Congratulations! You have razzle-dazzled the department manager with your small-talk skills and your memorable elevator pitch and have received the exciting news that you have a job interview. After giving yourself that well-deserved pat on the back, you realize that it’s time to start preparing. You set out to craft the most powerful and impactful answers that will not only impress your audience, but will also demonstrate how you CAN and WILL add tremendous value to their company. What might that answer look like? Continue reading
When we are submitting a cover letter to a perspective employer, we want to showcase our skills and to communicate the fact that we have confidence. In work preparedness classes we promote the idea that confident vocabulary and sentence structure is essential to having our cover letter read. But where is the line between confidence and over confidence, and how do we teach that to our students?
I once received a homework assignment that was a sample cover letter written by a student. The format was good, the sentences well formed, and there were no spelling mistakes. However, a few lines made me wince: “I am brilliant. I am the best person that your company could hire.” This surely was confidence, bordering on hubris, that may in fact have the same effect as grammatical error on the reader of the letter. If I were the hiring manager, I’m not sure I would have read much further. So, where do we draw the line? Continue reading
For the last 8 or 9 years I have been working in programs that deliver language instruction to adult newcomers who have language levels above CLB 7. These people have high levels of education and have been professionally trained. When I first started working with this demographic of students, I struggled with creating content that was relevant for my classes. I found their language skills to be quite good, and I wondered what else I could offer them.
Once I started to get to know them a little better, I came to understand that they were having difficulty obtaining employment. This fact seemed counter intuitive to me because I know that Canada relies on immigration to sustain its workforce. I had been taught that without immigration, Canada’s population would actually decline. So, what exactly prevents them from getting a job? Continue reading