Education: Give places and dates of your education stages (include final bachelor project, thesis or dissertation, if any) without forgetting to state your major/minor and final GPA (General Point Average) for each study level. Do not include the subjects of your certificate.
Ø Work Experience: List your professional experience by giving the name of your employer, start and ending date, location, job title and what you actually did and achieved in that job. Part-time jobs should be included.
Ø Teaching and Advisor Activity: List your teaching/tutoring experience by giving the name of your employer, start and ending date, location and subjects taught (do not forget to mention a brief description of their content).
Ø Continuing Education: Point out all extra professional small courses that you took (name, company, location, date) in a continuum update effort with news products and methodologies.
Ø Patents/Published Books/Research and News Articles/Tutorials for pedagogical purposes
Ø Personal Communications: Cite speeches and interviews that you have participated by giving some details regarding the theme, content, date and location. If any news article or Web site could support these statements, the better.
Ø Projects & Consultancy: Allude to all the professional projects and consultant work that you have been involved without forgetting major details and what was achieved.
Ø Prizes and Scholarships: Write it down all prizes (from the primary school) and scholarships that you have been award.
Ø Affiliations: Put in writing all professional and non-professional organizations and associations where you are member of.
Ø Foreign Languages: Rank your overall knowledge of foreign languages, according to the next scale: Mother language, Excellent, Good, Fair and Basic.
Ø Other Skills: Computing experience (Windows/Linux/Mac OS, Open Office/Star Office/MS-Office, Programming, Statistical and Geographical Information System products, Databases, Internet services, Utilities management such as painting, security, maintenance, compressing and video tools). This section may also include car, pilot and sailing license certificates, for instance.
Ø Personal Hobbies and Interests: Employers are particularly interested in activities where you have leadership or responsibility or which involve you in relating to others in a team [http://www.umcdubai.com/careerguide.html, 2011].
Ø Community Service: If you have been involved in any type of community service, do give details.
Ø References: Usually give two names, one from your place of study and one from any work situation you have had. Make sure that referees are willing to give you a reference (email contact) or ask them a reference latter. In last case, simply type “Available upon request”.
The third law is any CV should be personal with a predominance of nouns (substantives) instead of verbs (actions), divided into general headings with the most recent events first and, primarily, including a covering letter. Its purpose is to make sure that the CV arrives to the correct person of the company by starting with an underline heading giving the job title you are interested in and stating why you want that particular job with that particular employer [http://www.job-interview-site.com/why-are-you-interested-in-this-job-position. html, 2011]. Do not forget that this letter should only be one side of A4 paper, easy to read and mention when you are available for an interview.
The fourth law concerns the interview stage, that is, be well-informed about the company (check its Web site, for example), be ready to ask about the job duties and requirements, dress conservatively and formally (cleanly shaved, for man, no tight cloths, for women, clean finger nails and body odor, for both). If the employer asks you the monthly payment that you are expecting to earn, you have two plausible choices: (a) Do not make any comment; (b) State your last employee income.
Etiquettes are social rules that each culture and society adopts over time [Gloria McComas, 2011]. Be aware that an impression is made within the first seven seconds of meeting someone and be on time for meetings. Pay attention to names when you meet people because social graces help in a successful business person. Moreover, stand up when you meet someone, smile and make eye contact. This is the fifth law.
©MDTimes/ University of Saint Joseph
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