Sell Yourself Successfully

Many of my friends have often solicited me for tips on how to write a good resume in English, along with a unique cover letter. Eventually, they would catch vivid interest, and together we would work on getting a good recommendation letter and prepare the interview. I take this opportunity to also drop a word on public presentations.

The experience and skills I gained in doing this over and over again is essentially based on the great resources I used initially for myself, or feedback I carefully took not of when there was any. Today, I will share with you these resources, so you can also sell yourself in the most efficient, original, professional and hopefully successful way.

Summary :

PART I : Resume (CV) and Cover Letter (Lettre de Motivation)

PART II : Letters of Recommendation

PART III : Getting ready for an Interview

PART IV : Email correspondence

PART V : How to give a brilliant presentation

PART I : Resume (CV) and Cover Letter (Lettre de Motivation)

I mainly used two resources for this :

  • If you start from scratch, try this  : INT’s Arts department’s page on Resumes and Cover Letters.
    I insist on some points described in this link :

    • Focus on what you have done, not on your titles and positions ! And while doing so, turn the actions into verbs, not nouns : Implemented….and not Implementation of…
    • Regarding languages (human and computer) detail your level of fluency :
      For a human language that would be : Spanish: intermediate at speaking, beginner at writing, although can read with ease. (ThAnd for a computer language, use expressions such as hands-on experience with, intermediate, advanced use of, etc. Try to give examples of what you have developed, in what context, and ideally how many lines.
  • If you are aiming for stunning documents : A book called : The Big Guide To Working Overseas by Jean-Marc Hashey. I met the writer during on of his seminars, he is a human phenomenon : An amazing source of energy and above all…of relevant advice. Jean-Marc, you offered me the electronic access to the book, I confirm I did give its price to a charity. Thanks !

PART II : Letters of Recommendation

Some French fellows may not be familiar with this concept. In many other countries, when you apply for a position or an educational institution, you are asked to have one or several recommendations or referees. The referee is a person that either has worked with you, or someone whom supervised your work : a former boss, your former superior, a former professor or teacher, etc. Because they had a positive experience with you, they should be willing to support you. Often a letter or two of recommendation is enough, but sometimes the recruitment staff for the position you apply for may want to phone them.

The following article holds the most pertinent content and advice I have found so far. Thank you Amir for sharing this.

>> Graduate admissions experts on how to acquire the most effective letters of recommendation.

PART III : Getting ready for an Interview

http://www.graduatingengineer.com/interview/index.html

You may also have a look at Part V : How to give a brilliant presentation.

PART IV : Email correspondence

I will spare your some useless blabla by giving you the link below. For positions that you judge very important, I strongly suggest to trace your emails and use online CV and resumes. This will allow you to monitor the recruiters access to your information and thus assess their interest in you. You may have a blog with a statistics widget or a simple page with some tracking code in it : see Statcounter for more information. Thanks to Amir for sharing this.

Using email correctly in your job search will help you stand out from the crowd

PART V : How to give a brilliant presentation

I wish to warmly thank Professor Carl Storz from the Arts Dpt of INT for this excellent document which has been tremendously helpful in my key presentations so far.

http://www.int-evry.fr/lsh/ressources/ops_05.pdf

I may insist on some key points that truly bug people when not followed :

  1. Boring speakers, out! Please, be dynamic. Any presentation can be made interesting, followable and even funny, so make an effort. No need to overdo it though. If you think there is nothing to do about your prosody (the way you speak) then I am glad to inform you there are techniques and by training you will be able to become more dynamic. If you are an introvert, it also involves accepting to modify a bit your personality in a way that makes it more open to public relations.
  2. Put the slide page numbers, and if possible in small print the name of the presentation if you are presenting several sets of slides.
  3. HAVE LIGHT PAGES. At no point the public should be reading sentences.
  4. COLORS !!! Make sure the contrast between text and background is irreproachable.

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