Monkey Forest Tales: Writing a letter of interest for your job application

In past weeks, I wrote a couple of post about volunteer experiences and transferable skills, both important when you prepare your CV and apply for jobs. In today’s post I will talk about my experiences with letters of interest when applying for new jobs.

When I started applying for jobs, a long time ago, it was only about your CV done, showing what you have done, your studies and the experience you have. Every country presents this same information in different ways and receive different kinds of support documentation with your C.V. Also, academic jobs are different from industry, NGO jobs applications. Nowadays, both will require a letter of intention in which you will explain why your experience is the right one for the job you are applying.

Over the years, some friends and professors gave me different advises about how to write this kind of letter, what to put in, but just recently I also learned that you also must learn what kind of language you should use. Some of the instructions on those job applications explain that you need to put how your experience will be useful for that job. However, it seems is also important to put how those experiences and skills will solve the problems you will face while doing the job you are applying for, using the same words they use to advertise the job.

Some career advisors also will tell you; you need to sell yourself for the job you are applying for. I never being good at selling, even less to sell myself. But in today’s job market the better you market yourself the better the job you get, so try to learn the language appropriate in your field to do it.

In academy, is not only about selling, but also about the articles you publish and the journals in which you publish it. So, if you can start publishing early, choose wise about the journals and even if we do not like and depending on where you want to go to work, publish in English.

Recently, there has been a lot of debate about, how academy is driven by publishing in English and how difficult it is for us non-native speakers to publish in this language. Although I think is valuable to publish both in English and in your own native language, you need to be aware that you will get different opportunities from publishing in different languages. I also agree that academy system need to change about this aspect, however I do not think it will change fast enough to give people finishing their careers now the opportunities they deserve if they only publish in their native language. So, my better advise is trying to publish in both languages, English and your native language.

Make sure also that you show that flexibility to publish in more than one language in your letters of interest, especially if the job you are applying require that you manage more than one language, a feature that I found is getting more common in recent years. And a final advise, spent time doing your job applications, this will assure you, you will get at least to the job interview phase of the process…

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