Saturday, 12 November 2011

Thing 21 - Promoting yourself in job applications & at interview

I've been putting this blog off as I'm spectacularly & demonstrably bad at both applications & interviews! Preparing to write this has been quite good as reflection on the lows & very lows of my job seeking history. In fact, I guess that I have done a practical exercise for this Thing as only last week I applied for a position. I did try to create a skills database to make the task of completing the application form easier, but I find it difficult to provide concrete examples to match selection criteria & always end up sounding waffly.
 There does seem to be conflicting advice on job apps & C.V. writing. I was interested to read that Guardienne of the Tomes' Jobseeker Tips included deleting the objective section at the start of your C.V.. This sounded quite liberating, if it wasn't for the nagging thought that earlier advice from within the library & information recruitment sector had emphasised the importance of this profile/statement for kicking off your C.V.. Similarly, feedback from one unsuccessful application suggested including interests on the C.V. as this could prove a bit of a tiebreaker if there were two equally qualified candidates, but in a conversation with a Senior Librarian I was told that interests were not particularly useful. What to do?!
 After a year of applying for traineeships, then changing tactics & applying for entry level jobs, I'm no nearer to unlocking the mysteries of successful job applications. The law of contrary nature seems to be that the jobs which you really really want & prepare endlessly for, you don't get, & that the positions which you are not so keen on, but apply for out of necessity, you might get. Sorry if this blog has sounded cynical & negative, but I'm still searching for my equivalent of 'open sesame'!

1 comment:

  1. I feel your pain...Conflicting CV advice is unavoidable, as everyone touts the formula that worked for them.
    "Interests" are useful if they potentially relate to your work. They also give the interviewers something to chat with you about in the few minutes before or after the interview. Interests may also be useful if you work alone in a cave and want to show off some people skills. In the U.S. it used to be thought unprofessional to include interests.

    The Objectives section at the top of the CV is pointless, as it should be tailored to the job you're applying for. However, if one applicant includes a less appropriate Objective it might serve another applicant well to have included a Objective section... random indeed!
    Maybe a magic lamp is the answer.