Monday, 24 September 2012

CPD Thing #21 Sell yourself!

Thing #21 is one that I used to have a lot of problems with, while planning and practice is good only applying and going to interviews really helps, and you need to fail as well as pass to get the most out of an interview, my first ever failed interview was at age 26! Until then I had got every job I had interviewed for, and the idea I couldn’t get it even if I got the interview hadn’t even entered my mind.

As with every one, that wasn’t my last failed interview :-) but I find I learn so much about myself each time. And yes as you mentioned, sometimes I look back and think thank goodness I didn’t get 'that' job. With hindsight I may do small things differently but over all I am happy with where I am and what I plan for :-).

The challenge is to answer the questions in part 1 first;

What do you like to do? - I am not sure I have space for all of that :-) I love to read and to knit and crochet; I adore learning new skills and chatting. I love planning and doing things to make the kids think and have fun, and I love the people around me and their own drives and enjoyments.

What do you like to do? - I like making and doing things, hate feeling unproductive, not getting things finished. one of my biggest issues is open ended jobs that need doing again and again which I do but will never finish, they get pushed to one side when I am being bad as I hate not be 'done' with a thing!

What do you dislike? – Un-completeable projects, group things that the goals posts move when we work, being ask to complete things with no idea how or help to do!

Do you remember the last time you felt that feeling of deep satisfaction after creating, building, completing something? - Make a book on a book binding course this very weekend and had so much fun opening the book and writing in it for the afternoon!

What was it about? - New skill that allows me to make complete and finished articles and to pass these skills on to others :-)

What skills do you need to do the things you like? Patience which I have had to find and cultivate and I am very goldfish mind i.e. oh I shall do this, oh look I shall do that, oh look something new to try... so the tenacity to stick with a thing to finish it! no matter what.

Next part is the make your own list of activities and interests: from watching the telly to something more work-related;






Organising stuff (work and home),

Planning new ideas (work and home again),

Learning new things,

Making new things,


Adapting to change (don't like change but as its going to happen I may as well enjoy adjusting to it),

Running loads of ideas at once (did learn to juggle once),

Surprising people! (with ideas or things, often get pigeon holed by new people so like making them stop and think again)

Challenges (as long as I feel I can pass them, and have learnt to break them down to break them down to bits to make sure I can pass them)

Overall not a bad list I think. I didn’t put in ICT, library related things etc. as this is an exercise in selling yourself, one thing I learnt is to make each thing tailored to its need, so a cv will be written for it recipient, a job application will have had research and more before I put in an application. I will find how I fulfil the job specs and how I can bring that to the job and move it and me forward in the job...

I always look at Job applications as a dialog, you have to tell the recipient why you would be best for their job, how you can help them and how you can develop in post, so they see what you hope to get out of the job and what you bring. Always tied to the specs, as this is what they judge your application on! One of the skills in my new job was how to interview, where we were shown how to judge applications on specs only, nothing else must influence you at all! A real eye opener, and very valuable, everyone should be shown this and how to make their own applications fit the specs or how to show best bits!

Only interview tip I shall share is while you must turn up very well turned out to your interview, remember to be you or it is as much a lie as a CV full of extra quals, they are employing you! not some well-spoken polished version, unless you can be that for them you should be a bit more yourself, (do not be too relaxed, if you don't do suits ever then a suit only office may not be for you unless your prepared to keep it up) Most people want someone for them, someone who cares and will go that extra mile if need be. But most of all don't ramble when talking, someone will be noting your answers so won't like writing screeds and you just annoy the interview panel who may have 10 more to interview today! (You want the panel to remember you for good things not bad).

And Good Luck.

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