Wednesday, October 27, 2010

job applications - got to love them

Resumes; they’re not one of the more fun aspects of the whole job hunting saga are they. On the whole people seem to be confounded by the process, to the extent that some stay at home mums put it off entirely, throw their hands in the air and give up.

Teenagers often aren’t much better.

A number of my colleagues say they don’t get much satisfaction from working on resumes for their clients either. Maybe I’m a bit weird, but I enjoy sleuthing out your transferable skills (and stay at home mums have heaps of these! As do students, and of course those who’ve been employed “yes, even as a teacher” – although the last group are often the most disbelieving).

I find it a challenge, as I said, to sleuth out your transferable skills (these are often called the ‘soft skills’), and then to find the right words to present you in the most favourable light. Not lying of course, that’s not where I’m at. But to show that you have talents and skills that are of value in the workplace.

I love the look of disbelief when we begin. “Nope, not me, I’ve got nothing to offer”

“Oh really? Well, let’s give it a go anyway will we?”

It’s great! Sometimes, people will just sit back at the end of even half an hour and say, “wow”.

And I’ll ask “Is it all true?” and because I’m such a stickler for honesty in the process, all they can answer is a proud “Yes”.

Love it!

As to the typing, and formatting - not my strongest point. I prefer the interactive aspect best, but of course I can and will assist when needed; with pretty good results too. But generally I encourage my clients to give it a go for themselves. I believe it’s much better to be self sufficient and independent so you can go it alone next time. But I won't leave you high and dry, so if you want this support, just ask.

And now, because my posts are generally somewhat serious, I'm going to suggest you have a look at this brilliant application.

Now, there’s someone who’s enjoyed the process!


Cruella Collett said...

Ooo, I've been down this road recently, and I expect to have to do so again in the not-too-soon-but-not-too-distant-either future... It's tricky, though, to point out our own good qualities and skills, when we're often trained from childhood to appear modest and not to boast.

It's great that you can help people come out of their shell and discover how much they really know!

Tundiel said...

I HATE application forms, usually because although I always tell the truth, I always feel a bit false no matter what I put in them. Selling your good points isn't an easy thing to do, even when you know your strengths.

Thanks for the plug! I'm glad my nutty application proved entertaining. :)

*remembers to click 'follow'*

sue said...

Cruella, that's certainly true here. Don't boast, don't stand out from the crowd etc. and it's unhelpful advice during the job search process, but hard to overcome.

For one of my clients it was so ingrained that when asked at interview why he should be employed over the other shortlisted candidate (for a fabulous job I might add), he simply said, "I don't know, ask him". We did quite a bit of interview skills training to overcome the urge to appear modest.

His next interview went well, but he still felt uncomfortable (even though he was being scrupulously honest.)

Tundiel, the plug was all my pleasure. I loved how you got into Ron's head. Now I suppose I really should read the final book?

Just thinking - Tundiel, I noticed you use the word "selling" perhaps think of it more as sharing or informing the employer of your strengths. that might sit better.
A flippant sounding, but helpful suggestion is to get the assistance of your cat (dog, lizard or whatever) and pretend it's an interviewer. Answer the questions you most dread aloud to it. It has to be aloud though. You'll feel silly, but the experience is well worth the embarrassment.