Editor's Note:To have a bright career future, a good resume and cover letter are essential. Many international students are not used to the career culture in U.S., which makes writing a great resume and cover letter a hard task. International students do not have any significant advantages in U.S. labor market due to their ethnicity and language ability, and the uncertainty regarding whether or not they could adapt the career culture of U.S. As a solution to the mentioned challenges, CDSTT held a US-China Resume & Cover Letter Workshop for not only all Chinese students, but also other Asian students who are struggling through these challenges\.
We invited Elizabeth Boesen, a GWU career consultant, and alumni who has worked in U.S. Chamber of Commerce to explain the importance of resume and CV and their basic structures.
As a career consultant of GWU Career Center who has severed as a project manager in World Economic Forum, Elizabeth Boesen is highly experienced, and her major goal is to help Asian students in U.S. to find jobs that fit to them. Elizabeth not only brought the model of designing a personal resume & CV from the career center, she also analyzed them in a extremely concise-effective manner.
Resume, at essence, is the essential tool to utilize your first impression. Let’s be straight, if your resume cannot right away attract the human resource department, then your resume is useless.
In general, the title of the resume should be the name of the candidate, following by the house address, email, phone number of the applicant. It is recommended to make the font of the main title bigger relatively to the sub-title.
All information regarding the applicant should be described through bullet point form, make it as simple as you can.
The simpler, the better. As a reminder, please do not make amateur mistakes such as basic format, grammar, or repetition. These mistakes only indicate your immature characteristics.
The cover letter is not a mere paper, but a text that represents your ability, attitude and even personality. Moreover, the cover letter is a great method to show what the resume has not covered.
Four Pillars of Cover Letter:
- Introduction: reasons why the applicant wants to be in this position, applicant’s knowledge and understanding toward the company, applicant’s passion and determination.
- Experience: utilize terms that are shown on recruitment advertisements to show why the applicant has the ability to be in this position.
- Optional: if the applicant has multiple valuable experience, it is recommended to spend a paragraph introducing about it.
- Closing: summarize applicant’s experience, ability, passion, and future plan in a respectful manner.
Although the length of the cover letter is up to one page long, but in comparison with the resume, cover letter allows the applicant to show applicant’s proudest experience and abilities. Thus, all applicants should put huge emphasis on your advantageous ability along with you experience.
In the second part of the work shop, GWU alumni Zhang Gaofan shared her experiences of job application from a perspective of an international student in the U.S. As a graduated bachelor of GWU and a graduate student in JHU, Ms. Zhang has worked in US-Asia Institute and Center of China and Globalization and other prestigious US research institutes before gradation. She now serves as a research assistant in American Enterprise Institution, Asian Economic Office.
Networking is the Key
As a foreign student from China, networking in U.S. is never a easy task. Thus, joining all kinds of workshops, cherishing your relations with professors or even your classmates are all essential keys to effective networking. Ms. Zhang strongly encourages all students to have the courage to speak up, and most importantly, to have a open mind.
Second, Started From the Bottom
A promising career is based on the quality of your resume, and your resume is mainly based on your experience in work. Therefore, graduating student should stay humble, started from the bottom, and cherish every single opportunity that could empower your experience. Beside intern opportunities during fall/summer period, student also should look for opportunities during the spring, which is less competitive than fall/summer period.
Last but not least, students must discover your true passion and career path that you genuinely enjoy during your college life. Be yourself, follow your passion, and you surely will have a promising future.