The Asia Foundation (TAF) continues to sponsor the Center for Education and Development (CED) to support the Asia Foundation scholarship program (3rd term) for 4 years and 5 years starting from May January 2021. The program provides scholarships to 25 female students studying science, engineering, technology and math at Hanoi University of Science and Technology and Hanoi University of Civil Engineering. These are female students who, despite having a difficult family background, have the commitment, passion and energy to study science, technology, engineering and math – the majors that male students usually dominate.

The scholarship program offers a comprehensive package of support, including a financial award of 23,000,000 VND/year/student, skills training, practical experience activities, and career connections throughout the scholarship period. Eligible female students who maintain a minimum academic achievement of Good (or GPA of 2.5) per academic year will be supported for the entire duration of their 4-5 year studies at Hanoi University of Science and Technology and University of Civil Engineering until graduation.

On March 26, 2023, The Asia Foundation and CED cooperated with Hanoi University of Science and Technology and Hanoi University of Civil Engineering, to organize a training program on CV writing and interview skills for 25 students who received Asia Foundation Scholarship for Cohort 3. Purpose of the program: Equip the students with CV writing and interview skills to succeed in the labor market and secure employment opportunities. Additionally, the scholarship recipients had the opportunity to connect with each other during the program.

Participants included Ms. Dinh Kieu Nhung, Education Specialist, The Asia Foundation in Vietnam; Ms. Ha Thi Thuong, Education Officer, Center for Education and Development; Mr. Pham Van Quan – Human Resources, UB Group Joint Stock Company; Ms. Tran Lien, talent acquisition specialist from Admicro – VCCOrp and 25 students received scholarships from The Asian Foundation.

The training session was divided into two parts: in the morning, the groups were advised by experts on the content and slides prepared in advance, and in the afternoon, there were group’s presentations. To start the program, Ms. Nhung shared about the purpose of the training session. Mr. Pham Van Quan – Human Resources of UB Group Joint Stock Company also gave an overview of CV writing as well as things to note. Next, the experts came to each group to give suggestions. The groups actively listened to and recorded ideas to improve themselves for the face-to-face interviews. Experts have emphasized the importance of being mentally prepared, researching recruitment information and learning about the company you are applying for. Ms. Tran Lien, a talent acquisition specialist from Admicro – VCCorp, shared some tips during the training program on how to handle questions related to salary and employee benefits during job interviews. The tips aimed to help the students get answers that are appropriate for their level of ability and the position they are applying for. During the training session, Mr. Quan and Ms. Lien always encouraged the students to enthusiastically participate in community movements to enhance their confidence and speaking skills. Anh Quan emphasized “You need to become confident, to be able to do that, you need to practice more, more, join the movement to create many relationships to expand your future job opportunities for yourself”. After the presentation, Nguyen Thi Nham, Hanoi University of Civil Engineering shared: “The program of practicing CV writing and interviewing skills, connecting with businesses has brought us real experiences that we have never had before. Thanks to this program, I now have a better understanding of how to prepare for interviews, how to communicate effectively, and how to conduct ourselves professionally. After the program, I will go back to read more documents related to the interview to have better preparation for the real interviews next year.”

The practice of CV writing skills and interview techniques organized by the committee received a lot of positive feedback from the participating students. As the program was held in both morning and afternoon, many students were able to arrange a convenient time to attend and make the most of the opportunity. 100% of the responses showed that the students felt very excited about this program because most of the responses said that the participants did not have much experience in preparing CVs and job interviews.

All participants assessed the program as carefully and meticulously prepared, and expert reviews were very relevant.

The program has helped students understand: Just boldly apply your CV; Luck=opportunity + preparation + action. Must be well prepared and act decisively. At the beginning of the program, Mr. Quan did not start with how to write an effective CV but showed the students the importance of preparing a CV early. This made me very impressed, and inspired me to act immediately, as well as a premise for me to be convinced by the knowledge that Mr. Quan shared afterward: Please act now; Let the employer win a little more. I am also impressed with the content about the formula of luck, each of us has equal opportunities and we must know to seize the opportunity with careful preparation and most important factor that makes us different from others is taking action toward a set goal. During the program, Mr. Quan also discussed the different types of people when submitting CVs: those who are looking for an immediate response, those who are half-hearted about it, and those who are looking to be rejected. One student in particular, Linh, who is studying information technology at HUST, stood out to me. She was very energetic, confident, and articulate when sharing her thoughts and experiences. As for me, the most noteworthy aspect of the program was the principles and interview tips that Ms. Tran Lien shared. Her advice helped me to understand how to make a good impression on the employer, and the experienced recruiters’ tips were also very useful for me. I am grateful for the opportunity to participate in this program.

After participating in the program, the students have gained valuable insights, such as the importance of preparation, perseverance and taking action to achieve their goals. They have also learned not to hesitate and to be confident in their abilities. The program has provided them with practical knowledge on how to create a well-crafted CV that is tailored to the employer’s needs, how to prepare for interviews, and how to effectively answer challenging questions from employers. Additionally, they have been encouraged to apply for internships early to gain valuable experience. Overall, the program has equipped the students with the necessary skills and knowledge to succeed in their future careers. After the program, I feel much more confident in applying for jobs. It means a lot to me because I am not a confident person. I now understand the importance of having a well-crafted CV. I learned that a good CV must be accurate, comprehensive,,and beautiful. After the program, I learned about CV writing and interview skills. I find myself lacking quite a lot of skill so I need to fix it and act from today. I already know how to write the best CV. The program provided me with valuable insights on how to write an effective CV and how to ace job interviews. I realized that I lacked certain skills, but I am determined to work on them and improve. Thanks to the program, I now know how to write an outstanding CV that highlights my strengths, and I feel more confident in my ability to make a positive impression on employers during interviews. Moreover, Mr. Quan’s advice on taking action has inspired me to be proactive in my job search. I used to be hesitant and second-guess myself, but now I understand the importance of taking action and not being afraid of failure. Mr. Quan also helped me correct some mistakes in my CV, such as not adding a photo or using an outdated email address. In addition to theoretical knowledge, we also participated in many practical situations, exchanged and answered questions when participating in recruitment interviews. Our difficulties and questions were discussed openly and honestly by professionals in the field of recruitment, which helps to improve our confidence before the meeting and interacting with recruiters. I am immensely grateful to The Asia Foundation and the Center for Education and Development (CED) for providing us with this wonderful opportunity. The program has helped me gain invaluable knowledge and skills in CV writing and interviewing. I now have a better understanding of what employers expect from candidates and the ways to make a good impression on them. The program has equipped me with valuable tips on how to increase my value with employers, how to answer interview questions accurately and better, and how to act immediately with the right timeline.

After the training program, the students experienced a noticeable shift in their mindset and attitude. Personally, I feel that I have gained valuable skills that I was lacking before and I am constantly improving every day. The training sessions have given me a deeper understanding of the recruitment process and the necessary skills to succeed in it, while also helping me to improve my communication and self-presentation abilities, ultimately leading to increased confidence. Thanks to the programs and skills training sessions, it helped me become more confident in life, helped me know more useful things and helped me get to know more people. This experience helps me become more confident and motivated to change myself and improve myself more and more; improve CV writing skills. After the program, I have gained a lot of experience, know how to present the necessary content to write a CV and present it to the employer as to what is reasonable. Through the program, the students all learned many lessons and gained valuable experiences.