We’re nearing the end of 23Things (how on earth did that happen?) and it’s time for some more reflective thinking about ourselves.
Thing 21 is all about promoting yourself at job applications and interviews, CVs and personal strengths.
I’m slightly disadvantaged as I have been in this post for seven years now, and haven’t prepared a CV since then. A couple of years ago I applied for a temporary post as a secondment (using their standard form, not a CV) and had an interview but didn’t get the job, which looking back, I’m now glad about!
Despite not having really updated my CV for some time I do have a ‘full CV’ document. In this I have put everything down that I’ve achieved (even certificates at school sports days!) and all my jobs and education. However, I know I haven’t really kept it up to date in the last seven years and I’ve given a lot of talks, written articles and completed training that are not recorded in this ‘full CV’ document. This may be because in my current job I have an annual performance management plan and so quite a few of the work related achievements are in that. It’ll be a bit of a big task to go through the last seven years of these documents, but it’s something I’ve been meaning to do for a while. Something for over the christmas hols perhaps?
From this ‘full CV’ I then can create a specific short one for any job that I might apply for.
Through recent work activities, and to some extent some of the things in 23 Things, I have a growing realisation that I like ‘comms stuff’ (communication). Whether it’s a strength of mine I don’t know – others will need to answer that!
I agree with most of the ones on the Wikiman’s blog post as referenced in Thing21. Here are a few tips I’ve gleaned, either from being the applicant, or, from being on the panel.
- be yourself – if you give a false picture of who you are you may find you don’t fit in later on
- first impressions count – be smart, punctual and smile as you enter the room
- make eye contact with everyone
- plan, plan and plan some more – I have a document with loads of sample interview questions in and would prepare sample answers to them so that I wouldn’t have to think of something on the spot
- always have an example of something you’ve done for every type of work/activity mentioned in the job spec
- have a spare pair of tights (if you’re wearing them).