Saturday, March 24, 2012

Dental Assistant Resumes:Make Your Cover Letter Do its ... - Business

by Clifton Quinn on March 23, 2012

A September 2010 article in Harvard Business Review features research suggesting that people who have lived in more than one country or who identify with more than one nationality are better problem solvers and display more creativity.The article gives on example of an experiment where more than 200 MBA students at Northwestern?s Kellog School of Management were asked to solve something called the Duncker Candle Problem. The students were given three things: a candle, a pack of matches and a box of tacks. Their task was to use only the items given to them to attach the candle to a cardboard wall so that the candle burns properly and does not drip wax on the floor.

A short letter is essential. One page with plenty of white space. Three paragraphs are preferred, four is acceptable. You have only a few seconds to get the reader?s attention, spend them wisely. Give yourself an hour or so after your research for writing the cover letter-for each application/resume you submit. Don?t be take this lightly, content is not so easy as summarizing your elevator speech. Everyone can do that and that is not unique to the job or employer. By submitting it you?ll identify yourself as un-unique.Don?t repeat anything in your resume. Either describe an achievement not mentioned in your resume that applies to the position, or comment on ONE achievement in your resume as A reason for your application and therefore, for reading further. Don?t fall into the trap of repeating the resume content else why should an employer read further.

The authors of the Harvard Business Review article give more examples of experiments and studies that showed people with experience living internationally to be more resourceful, creative problem-solvers. And they recommend that U.S. corporations invest in developing these kinds of employees through expatriate programs.?Expatriate programs are good for developing better managers, our research suggests. We believe that companies could make them even better by ensuring that expats are not cocooned from the local culture during their stints abroad. The more expats interact with locals and local institutions, the more creative and entrepreneurial they?ll become.?

The key here, according to the authors, is the part about ?ensuring that expats are not cocooned from the local culture during their stints abroad.? My own international work experience certainly made me more resourceful, outgoing and action-oriented. At the age of 23, I left Oregon to go find work in South Korea. The first time I heard the Korean language spoken was on the flight from Portland to Seoul when one of the flight attendants made an announcement in Korean. Today, despite having never learned a foreign language other than the most basic high-school Spanish, I?m proficient in the language. I can speak, read and write Korean well enough to get by in a work environment (though certainly not at native-level fluency). And I never took a formal Korean language class! How was I able to do it then? Simple: Necessity.

When I started my first job in Seoul, I realized that if I was going to find my way around the city I had to learn to read the Korean alphabet and speak a few basic phrases if I ever wanted to leave the neighborhood where I lived. The only ways to get around in the area at that time were by bus and taxi. The buses had no signs in English and I hadn?t run into any taxi drivers who spoke much of the language. Although I was hesitant to do it, not sure how I would be perceived, I asked one of my Korean co-workers to give me a crash course in the language. Then I forced myself to get out of my apartment on the weekends and after work. I made an effort to see theDental Assistant Resumes city and to use my newly acquired (and fairly awkward) language skills. Skills I never would have acquired had I stayed home.

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