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Career Help

Career Help 

Introduction

The career help resources assist Eastern Mediterranean University alumni and students who may be changing careers or searching for new job opportunities.

We organise workshops for our graduates in the area of employment seeking strategies. Our expert consultants provide help for students and graduates on the specific areas below:

Writing a CV and a Cover Letter
The center organises workshops for our graduates in the area of employment seeking strategies. Our expert consultants provide help for students and graduates on the specific areas below:

  • CV writing
  • Cover Letter
  • Effective Interview Techniques

Effective Presentation Techniques
Communication skills play an important part in shaping our professional career life. The need for communication starts with birth. For this reason, our center organises workshops aiming to make our students and graduates efficient communicators. Our workshops focus on understanding the spoken and written communication in the communication process, improving the skill of listening, being open to constructive criticism and being able to criticize.

Presentation Techniques
Our workshops on presentation techniques are held by experts and focus on:

  • Effective use of time
  • Appropriate tone of voice
  • Suitable dress code

Workshops on presentation techniques not only contribute to the development of our students' and graduates' self-confidence while giving presentations to any group but are also helpful in overcoming unexpected situations such as convincing opposing participants or answering unexpected questions during the presentation.

Interview process

Interview is one of the most important phases of the employment seeking process.  Your CV and cover letter will be helpful for qualifying as a candidate for the interview. One thing to keep in mind is that employers invite the applicants for an interview only if they consider them as suitable prospective employees.

When you pass the first stage (screening) and are invited for the interview, you are given another opportunity for your prospective employment.

The only thing you should do is to convince the employer that you are the most suitable candidate for the job.

The employment process consists of a considerable number of stages. The most important stage is the interview. During this stage, by using specific communication and persuasion techniques, you need to convince the employer that you are the most suitable candidate for the post.

Keep in mind that during the first stage (screening) only candidates possessing specific talents, qualities and supportive documentation will be selected amongst those who have sent CVs and cover letters.

Interview Preparation

Before the Interview
All job advertisements and announcements contain a detailed description of the job vacancy and a list of necessary qualifications sought. Job description and the list of qualifications are the two main starting points in preparation for the interview.

The following points mentioned in the job advertisement will give you necessary clues during the preparation process for the interview:

  • Job vacancy
  • Qualifications
  • Duties
  • Required Documents

Research
Candidates who prepare for the interview efficiently have a higher chance of being called for a second interview or receiving a direct employment proposition than those who do not prepare themselves effectively.

Before the interview, specify your talents and skills that you will offer to the employer. You may also need to explain your talents and skills with examples.

Obtaining Information about the Company/Institution
Being well-informed about the company/institution you are applying for will put you in an advantageous situation during the interview. After reading the job specification and the required qualifications thoroughly, the candidate should start thinking of explaining his skills and qualifications with an example. This will be extremely helpful in convincing the employer about the suitability of your application.

  • Obtain detailed information about the company from the Internet.
  • Prepare questions that can be addressed to the employers during the interview.
  • During the interview, show your interest towards the position you have applied for.

Practising

  • Practising the interview is an essential part of preparation which will increase your self-confidence.
  • Attend interview related workshops
  • Arrange face-to-face meetings with consultants at the Career Center on discovering ways of introducing yourself to the employer in a better way.
  • Practice the interview with the consultants at the Career Center.

The Resume

Resume (C.V. or CV or Curriculum Vitae) means the story of your life. Resume is structured written summary of a person's education, employment experience, and job qualification. It is your personal advertisement.

The purpose of a resume is to get employers' interest and generate an interview. Resume has less than 45 seconds to make an impression on the potential employers.

Employers view your CV as a concrete example of how you will prepare material on the job. It does not need to be good or pretty good; it needs to be perfect. Make sure your CV adequately represents your goals, your talents, your qualifications and you!

  • Stay abreast of business and financial news
  • Research specific companies
  • Network
  • Find career counseling
  • Look for job openings on the internet and elsewhere

Resume Planning

  • Analyze your audience and purpose to make sure your message meets employer's needs: Resume is a marketing instrument intended to stimulate employer's interest in you. Recognize that the purpose of your resume is to get an interview, not to get a job.
  • Gather relevant information. Research target companies so that you know what they are looking for. Gather every pertinent personal history (previous jobs, educational experience, formal degrees, skill certificates, academic awards, dates of membership in an association, offices you held in a club or organization, presentations you made to a community group) to enrich your resume.
  • Adapt your resume to your audience: Focus on your potential employer. Consider the key qualifications the employer will be looking for. Decide which qualifications and accomplishments are your greatest strengths. Design your resume that highlights your strengths and downplays your shortcomings.

Writing a Resume

There are three types of resumes: Chronological, Functional, or a Combination of the two.
The "right" choice depends on your background and your goal.

  • Chronological Resume: Work experience section is placed immediately after the name and address and optional objective. You develop this section by listing your jobs sequentially in reverse order, beginning with the most recent position and working backward toward earlier jobs. Under each listing, describe your responsibilities and accomplishments, giving the most space to the most recent positions. If you are just graduating from college with limited professional experience, you can vary this chronological approach by putting your educational qualifications before your work experience, thereby focusing attention on your academic credentials.
  • Functional Resume: Emphasizes your skills and accomplishments, identifying employers and academic experience in subordinate sections. It is especially appropriate for candidates who are just entering the job market, who want to redirect their careers, or who have little continuous career-related experience.
  • Combination Resume: Includes the best features of the chronological and functional approaches, but it is not commonly used because it tends to be longer and it can be repetitious if you have to list your accomplishments and skills in both the functional section and the chronological job descriptions.

Composition of Resume

  • Use short, crisp phrases instead of whole sentences
  • Avoid using the word 'I'
  • Start your phrases with action verbs such as these:
accomplishedcoordinatedinitiatedparticipatedset up
achievedcreatedinstalledperformedsimplified
administereddemonstratedintroducedplannedsparked
approveddevelopedinvestigatedpresentedstreamlined
arrangeddirectedjoinedproposedstrengthened
assistedestablishedlaunchedraisedsucceeded
assumedexploredmaintainedrecommendedsupervised
budgetedforecastedmanagedreducedsystematized
chairedgeneratedmotivatedreorganizedtargeted
changedidentifiedoperatedresolvedtrained
compiledimplementedorganizedsavedtransformed
completedimprovedoversawservedupgraded

Begin your résumé by identifying yourself and providing your contact information:
Include your name, address, phone number, and e-mail address.
If you have contact information at school and at home, provide both.
If you have a work phone, home phone, and cell phone, list all and indicate which is which.

Stating a career objective is optional:

Some experts advise against it, saying that your objective is obvious from your qualifications and that a stated objective labels you as being interested in only one thing.
Some experts argue for it, saying that employers will try to categorize you anyway, so you might as well give them the right label.
If you choose to state your objective, make it strong, specific, and convincing. Consider one of the following objectives:

  • A software sales position in a growing company requiring international experience
  • Advertising assistant with print media emphasis requiring strong customer contact skills
  • Accounting management position requiring hands-on knowledge of international finance
  • To obtain an event coordinator position that requires a broad mix of skills in planning, supervision, and communication.

In the education section, present your academic background in depth:

Use a simple heading such as “Education” or “Academic Preparation.”
List the name and location of each school you attended (starting with the most recent).
Include the term of your enrollment (in months and years) for each entry.
List the degrees or certificates you’ve earned at each school.
List your major and minor fields of study for each entry.
Include significant skills and abilities you’ve developed in your course work.
List the courses that have directly equipped you for the job you’re seeking.
Indicate any scholarships, awards, and academic honors you’ve received.
Include any off-campus training sponsored by business or government.
List any relevant seminars or workshops you’ve attended (and any certificates you received).
Mention high school training only if the associated achievements pertain to your career goals.
If you choose to show a grade-point average, include the scale (especially if a 5-point scale is used instead of a 4-point scale).

In the work experience section, call attention to the skills you have developed on the job and to your ability to handle increasing responsibility.

List your jobs in reverse chronological order (with the current or last one first).
Include any part-time, summer, or intern positions.
If you have worked your way through school, say so.
Include the name and location of each employer.
Briefly describe what each organization does.
State your functional title for each job such as ‘records clerk’ or ‘salesperson’.
State how long you worked on each job (from month/year to month/year)
Use the phrase ‘to present’ to denote current employment
Devote the most space to the jobs that are related to your target position.

Mention significant achievements on the job (including facts about skills and
accomplishments) such as:
Devised a new collection system that accelerated payment of overdue receivables

Designed a new ad that increased sales by 9 percent

Raised $2000 in 15 days for cancer research.

You may include your command of another language, travel experience, skills in operating computers and specific software, or other specialized equipment under the headings ‘Special Skills’, ‘Special Event Experience’, ‘Work-Related Skills’, ‘Other Experience’, ‘Language Skills’, or ‘Computer Skills’.

In the activities and achievements section

List projects that require leadership, organization, teamwork, and cooperation
List volunteer activities such as tutoring, fundraising, or community service projects.
List career-related activities such as speaking and writing activities.
List participation in athletics or creative projects.
List the offices held in academic or professional organizations.
Note any awards you have received.
If your activities have been extensive, you may want to group them into divisions such as ‘College Activities’, ‘Community Service’, ‘Seminars and Workshops’, and ‘Speaking Activities’, ‘Achievements, Awards, and Honors’.

You may insert information at the bottom of your resume about additional materials that are available:
You may want to say that ‘work samples are available upon request’.
You may also say that ‘references are available upon request’ but doing so isn’t necessary.

Exclude the following information on your resume:
Political or religious organizations
Items that would encourage discrimination (gender, marital, or family status, age, race, religion, national origin, physical or mental disability)
Salary information
Reasons for leaving the jobs
Names of previous supervisors
Any sort of failure –exams, marriages, businesses
Any sort of dishonest information about your education, work experience, and skills.
Too much information on a resume may actually kill the reader’s appetite to know more.

Summarizing Resume Content

You should try to make your resume a bit more striking than the usual variety. Some of the basics are:

  • Use the heavier, best quality, white, or off-white, letter-size, bond paper. Do not use poor quality photocopy of your resume.
  • Use a quality printer
  • Use an envelope that matches the paper color.
  • Leave ample margins, plenty of white space all around.
  • Use straightforward typefaces such as Times Roman or Arial.
  • Make your subheadings clear, parallel, easy to read and easy to find, placing them either above each section or in the left margin.
  • Try to keep your resume to one page.
  • Avoid italic text font, fancy prints, borders and coloring.
  • Check all headings and lists for clarity and parallelism and be sure that your grammar, spelling, and punctuation are correct.
  • Ask at least three other people to proofread it, too.

Cover Letter

Always accompany your resume with an application letter that explains what you are sending, why you are sending it, and how the reader can benefit from reading your material.

Address your application letter to the specific person who is making the hiring decision.

The opening paragraph of your application letter needs to clearly convey the reason you are writing and give the recipient a compelling reason to keep reading. Briefly say what position and job title you are applying for. Tell how you heard of the organization and the advertisement.

 

The middle section of your letter presents your strongest selling points in terms of their potential benefit to the organization. In this section, relate the experience you have to the job you are applying for. Build interest in you and create a desire to interview you. When writing an application letter in response to an advertisement (solicited application letter), be sure to discuss each requirement specified in the ad. If you are deficient in any of these requirements, stress other solid selling points to help strengthen your overall presentation. Tell why you are interested in the employer, location or type of work. Briefly talk about your education, experience, and achievements. Also, highlight personal characteristics, as long as they apply to the targeted position, such as your diligence or your ability to work hard, learn quickly, handle responsibility, or get along with people.
Don’t bring up salary in your application letter unless the recipient has previously asked you to include your salary requirements.
Refer the reader to your enclosed resume by citing a specific fact or general point covered there.

 

The final paragraph of your letter has to ask the reader for a specific action and to facilitate a reply. The action you request is an interview. Don’t demand it. Try to sound natural and appreciative. Offer to come to the employer’s office at a convenient time or, if the firm is some distance away, to meet with its nearest representative or arrange a telephone interview. Make the request easy to fulfill by stating your phone number, e-mail, and the best time to reach you. Refer again to your strongest selling point and if desired, your date of availability.
Close by a cordial remark by saying ‘thank you’.

Helpful Links

Some useful website for resume and cover letter writing:

http://www.bestsampleresume.com
http://www.aroj.com
http://www.resume-resource.com
http://www.quintcareers.com/resume_samples.html
http://www.resumeedge.com
http://www.sampleresumezone.com
http://www.your-resume.com
http://www.resumesandcoverletters.com
http://www.provenresumes.com
http://www.getresumes.com
http://www.cv-resume.org