Diocesan Boys' School Wednesday, 28 TH November 2012
Introduction WHO AM I? Edward Chen Educated and raised in the UK I manage a specialist recruitment / executive search firm called Harbridge Partners 13+ years in working with Top Global Banking & Financial Services Institutions and Law Firms My Job: I find senior managers better jobs WHAT IS HARBRIDGE PARTNERS? Harbridge is a boutique, recruitment search firm and human capital consultancy. We help the world’s top banking and financial services groups to hire the best talent across the Asia Pacific. We specialise in helping to match senior people with senior jobs within Legal, and other specialist sectors within Banking & Financial Services across Asia Voted in Asiamoney Polls: Top Legal & Compliance Head Hunter (2010 – 2011 & 2011- 2012).
Contents My discussion is about: HOW TO GET AN INTERVIEW The Cover Letter Good & Bad Cover Letters Your resume / Curriculum Vitae (CV) Good & Bad CVs Sending out the Cover-letter & Curriculum Vitae (CV) When you get an interview request:: Research The Company Research The Job Research The Interviewer Research the Interview Format
What is the purpose of a cover-letter? A cover letter is an introduction about yourself – it is your first impression to an employer It explains WHO YOU ARE, WHICH POSITION YOU WISH TO APPLY FOR It explains WHY YOU ARE APPLYING FOR THIS JOB It gives EXAMPLES of your skills, experience or qualifications RELEVANT TO THE JOB It also gives you the chance to DISTINGUISH YOURSELF from all the other applicants It should IMPRESS and INTEREST the Interviewer enough to want to read your attached CV It Should NOT BE MORE THAN 1 PAGE LONG It should state your AVAILABILITY TO START WORK / TO ATTEND AN INTERVIEW And FINALLY your contact details so they can CONTACT YOU FOR AN INTERVIEW
An example of a good Cover- Letter Derek C.L. Choi 16F Central Court, Happy Valley Street Happy Valley, H.K. Island Tuesday, 27 November 2012 Dear Mr Smith, Re: Graduate Trainee Lawyer – REF: Allen & Overy- trainee lawyer 0001 I wish to apply for the above mentioned position listed on TheLawyers.Com (Date: 26/11/2012). I recently graduated from the University of Cambridge with a Masters in Law, and was awarded the Dean’s Award for Best Thesis in Corporate Law (July 2012). During my University Summer Vacations, I took the opportunity to undertake two internships with two reputable international law firms, Linklaters in New York (Summer 2011) and Ashursts at their Hong Kong Office (Summer 2010). I note that in the job description, for this advertised role Allen & Overy are looking for someone with Tri-Lingual fluency in English, Cantonese & Mandarin, prior legal work experience and a willingness to travel and work in the UK occasionally. I am native level in Cantonese and fluent in English and Mandarin. I recently took and passed the Hong Kong University’s Proficiency in written and spoken Mandarin course and obtained a Grade 1 with distinction. Having studied and lived in the UK for over 4+ years for my University studies, I am completely open to frequent business travel to the UK, and still have many friends in London. Please find my attached curriculum vitae for you to review. I am immediately available for interview, and can be contacted direct on my mobile 917 917 917 or via email: firstname.lastname@example.org at anytime. May I take this opportunity to thank you in advance for reviewing my application. Yours Sincerely, Derek Choi
Do & Don’t Dos for a cover-letter DON’Twrite a cover-letter that is too long! Purpose of the cover-letter is to introduce you and your CV! DON’Tuse a personal email address which is not professional! For example: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org@gmail.com email@example.com Keep your correspondence email professional: firstname.lastname@example.org@gmail.com DON’T use the SAME cover-letter for every job application! Amend it to suit the job description and add relevant information specifically for that job application DON’T use too small or too big fonts… that the interviewer or reader will have difficulty reading it.. DO think carefully about what are the key skills and experience this job requires? Do you have it? DOexplain why you would be good for this job and give some examples i.e. I can speak fluent English, I can travel as part of work…. I passed a recognised Mandarin Language course with a grade A…. DOremember to include your contact number, address and email address so they can contact you DO spell check your letter for mistakes and grammar DOremember to attach your curriculum vitae too
What makes a good Curriculum Vitae? There is no single "correct" way to write and present a CV but the following general rules apply: It is targeted on the specific job or career area for which you are applying and brings out the relevant skills you have to offer It is carefully and clearly laid out: logically ordered, easy to read and not cramped It is informative but concise It is accurate in content, spelling and grammar. If you mention attention to detail as a skill, make sure your spelling and grammar is perfect! Font and sizing is consistent throughout. Use headings and sub- headings
Common mistakes with a Curriculum Vitae? Back up a statement with an example: Good Leadership Skills - "As captain of the school football team, I had to set a positive example, motivate and coach the team players and think on my feet when making position changes, often in tense situations" To say things like ‘I get on well with people’ is meaningless unless it is backed up by examples” -Head of recruitment for a retail bank Always spell check your CV: “Good custermer service skills.” “In my 3rd year of BA houners English.” Always get someone to proof-read your CV: “But I was not aloud to be captain” “At secondary school I was a prefix”
What other tips can you give me? When writing about your interests & hobbies I like reading, watching movies, stamp- collecting & playing computer games Suggests a solitary individual who doesn't get on with other people. This may not be true about you, but interviewers reading your CV may interpret your personality as quiet and not out-going. But if you wrote it like this: Cinema: member of the University Film-Making Society Travel: travelled through Europe by train this summer in a group of four people, visiting historic sites and practising my French and Italian Reading: helped younger pupils with reading difficulties at school. This could be the same individual as in the first example, but the impression is completely the opposite: we have the perception of an outgoing proactive individual who enjoys helping others.
Sending out the Cover-Letter & CV Be sure to keep track of all the firms that you have applied to and for which particular role. Don’t duplicate by sending many, many emailed CVs for the same role. You will look desperate. Follow-up with a courtesy call or polite email to enquire if your application was received. It also shows professionalism and initiative! Personalise each cover-letter and CV for each job vacancy. Don’t be lazy and send the same cover-letter and CV for all your job applications! Hiring managers will want to read specifically why you want to work for their firm, and what experience/ skills you have relevant to that particular job. If you are fortunate enough that you have relatives or friends that work for the firm or know the senior managers, ask them if they could make an introduction or recommendation of you. Personal recommendations to the hiring manager is very effective, if a job has many, many applicants applying for the role.
You Got An Interview- Now What? 1.Find out all you can about the Company Research the company on their website Use Google search Search in the library/ companies registrar for past company accounts if they are a listed company Follow the company on Social Media i.e. Twitter Go to online recruitment forums to ask about the firm Ask the interviewer / human resources for a graduate recruitment brochure, any information they have Talk to your friends, people who may know people that work or have worked there Find out exactly which building, which floor will your interview be held Look on websites like Linkedin, Bloomberg, Factiva for further information
You Got An Interview- Now What? 2. Find out all you can about the Job/ The Role Who does this role report to? How many managers do I report to? How big is the team? How big is the department? Ask as many questions to their Human Resources Department as you can What would I be actually doing daily on the job? Read through the Job Description again and again? What are the key skills required? Talk to your friends, people who may know people that work or have worked there Does anyone on Linkedin do a similar Job? Can you contact them via Linkedin for advice? Be brave, go and speak to the company’s ground floor receptionist Tell yourself knowledge is power! Anything that you can find out about the job, the interviewer or the interview format will help you beat the competition.
You Got An Interview- Now What? 3. Find out all you can about the Interviewer/ Interview Format? Who is the interviewer? How long have they been at the firm? Where were they before? Look on Linkedin, Facebook? Often they use the same photos What useful information can you find out about the interviewer: 1) Did he / she go to the same School / University as me? 2) Do he/ she have any hobbies that I can raise at the interview? 3) Are there news articles that mentions the interviewer and his/ her achievements with the firm? 4)Is it a HR interview? 5) Is it a technical interview? Do I need to complete any tests? 6) Do I need to prepare a presentation before hand? Prepare, Prepare, Prepare – Find out anything that can help you develop a rapport with the interviewer, so he/ she will remember you!
Finally, the night before the interview? Final Check-List: Check the time of the interview again. Interviewer’s details? Plan to arrive 15 – 30 minutes earlier. Go to the washroom! Do I have the map, location address, of the interview place? Did I print out and read a copy of my cover-letter and CV? Did I polish my shoes? Got all interview clothes cleaned, ironed? Read through all your notes again, interview questions and CV just before you sleep. You will tend to remember things better if you read it when you are relaxed, such as on the bed. Get an early night sleep. HINT: DON’T TELL YOUR PARENTS ABOUT THE INTERVIEW, DON’T CREATE UNNECESSARY PRESSURE OR STRESS FOR YOURSELF! GOOD LUCK- It’s good to earn your own money!
Projects We Support Harbridge is a firm believer in Corporate Sustainability. As regional specialists, we feel we have a responsibility to our home in Asia, and in making a positive contribution to the society and environment. All our clients and candidates at Harbridge are privileged to have had a great education. Our support of Sowers Action and Children International comes from a deep rooted desire to help those who never had the opportunities and advantages that we had. Summers in Hong Kong and other Asian countries are uncomfortably warm. Harbridge would like to do it’s part to reduce global warming.
Contact Us Hong Kong - Head Office - Edward Chen Harbridge Partners Hong Kong 21 st Floor, Suite 100, The Center 99 Queen’s Road Central Central, Hong Kong Email: email@example.com@harbridgepartners.com Tel: +852 3623 7082 Direct: +852 2523 9955 Taipei Office - David Lin Tel: +886 22 362 3336 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org@harbridgepartners.com London Office - Nigel Byrne Tel: +44 7808 069 709 Email: email@example.com@harbridgepartners.com