Thing 21 is about “how to promote all the hard work we do and the abilities and skills we have acquired in our career and life so far.”
Part 1: Identifying your strengths; capitalising on your interests
I have been thinking about my strengths and weaknesses a lot in the last few months, but I’m not entirely comfortable with the idea of posting all my thoughts on a public blog. I am surprised, however, about the amount of things I have done and how many activities have been target-oriented.
Part 2: Applying for a job
Even if I am not looking for outside opportunities at the moment, putting together interests, strengths and skills achieved and acquired so far as well as reflecting on my skills and experiences is relevant for developing the role and myself within my current job. I really like the idea of a CV database including all the training and conferences I’ve attended, so I will certainly get on to it.
For everybody who is unsure if she/he should apply for a job: I was told that it is worth applying as long as you meet at least a third of the given requirements.
Part 3: Interviews
In my experience, you will be successful in job interviews when you pay attention to the questions and answer those concisely and authenticly. It is helpful when you can create a positive relation on a more personal level to the interviewers and come across as enthusiastic person. In the end, the interview is about getting to know you as a person, so be personable – with the invitation, you can already be sure you are fitting the formal requirements. Some more tips by fellow cpd23 participants that I find very helpful:
- “It’s not you, it’s them” […] It’s all to do with how different people perceive you, and if you don’t fit with what they are looking for, or they don’t ‘get’ you, do you really want to be working for them? (Laura Steel)
- “Be honest and true to yourself and personality.” (infopromom)
- “If you have an interview, take the time to evaluate it after the fact.” (infopromom)
- “Go with your gut.” (Daniel)
- “[…] you need to make the research personal to you and the job – so instead of reeling off stats about how many students the university has, I could perhaps talk about the student demographics and how these will affect the service I will work for (in terms of information we will provide and types of enquiries).” (Michelle)
- “My second tip is to remember that if you’re at a job interview, it should be a two-way process. You should interview the prospective employer too, to check that you’ll be happy there, that the job really does match up to the description, and that you like the people you’ll be working with. […] It’s your chance to check them out too!” (Lost and found)
- “[…] never answer a question that you have not properly understood, always ask for clarification!” (Erin)
- “From looking at the last post I did I have to say one of the biggest tips I have learnt is to put yourself foward and believe in yourself. If you don’t think you can do something you aren’t going to persuade a panel that you can at an interview.” (Kelly-Anne)
- “Whilst I’ve prepared for them (listed my strengths, read and analysed my skills against the job spec, researched the organisation and thought about the questions I might be asked), I’ve never really rehearsed my answers to the questions I knew I’d be asked.” (Liza Moore)
Apart from the further reading provided in the cpd23 blog post (Ned Potter’s What’s the key to a good interview, Guardienne of the Tomes’ Jobseeker Tips, Open Cover letters), I came across the ingrographic “Western Civilization’s Historical Guide to The Job Search” by Colin Dobrin. More serious resources in German are the Karrierebibel.de and Die Zeit’s Karriere and Job category and newsletter.
Photo: Bridal Veils, B.C., Canada, September 2011. (c) Sabine Rauchmann.