Basic stuff

I’m going to cover some very basic stuff here if you are in a job search, or planning one soon, as a person with global moxie.

First, draft a good cover letter. They’re important. I am always surprised by young professionals or soon-to-be graduates who have not written a good cover letter, or been advised to do so. Why are cover letters important? First, they show your written communication skills. They show that you can think coherently, and that you understand your own narrative about your experiences and your career goals, and how the specific application you are submitting aligns with your goals and experience. Think of a cover letter as a friendly way to have a professional introduction that you get to initiate – you’re basically holding the attention of the hiring manager for a few minutes. Just you! You alone! Talking to a person who might want to hire you. Don’t waste this opportunity.

Start with an introduction, reference the position, and then give a first paragraph about your skills and experience. In your second paragraph, explain how your skills and experience can address specific requirements of the job. Then make a nice conclusion. Be friendly, but not pushy. Say you hope to speak with the hiring manager further about your application.

And for Pete’s sake, do it well. A bad cover letter is the kiss of death. Check for grammar, typos, word choice. Keep it professional. Don’t sound crazy, and don’t use nutty fonts.

welcome to GlobalMoxie!

This is the inaugural post for GlobalMoxie, a blog dedicated to rising graduates and young professionals who have studied abroad, lived abroad, interned abroad, or worked abroad, and who now find themselves back home wondering how to position themselves to get that next job – or their first job.

The world is a big place, and if you’ve ventured forth into it, you’ve got great experience – skills and understanding that people often don’t have if they’ve never explored beyond their comfort zone. You can understand problems and how to solve them; you have learned how to function in a different language or culture; you know firsthand how to analyze a complicated problem and move through it to find a solution; you can get along with different people. These skills are important, and every hiring manager in America wants to find someone like you. A bachelor’s degree isn’t enough anymore in our labor market. What distinguishes you? Study abroad? A master’s degree? Significant work experience? What else? Let’s find out.

I’ve been there, I’ve done that, and I want to help you do it too.

I’ve traveled extensively (lost count a few countries ago), lived abroad a few times (Spain, France, Italy), and love to learn what makes the world – and people – tick. I put in my time in the classroom learning languages, but it was rarely as rewarding as being immersed in a culture, taking it all in, all synapses firing. I’ve enjoyed an evolving international career since 1997, working in the field of U.S. immigration, writing, and editing in New York, Seattle, and Oklahoma. I teach. I’ve reviewed thousands of cover letters and resumes as an immigration specialist and as a hiring manager, and I know what works – and what doesn’t – in a job search. Believe me. There are some basic tenets.

Every job I’ve ever been hired to do since I was 20, paid or unpaid, was due to the fact that I had studied abroad and lived abroad, acquiring language skills along the way. I know I’ve turned searches and interviews my way because of my ability to talk about my international experience. I have good ideas about how recent graduates and young professionals might shape their job search. I’ve had some great conversations in the past year or two, but I think we can reach more people this way. Are you interested? Want to follow? Good, because I’ll be putting a lot of ideas here in the future.

Comments, suggestions, ideas are welcome!

– Monica