Friday, March 21, 2014

So You Want To Get A Job

As I mentioned earlier this week, I currently have a second teaching job--teaching inner city high schoolers job readiness and professional skills and assisting in their placement with a summer internship. I love it.

I've always been "good" at cover letters, resumes, professional communication, code switching, interview prep etc. and frequently get asked by friends to read and edit their stuff or to help them prep for something. I enjoy doing this (I really should start a business) and since it has been on the brain lately with my night class, I'm starting a new series called So You Want To Get A Job.

Bitchin' logo, eh? Sorry, I suck at creativity

I’m not a professional job coach and I don’t have a degree in this stuff, but it’s something I enjoy and find myself doing a lot of. So please don’t take my word as the end-all-be-all of job searching/interviewing advice.

With that in mind, one of the most important things about job searching (or vocational exploration) is word choice. Learning what words to use (and what words not to use) is very important in not only sending out a killer cover letter, but essential for engaging with potential employers, references, and other professionals.

I thought I would just put together a list of my favorite buzzwords and phrases, at least the ones that apply to multiple fields:

-Intentionality/being intentional

-Would enjoy the opportunity to/have had the opportunity to

-Enjoy working collaboratively/cooperatively

-Vocational pursuit/exploration





-Academic rigor/academically challenging

-Interpersonal skills

-Organizational abilities

-“I possess” and “I believe” statements


-Engage with/engage in

-Confident public speaker


-I offer a unique perspective on

-Developed my sense of


-I have personally benefitted from

-Proficient Microsoft Office user


-Provided support and assistance as needed

-Excellent written and verbal communication skills

-Conversational abilities in Spanish

My first bit of advice is to familiarize yourself with this kind of language. If you are in the middle of a job search process where you might send out multiple cover letters and resumes and go on several interviews, becoming comfortable speaking with these words and defining your goals in these terms is very helpful. Organizations look for people who can use the English language in a mature and competent way, but you can’t just use big words or lofty phrases if you don’t understand them and couldn’t explain them in an interview or meeting.

Being well-spoken and well-written is one of my greatest assets in the professional world and it’s something I hope to share with you guys here.

I’m always willing to help edit a cover letter, resume, or email, or help with interview prep!! :)

Is any of this information you think might be helpful at some point during a job search?