How Hong Kongers can increase their competitiveness in the UK job market with a better CV ⦁ 香港人分享求職及寫CV心得

It took Monica just a few days to make her mind up and move to the UK in August 2020. Back in Hong Kong, she was in the creative industry before becoming a financial planner and eventually moving on to retail investment. Despite her good-looking CV, it still took her six months to get a job that she likes. She shares with Ying Goi Dim what she faced during her job hunt, and why she decided to do further studies in the UK while applying for jobs.

You studied a bit while you were job hunting, do you recommend that? ⦁ 點解搵工時你選擇繼續進修

Like many Hong Kongers, I sent out many job applications and received just as many rejections. It was quite disheartening. So I decided to study a bit to increase my competitiveness while job hunting.

I enrolled into a course on retail investment. This is because the qualifications that I have in Hong Kong are not recognised in the UK, and I needed the course to help me carry on what I want to do in investment.

If there are any courses you are taking or have taken, mention them in your CV, especially if they are relevant to the job.

I was a member of the Million Dollar Round Table association of financial professionals for four consecutive years, and it was great experience. Having said that, finding a job with that qualification did not make it easier.

But my good friend in the UK reminded me: “You only need one job.” Spot on! So, I focused on finding a role that I really want and tried to ignore all the ‘no’s I kept receiving. I am now working with a private property developer based in Birmingham.

Of course I had a plan B. If things didn’t work out I would have gone for any job. Working in a supermarket would have been just fine. The most important thing is to stay connected with the world, because who knows who you will meet next? When I was in Hong Kong, my line of work involved a lot of rejection from clients, but it taught me to stay positive and really helped me to adapt to life in the UK.

You paid for a company to revise your CV for you. Can you share a few tips? ⦁ 你有俾錢人幫你改履歷表,有冇乜嘢心得

I have been revising my CV all the time. The current CV I have has probably gone through 20 revisions. I had hired CV writers and asked friends for their opinion.

During the revisions I learnt that a CV is a summary of our professional experience. When writing about working experience, it is best to be specific and describe what you were responsible for. For example, I was very clear about how many clients I acquired as an agent and an adviser, and I quantify my total investment size.

For every working experience that I had, I described how they would relate to the job that I was applying for.

I reused some of the phrases and key words they used in the recruitment adverts to explain why I would fit the role. This was aimed to help my potential employer to tick the boxes whilst reading through my CV.

While we are looking for a good job, these companies are looking for a good match. It’s a two-way street. So, on top of telling them about your experience, you should also explain what you want from the role you are applying for, so they can think about whether they can offer you that.

Tailor make the CV for the job you are applying for, especially those where you see yourself as a good fit. So, do your homework, finalise your CV and find out more about the company for the interview.

Have you thought about becoming an insurance agent in the UK? ⦁ 點解唔揀喺英國做保險

I did ask one person what it’s like to work as an insurance agent in the UK.

For the person I spoke to, it sounded like their company would refer clients to them, and they have a base salary and plenty of training.

However, to me the biggest challenge is not understanding the UK culture nor do I have a big enough network. I don’t think it will be feasible for me to sell insurance policies here.

How are you coping with an all-English environment? ⦁ 英文方面你習唔習慣

My English has been ok as I can understand most of what people say. But, there are many things relating to this language that I have to get used to.

For example, I’m not used to the different accents and the meaning of various slang phrases.

I also have to memorise how to spell out each alphabet using English Phonetic Spelling Alphabet, for example: A is Alpha and B is Bravo!

Was it a hard decision to move out of Hong Kong? ⦁ 

In a way the move was a relatively easy decision, because I live by myself. Still, I gave up everything that I possessed in Hong Kong – not being able to see my friends, the career that I have built and knowledge – for the freedom that I no longer have in Hong Kong.

With all my heart, ‘Add oil, Hong Kongers.’

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