Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Communicating with prospective employers

A very important and indispensable part in any job search is communicating with prospective employers. This includes writing emails introducing yourself, cover pages, cvs, replying to any emails and then speaking on the phone and finally an interview. This is considerable work for anyone looking for a job, and even more so for someone searching for a job in a foreign language.

While A.'s Portuguese is good and everyone is astonished when he says he's only been here for 3 months (although that is cheating a bit... since he started learning a long time back) it is by no means fluent. He's done a couple of placement tests for classes and they considered him advanced, but that means he can get by, not that he can write cover letters by himself. So he's been asking me for help. Which is fine. But then I get requests like:   "Samba, I need a letter for company X, please". I understand that this is the easiest way to ask for help, but hey, I am not the one looking for a job! Early on we got into a heated argument because I was not 100% focused on his emails and letter, while for me the help I was asked was supposedly in translation, not in that and composition. It would be much easier if he had a draft in English and I translated, at least I would not have to guess what he wants written. The worst is when I get a reply: "Samba, I need revisions". Like, huh, which ones??

Another issue is timing... I must say that when A. pings me on skype mid afternoon I already get a bit apprehensive... what e-mail is it this time? I get it that emails are supposed to be answered fast, but mid afternoon, when I'm at work, is usually not good timing for me.

But then yesterday when A. pinged me he said: "Hey, I need an email for company Y. I will write a draft and then you just correct it, ok?". WOW! This was great!


  1. Yes, Apparently, Transcribing and proofreading are one of the significant essentials of being a good indian brahmin wife. The hindu gods will be so proud of you.

  2. Hi Jamun!
    That was funny! Guess that means extra blessings on Diwali?? :P

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