Working with host companies and as a hiring manager in the past, one thing that always stands in the way from international students getting professional experience is their written English skills.
I completely understand that English may not be your first language, but potential employers judge you very harshly on how you write. Let me give you some reasons why.
See this example:
“ I am really looking forward to see you for the meeting today. I am excited and thank you for the time you given me so far”
Okay let’s have a look at how this should have been written :
“ I am really looking forward to seeing you for the meeting today. I am excited and thank you for the time you have given me so far”
To you, the first line may look like normal English, but if you send this to a hiring manager, they would be very unimpressed. People judge you on how you write and weather you are taken seriously. Its not nice but it’s a fact. It makes a hiring manager think – if I hire this person, how will they interact with executives with bad written English? How well is their spoken English? Are they professional enough to work in our company?
Your written English is just as important as your spoken English. Its not just words on a piece of paper. It’s a representation of you. So if your resume or cover letter has any grammatical issues or spelling mistakes, I guarantee that it will affect your ability to gain employment.
It’s really important that you make the right impression. Many hiring managers know and understand that you have studied here for the last couple of years, so they expect the basic standard of written English required. Also remember, your competition is other students who have adapted well to improving their written and verbal English and local students, they have a huge advantage because they are taught in school how to write properly. It comes more naturally to local Australians. From a hiring managers perspective, they want someone who represents the business professionally.
What to do now : There are many systems out there now that can check your grammar and spelling to ensure that its correct. You can always double check your work or even Google to see if it makes sense. If you put the sentence on the Google search bar, typically Google will correct the sentence. This is a quick and easy way to check. My best advice, re – read your work always. You never know what you will find if your read it a second time. And try reading it out loud. This makes a big difference and you can easily correct your mistakes.
Invest time in reading Australian news and practice your writing. This is very important as it will give you some tips on how Australians communicate and will also help you with your spoken English.
By Fainaaz Ali – Director of Careers, Ecare Careers