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Sunday, 9 October 2011

CPD23 - Thing 21 - Promoting Yourself

The activity as part of Thing 21 is to consider how we promote ourselves in the job market and it really daunts I am going to make an attempt to face these job promotion and hunting fears.

Paul Mullan is one particular careers consultant among many whose advice I've stumbled across online. His advice makes some sense to me at this particular moment in likening job hunting to tackling fear. He says that FEAR stands for “Fantacised Events Appearing Real”.

Paul talks about what to do when you are afraid - that you need to challenge the fear and the fact that you are creating a fantasy. You need revisit past experiences when fear was present and how the reality was very different. You need to relive the highs when you overcame fears. By facing your fears you can start to have a more positive impact in searching for a job.

I can't absolutely say I think this way positively yet, but I do understand that my current approach to job hunting is beset by 'fear hurdles' which need to be overcome.

Part 1 is to look at our own career and identify strengths and weaknesses

"Tell us about your greatest strengths" is a very common interview question. Why then that so many of us find it so difficult to answer?

Book title says it all!
Like many others, I probably fall into what Paul Mullen describes as the 'the pit of self promotion'. In other words I have an under performing CV because I tend to hold back on highlighting key achievements or successes because of a lack of appreciation of the bigger picture and fear of being boastful.

To address this will take some time and as a first step I need to develop  an achievements log (maybe as part of an extended Revalidation portfolio activities log.

Part 2 looks at CV writing

I have a CV and it works (or has worked) adequately, but after over 3 years in my current job it definitely needs a dusting off now. I'm aware that the approach to presenting CVs has changed in recent years and it is interesting to learn of new techniques and approaches rather than the chronological work based approach that I continue to use. Presentations about CV writing such as Really Ugly Resumes and Resume Zen provide food for thought.

Did you know that in general it can take recruiters as little as 10 seconds (not surprising given CV filtering software) in some cases to judge what you are like from your CV?

It's therefore important that we take the time to think very carefully how we present ourselves in the best light and in a way that stands out from the crowd.

Part 3 looks at job interviews

As Paul Mullen states, the final task in job hunting is the 'dreaded interview'. He advises that the best way to tackle this fear it to PREPARE. This is also the advice from many other people and sources including CILIP which provides Going for an interview - Top Tips.

I've been to a couple of interviews in the past year or so and I find them more nerve-racking than ever. However one thing that does keep me going is an awareness that the interviewers are just as nervous as the interviewee. I've been fortunate to sit on an interview panel and to see first hand how the process works from the other side of the desk. As an interviewer I have found myself willing candidates who are under performing to explain themselves more and show themselves in the best light possible.

Lastly, I found the attached skit from the BBC 2 TV show "Mock the Week" funny. It's all about what not to say at job interviews......

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