Tag Archives: Jobs

Applying in a Different City

I recently had an inquiry from a student. They wanted to apply for a job in another city, but didn’t want to travel for an interview unless it was absolutely necessary. She wrote a letter, asked me to proofread it, and I present it below for you.

Dear Ms. Familyname,

I really appreciate your consideration of my candidature for Commercial Account Manager (Junior) position in your company.Right now I’m studying English at [School Name] every working day from 9am until 4pm. My studying program will be finished in 2 months. I am very interested in working at your company and have a few questions. Is it possible to have our conversation in Vancouver or at a distance, for example, online? If it is not I will try to organize my trip to Courtenay. Could we meet on Saturday, the 12th of June?Thank you in advance for your help.

Sincerely,

Student.

Six-Pack of Financial Words

Just a few words for work conversations today.

  • bankruptcy – noun – a time when a company runs out of money and can no longer pay their debts.
  • liquidation – noun – a time after bankruptcy when the company’s stuff is sold to get money to pay their debts.
  • liquid asset – noun – an asset is something that a business or person owns. A liquid asset is one that is easily sold or exchanged, like cash, gold, or certain investments.
  • fixed asset – noun – A fixed asset is not as easily sold or exchanged as a liquid asset. This group might include real estate, machinery, inventory, or contracts.
  • expenditure – noun – the money that a business needs to spend in order to do business. This might include buying supplies, paying salaries and rent, repairing machines, or advertising products.
  • revenue – noun – the money that comes into a business from doing its business activities, before expenses are paid

Actual Job Interview Questions

I received a page of questions that a popular restaurant chain uses in its hiring procedures, and I thought I’d share a few of the most interesting ones here.

The page is quite complete; it gives example questions and answers for each of the areas that the company is interested in. Perhaps surprisingly, there is no area for education or work experience. All of the questions deal with work-related situations, personality, and communication skills.

Work skills:
-Tell me about a time when you could not help a customer.
– When multitasking, how do you decide on the order of your tasks?
– How did you get along with your last coworkers?
– Describe a difficult situation at work and what you did to resolve it.
– How did you solve personality problems at work?

Personality attributes:
– Why do you want to work at [name of restaurant]?
– Why do you want to work in the restaurant industry?
– How have you improved yourself in the last six months/year/two years?
– What makes a good leader a good leader?
– What did you do when you had to make a difficult decision at work?

Communication:
– How do you learn what a customer wants?
– What did you do when you saw a coworker or manager doing something wrong?
– If a customer becomes angry, how do you calm them down?
– How did you help a colleague improve their work?
– How do you deal with negative evaluations, assessments, or feedback at work?

I like these questions. They really give the candidate an interesting way to explain their connections to the job, their own ideas, and their abilities. Add them to your collections of practice questions to look at your skills from a new perspective.

Why you should take a reading class

Most ESL students read at about 200 words a minute, which is the same speed that they speak. The average reading speed for native speakers is about 500 words per minute, and you can reach speeds of 1000 words per minute and above with practice.

So what? With a faster reading speed, you can:

  1. save time.
  2. read more efficiently.
  3. spend more time on more important actions.

If you’re taking a test, faster reading will help you in every section. You’ll have more time to consider the answers, and finding the answers will be faster too. Reading for fun will become more fun. Nobody wants to spend a month reading a popular book, but reading it in a week? That sounds better!

Work will become easier too. Think of how much there is to learn about at your company: business reports, emails, summaries, proposals, contracts, and more. With a higher reading speed, you’ll be able to devote more time to doing your job, rather than just reading about what other people are doing.

Here’s a website that has speed-reading exercises and tests. I taught a reading course for many years, and was amazed by how quickly the students improved their speed. Over a month, most students were able to double their reading speed. You can too!

Your Application

Just a quick note today. When you submit your job application online, make sure that your filenames are descriptive. Instead of submitting “newestresumecopy2.pdf” or “aplicagionforjobletter.pdf,” chose a simple format that can help a hiring manager. Choose a format that works for both your resume and cover letter and includes your name.

“DaveHendersonResume.pdf” or “CoverLetterDaveH.pdf” are two formats that I have seen and found helpful in the past. Good luck in your job search!

Name that text!

You’ll find that some people have very strict requirements for the layout of papers. Perhaps this is for a university essay, or maybe a contract for your work, but the details count. Here are some examples of common layout instructions.

This sentence is justified left.

This sentence is justified centre.

This sentence is justified right.

This paragraph is written with box justification, which changes the size of the space between the words. It’s very hard to read quickly, and should be avoided. This paragraph is written with box justification, which changes the size of the space between the words. It’s very hard to read quickly, and should be avoided. This paragraph is written with box justification, which changes the size of the space between the words. It’s very hard to read quickly, and should be avoided. This paragraph is written with box justification, which changes the size of the space between the words. It’s very hard to read quickly, and should be avoided. This paragraph is written with box justification, which changes the size of the space between the words. It’s very hard to read quickly, and should be avoided. This paragraph is written with box justification, which changes the size of the space between the words. It’s very hard to read quickly, and should be avoided.

These are single-spaced lines. These are single-spaced lines. These are single-spaced lines. These are single-spaced lines. These are single-spaced lines. These are single-spaced lines. These are single-spaced lines. These are single-spaced lines. These are single-spaced lines. These are single-spaced lines. These are single-spaced lines. These are single-spaced lines. These are single-spaced lines. These are single-spaced lines. These are single-spaced lines. These are single-spaced lines.

These lines are double-spaced. This style is quite common in schools and universities, because

it leaves space for editors or markers to add comments. These lines are double-spaced. This

style is quite common in schools and universities, because it leaves space for editors or markers

to add comments. These lines are double-spaced. This style is quite common in schools and

universities, because it leaves space for editors or markers to add comments. These lines are

double-spaced. This style is quite common in schools and universities, because it leaves space

for editors or markers to add comments. These lines are double-spaced. This style is quite

common in schools and universities, because it leaves space for editors or markers to add

comments.

This text is bold. Bold text is often used for headings.

 This text is underlined. Underlined text is also used for headings, but not as often as bold text.

This text is in italics. Italics are sometimes used for quotations or foreign word, but the most common use is to emphasize a word or phrase.

Bartending Certification

Serving it Right is a BC Government training course for serving alcohol. It’s not a legal requirement, but high-profile businesses, like hotels, casinos, restaurants, and bars will want their employees to have it.

The material is free, but the test costs $40. You can take the test online or on paper. All the details are on their website. If you’re in my classes, come and see me. I have a few books left over from when we offered training for this certification in the past.

You can learn about other helpful certifications in my Power Up Your Internship paper. Just follow this link to the free download.

Marketing Networking

Recently, I’ve had some questions about networking and volunteering in Vancouver. A friend of mine told me about a marketing event that looks really interesting. It’s called ProductCamp, and will be held next Saturday, March 8th, at the Beedie School of Business at SFU. The address is 500 Granville Street, and admission is free. You can read about the plans, register, or volunteer at their website: productcampvancouver.org.

Go Volunteer is a job-search website for volunteers. There’s a great variety of positions available, each with different time commitments, areas of specialty, and locations. I just saw ads for a bartender at a salsa dance, a hospital communications specialist, a cook, social service providers, and seniors’ care helpers. Many of the advertisements offered discounts or benefits for their volunteers, and most offer letters of recommendation or references too.

There’s one for just Burnaby-based jobs at volunteerburnaby.ca

No volunteering post would be complete without my favourite causes:
Bike racing at the Burnaby Velodrome – they need volunteers for the night of March 21st
Technology and environmental work at Free Geek Vancouver

Remember to put your Canadian volunteer experience on your resumé, too. Use it to show that you are familiar with local people, customers, and business culture. Good luck and happy volunteering!