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How to Sell Yourself Interviews and Personal Statements Dr Rodney Jones Department of English Department of English City University of Hong Kong.

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Presentation on theme: "How to Sell Yourself Interviews and Personal Statements Dr Rodney Jones Department of English Department of English City University of Hong Kong."— Presentation transcript:

1 How to Sell Yourself Interviews and Personal Statements Dr Rodney Jones Department of English Department of English City University of Hong Kong

2 Rule # 1 Know your product

3 Know Yourself Write Write 3 Greatest Strengths 3 Greatest Strengths 3 Greatest Weaknesses 3 Greatest Weaknesses Interests/Passions Interests/Passions Role Model Role Model Career Ambition/s Career Ambition/s Programmes you would like to study Programmes you would like to study

4 Rule # 2 SHOW, don’t tell.

5 Talking about who I am. Talking about what I’ve done.

6 STAR Strategy (1) describe a specific Situation or Task in which you were involved, (2) explain your role and what Action you took, and (3) illustrate the Results you achieved. (1) describe a specific Situation or Task in which you were involved, (2) explain your role and what Action you took, and (3) illustrate the Results you achieved.

7 Try it With your greatest strength. With your greatest strength. With an interest. With an interest. With an extracurricular activity. With an extracurricular activity. With a programme you would like to study. With a programme you would like to study. With your greatest weakness. With your greatest weakness. (1) describe a specific Situation or Task in which you were involved, (2) explain your role and what Action you took, and (3) illustrate the Results you achieved. (1) describe a specific Situation or Task in which you were involved, (2) explain your role and what Action you took, and (3) illustrate the Results you achieved.

8 Practice A: What do you think your greatest strength is? A: What do you think your greatest strength is? B: Well, I think I’m very ___________. Let me give you an example: ___________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________ B: Well, I think I’m very ___________. Let me give you an example: ___________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________

9 Rule # 3 Know your customer.

10 Research What are the requirements for the programme or scholarship? What are the requirements for the programme or scholarship? What are the kinds of things taught in the programme? What are the kinds of things taught in the programme? What are the kinds of jobs graduates get? What are the kinds of jobs graduates get? Who are the people you are likely to be talking to? Who are the people you are likely to be talking to? What format will the interview take? What format will the interview take? What kinds of questions are likely to be asked? What kinds of questions are likely to be asked?

11 Most common questions Tell me about yourself. (You should focus on about three things.) Tell me about yourself. (You should focus on about three things.) Why do you want to attend X university/X programme? Why do you want to attend X university/X programme? What is your strongest/weakest point? What is your strongest/weakest point? What have you done to prepare for university? What have you done to prepare for university? What has been your greatest experience in secondary school? What has been your greatest experience in secondary school? What do you want to do in the future? What do you want to do in the future? Tell me about your interests. Tell me about your interests. Tell me about your involvement in extracurricular activities. Tell me about your involvement in extracurricular activities. What do you think about (insert an important current event)? What do you think about (insert an important current event)? Which of your accomplishments are you the most proud of? Which of your accomplishments are you the most proud of?

12 Preparation DO prioritize (What are the three things you most want to say?) DO prioritize (What are the three things you most want to say?) DO prepare intelligent questions DO prepare intelligent questions DO NOT memorize answers DO NOT memorize answers DO NOT practice in front of the mirror DO NOT practice in front of the mirror

13 The Interview is an English Test! Reviewing key words and phrases Reviewing key words and phrases Names of interviewers Names of interviewers LISTEN to the questions LISTEN to the questions Asking for clarification Asking for clarification

14 Writing Personal Statements Qualities of a good personal statement Qualities of a good personal statement Reflective Reflective Honest Honest Strives for depth, not breadth Strives for depth, not breadth Clearly and accurately written Clearly and accurately written Argues from evidence Argues from evidence Answers not just ‘what’ but also ‘why’ and ‘how’ Answers not just ‘what’ but also ‘why’ and ‘how’

15 Brainstorming Look at the list you made before… Look at the list you made before… Choose no more than three things to focus on. Choose no more than three things to focus on. Consider how your choices are interrelated. Consider how your choices are interrelated. Consider how each of these can be developed using the STAR strategy. Consider how each of these can be developed using the STAR strategy.

16 Greatest Danger Clichés Ever since I was young, I have always wanted to be a doctor. I have always enjoyed helping people, and I want to do it for a living. In particular, I would like to do medical research where my work would have a positive effect for many people. Ever since I was young, I have always wanted to be a doctor. I have always enjoyed helping people, and I want to do it for a living. In particular, I would like to do medical research where my work would have a positive effect for many people.

17 Fighting Clichés Ask yourself honestly: Does it interest you? Ask yourself honestly: Does it interest you? Boredom is the first sign of exposure to a cliché. If you find yourself bored by your personal statement, you can’t reasonably expect your reader to respond any differently. But if you find yourself excited or intrigued by it, then you’re probably on the right track. Boredom is the first sign of exposure to a cliché. If you find yourself bored by your personal statement, you can’t reasonably expect your reader to respond any differently. But if you find yourself excited or intrigued by it, then you’re probably on the right track. Add concrete detail. Add concrete detail. These might seem irrelevant to you, but names, place-names, concrete situations, and sparse, but well-chosen, adjectives all add up to make you and your story more vivid and memorable to the reader. These might seem irrelevant to you, but names, place-names, concrete situations, and sparse, but well-chosen, adjectives all add up to make you and your story more vivid and memorable to the reader. Storytelling. Storytelling. Don’t tell us what you learned or experienced, but show yourself learning and experiencing. For example, rather than telling your reader you learned leadership qualities during an extracurricular activity, narrate how you learned it. Don’t tell us what you learned or experienced, but show yourself learning and experiencing. For example, rather than telling your reader you learned leadership qualities during an extracurricular activity, narrate how you learned it.

18 Structure Proposition Reason Evidence

19 What about after university?

20 Your Challenge Economic Conditions Economic Conditions More Competition More Competition Global Business Environment Global Business Environment

21 What Employers Want

22 More Than Just English

23 BA (Hons.) English for Professional Communication Programme Core

24 BA (Hons) English for Professional Communication

25 How do we compare? University English Language Studies Literary and Cultural Studies Global Business Commun i-cation Language Teaching European Languages Hong Kong U ✔✔ Chinese U ✔✔ Poly U ✔✔ Baptist ✔✔ Lingnan ✔✔ HKIEd ✔✔ City U ✔✔✔✔✔

26 Jobs in… Management and Administration Management and Administration Teaching Teaching Civil Service Civil Service Writing and Publishing Writing and Publishing Marketing, PR, Advertising Marketing, PR, Advertising Tourism and Cultural Management Tourism and Cultural Management Finance, Banking, Insurance Finance, Banking, Insurance

27 Real World Learning Experiences Internships Internships Professional Communication Projects Professional Communication Projects Foreign Exchange Foreign Exchange Study Tours Study Tours

28 Entrance Requirements

29 Talk to us!

30 Talk to me! msn: msn:


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