QBL MOOC Unit 13a Cover Letter Job Application

QBL MOOC Unit 13a Cover Letter Job Application

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In this part, we’re going to look at
something that’s very important for your future, and that is the application
letter. When you go looking for a job, you’re going to apply, and they want your resume. The
resume is a list of your education, your work experience, and all of those details.
You can find many places online and in our ebook that help you to make a
nice-looking resume. Right now, I want to teach you about the harder part though– the
application letter. When you write an application letter, it will make a huge
impression on the people who interview you or ask you to come to an interview.
So it’s your first step or your big step actually. When I read application
letters, I can immediately see if the person is serious, if they’re detailed, if
they work hard, if they take their work serious. If there’s many mistakes and it
makes no sense, then I know this person is not going to be a good employee. So it’s
very important in the application letter to make a good impression. And I’m going
to show you how in this short summary of writing the application letter. Now
remember an application letter goes along with your resume. So one is a list
of your history, kind of your education and work history. And this is a letter.
Usually, the letter should not be longer than one page, because if it’s too long,
people see it and they say, “Oh no! it’s too long. It’s too much for me to read.” So keep it
down to one page. Now let’s take a look at the application letter. The
application letter will usually be sent with the resume together. In Taiwan,
China, and Hong Kong, a lots of times, if you apply for a job that’s a foreign company,
or international company, and even some big domestic companies, they will ask for you
to have a Chinese letter and an English letter. Now maybe you write the Chinese
then you translate it. I guess that’s okay. But I want to tell you that the
normal Chinese approach and the English approach are very, very different.
So I’m going to talk about English approach, and I hope you can write them
separately to do a better job. This letter will follow the style of any
business letter. And that is it should have a nice heading. It should have an
opening. It should have a body. It should have a closing. It should look nice and help you
make a professional appearance or look professional.
Before I go on about the details of this letter, I just want to emphasize one
thing: And that is about this date issue. And many people make this mistake. Let me
say that I want to list out some dates. Maybe I have some important dates, like
maybe I graduated from school in 2015. And maybe I got my first job in 2016. And
maybe I had another job when I was in college, and that was in 2014. Now when
you write this in your resume, you need to write it this way: the Late, Later,
latest date goes on top. And the early date goes on the bottom. So these dates,
let’s put them in here. The first thing at the top of the list
would be 2016, the next thing in the list would be 2015. The last thing in the list
would be 2014. That’s very important, and everybody seems to mix this up. And
people who get it right, I know they’re professional and they’ve checked. There
is one way to write this, and that is the last date goes first,
last goes first. Because that’s the most important. It’s the most recent. And
things that are earlier go to the bottom towards the bottom of the list. They may
be important but they go down towards the bottom. They go down. Later towards us
sooner to today, closer to today, goes up on the top. That’s called reverse
chronological order, reverse chronological order. It’s very important
to get that right. Now in the application letter, we don’t really worry about that
so much. Because an application letter there’s one thing you do not want to do
and that is do not tell a story. I see lots of application letters where the
applicant will tell a story. And when I say tell a story, I mean they’ll say, ‘Oh,
hello! let me tell you. I was born in Changhua County. And my parents owned a
shop. And bla bla…I went to junior.’ They tell me the whole story of their life. That is
not the right way to write an application letter. An application letter
is a chance for you to sell yourself to the company, to say, ‘I am valuable.
I have something that’s worthwhile. You’re going to pay me, just like buying
a product. So I need to show you the value you get. You’re going to pay me
money. And I’m going to give you more in return. And here I’m going to tell you
about that.’ So please don’t go into all the stories about your family, and about
your history with your family, and all those things.
I think there’s a lot of confusion because in Chinese this is often called
the autobiography, or it’s translated as autobiography. And even lots of Chinese
applications will say write your autobiography. What you should be writing
is this application letter, which is a very short, very clear, little, tiny piece
of information to sell yourself, tell your value. So let’s take a look at how
this letter works. This letter will have four paragraphs. The first paragraph will
be an introduction, just quick introduction. Each paragraph will be
directed towards the job. That is each paragraph should be telling something
about you and how you match the job. And you should only be telling important
skills to the job. So if I’m applying for an accounting job, I should be talking
about my accounting skills. If I’m applying to a job that needs Japanese, I
should be talking about my Japanese skills. If I’m applying to a job that
needs Japanese but I talk about my German skills, that is not helpful. Now,
later, maybe after I get the job, maybe that’ll be good, maybe they need some
German skill. But that’s not the way you do it when you apply. You want to focus
and just show the skill that you have that matched the job now. So I can give you a
chance. So you can get a chance to get an interview. So you get a chance to get
into the company. So let’s go ahead and look at the part of this letter. The
first paragraph is very easy. You need to tell how did you find this job. There’s
two ways to apply for a job: one is called solicited, and one is called unsolicited.
So one way is you just send a letter, and one way is you see an advertisement
online for example. That’s the normal way these days. So you need to say how did
you see the information. So ‘I saw your information online’ or something
like this. You can give a date and a location. You need to tell something very
quickly about the company you’re applying to. So this shows you did
your homework, you know something. So you don’t want to look stupid. You want to
look smart. So in this way, you want to say, ‘I know something about you. I can
work with you because I already studied something about you.’ That’s very, very
helpful. So let’s look at some simple examples. These are pretty short, because
the first paragraph, you don’t want to spend too much time here. Because you
need to keep your letter down to one page, remember? So let’s look at the first
example here: “I saw your advertisement for a sales manager in the China Post on
June 8.” So here is a date, and here is the place I saw it. So this could be online,
and this could be offline. “I am very interested in this position and feel
that I am well qualified. Please consider me as an applicant for this position.” So
very straightforward. Look at the second example: “A Ms. Hayworth recently
informed me that there’s a job opening in her department, the Marketing
Department of the Asian division. At this time, I would like to be considered as an
applicant for this job.” So here we have a good example of I know somebody. So if
you know somebody, you can go ahead and put their name in there now in the first
paragraph, just to bring that up now. These two are different. This first one
is solicited, and the second one is unsolicited. Different, you see. Solicited
means you saw it in the newspaper, or you saw it online. Unsolicited means you
did not see it. You just sent a letter to apply. You may think that’s crazy.
How can you just apply for a job when they have not advertised? Well, yeah. You can
do that. You actually have a better chance to get a position, if you’re lucky
enough that they have one open. Of course they may not have one open, then you
don’t have a chance. But that’s okay. You can still try. And if they see your
letter and think you’re special enough, they may even offer you a position,
although they didn’t have one open right now. It’s always possible. Who knows, right?
Paragraph 2. For paragraph 2, you want to describe what are you doing now, what
kind of work are you doing now. And more detail would be good. But remember you
need to show the detail in order that the person reading it feels that detail
is important to me. You see if you said something like, ‘I can
use Microsoft Word’. Well, is that really an important detail for this job? If you
could say, I can program Microsoft Word using Microsoft macros, and that office
needs that, that would be good. So the more specific you are, the better. If you
say, ‘well I can use Adobe Photoshop’. Is that important? But if it is important, can
you mention more detail, like, ‘I can use Adobe Photoshop. And here is a link to
samples of my work, and you can see that work. And I have successfully published
this work in some kind of online magazine or something’. So by giving more
detail that’s better. But you want to give the right detail. And that means the
detail that helps me think, ‘Hmmm. You are good for my company. You have skills that
we can use now. If you say everything general like, ‘I can use computer’. Well,
isn’t that everybody? Or ‘I can use a cell phone” , right? That is everybody. So that’s
not really so helpful. Here’s an example: paragraph 2. And in
this example, this is a recently graduated student. And this student is
trying to emphasize leadership skills and responsibilities. So this is very
clear. ‘These are the two skills I think I have.’ “At Taichung College, where I am a
student, it has been my pleasure to be the leader of my class for the last
three years. As such, I often have had to take responsibility for class projects
and activities. I have organized several trips for my class, around Taiwan. The
planning of these trips involved complex scheduling, good communication skills and
a strong sense of responsibility; I feel these skills are important to success.”
That’s a great example, right there. The job this person is applying for–
responsibility and leadership communication– this must be very
important for this job. So if you apply the job, and I see this I say, ‘Hey, I can
see what you’ve done’. But if you write a letter and you just say, ‘I am responsible.’
Well, everybody says that. I need proof. I need evidence. I need you to show me what
you’ve done that matches this job. Here’s another example. In this paragraph, we’re
going to look at emphasizing communication skill. “I am presently
employed at the Number One Sports Center. In this part-time job, I have learned how
to communicate effectively with customers. My job is to answer customers
questions about products while also handling any complaints. Because Number
One Sports Center concentrates on new products and highly specialized exercise
equipment, customers have numerous questions about use, quality, price,
service, etc.” So in that example, you can see the job
he’s applying for or she’s applying for is related to communication or maybe
communicating with customers. ‘And I want to show you I’ve done that before. So let
me give you the example.’ So paragraph 2 is emphasizing how your skill set matches that job.

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