1 Jun 2007

Employment Workshop I

International Office and English as a Foreign Language Unit of Glasgow University are organising an employment workshop for international students’ spouses who are looking for jobs in Glasgow. Even though I am going back home soon, but it’s no harm to learn something new. So I attended the workshop.

It’s going to be a three-day workshop. Today, I learnt how to prepare UK Style CVs and Covering Letters. Let’s share some information I got from the workshop!

The purpose of a CV is to:
• Market ourselves to employers,
• Apply for jobs (advertised and speculative),
• List our career history,
• Demonstrate relevant experience,
• Sell our skills, qualities and achievements, and
• Obtain an interview.

So, to prepare a CV, we should include contact details, i.e. name, address, telephone numbers and e-mail, as well as education background, employment history, skills, interests and achievements, and referees. We can include the following, if we want:
• Personal profile,
• Gender,
• Nationality, and
• Date of birth.

Photograph, insurance number, place of birth, religion and health are those that should not included in the CV. Of course, if the employer asks for these, we must provide them.

Here are the guidelines for an effective CV:
• Always comes together with a covering letter or e-mail message,
• Maximum two sides of A4 – stapled, NOT back to back,
• Divide into sections and use clear, appropriate headings,
• Bulleted clear and nicely for details under each section,
• List most recent and relevant experience first,
• Target it towards a type of job / career,
• Use a “formal” e-mail for applying job, use “gltan” instead of “smilelian” or “peppermint”, and
• Check spelling and grammar for accuracy.

There is a format to write covering letters too. As the workshop instructor said, we try to make ourselves different from other candidates, but don’t surprise the employer by doing something too weird. So, please follow this format:
1. Why are you writing?
2. Why are you interested in the job / sector?
3. Why are you a good candidate for the job?
4. Is there anything on your CV which needs to be clarified?
5. When are you available for interviews?

Besides the guidelines, the instructor also mentioned that British are very polite, so we must write our covering letter politely. Again, she emphasised: “Be polite, but don’t surprise your employer.” Here are some unsuitable sentences:
• I thank you humbly for this opportunity / for reading the CV.
“I look forward to hearing from you.” is enough.
• I would like to furnish you with my CV.
Don’t use flowery words, just simple and direct – “Enclosed is my CV.”
• Your humble and obedient servant
Use “Yours sincerely” for known reader and “Yours faithfully” for unknown reader. By the way, it’s always good to find out who will read the letter.

OK, that’s all for today. Happy sharing!

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At 01 June, 2007 23:41, Blogger ShuFen said...


At 02 June, 2007 01:13, Blogger 碧绿荷塘 said...


At 02 June, 2007 15:11, Anonymous way said...

Who gave your the nickname "smilelian"? very "ahlian" woh, haha!

Last paragraph also very funny-lah! Is this guidelines or a joke, haha! ;D

Thanks for sharing...

At 02 June, 2007 15:24, Blogger 碧绿荷塘 said...

"Smilelian" is just a name I created for giving example.
According to the instructor, she received some covering letters which used a lot of "humble and polite" words.
Those I wrote in the last paragraph are some examples she gave us.

At 02 June, 2007 22:06, Blogger 萍凡女子 said...

In business writing, the correct way to approach is to help us structure the message and get positive responses from readers.

Sometimes,we forgot who is our reader.


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