Job Application and Career Management Workshop

Today I attended a Career Management workshop facilitated by Bernard Pearce of   It was quite a useful session.  I’ve summarised my notes from the session:

  • Applicants need to present yourself in the best possible way, for the job.  With evidence.
  • Demonstrate why they are right for the job.
  • There’s always change in our line of bisiness, but this should be remembered as a dynamic area where change can be embraced.

Take control of your own destiny.  Be pro-active in your approach

  1. Analyse yourself and create knowledge about yourself – in order to produce the evidence to prove it.
  2. Focus on what is right for you
  3. It is made very clear what it is they are looking for through the Job Description.

SFIA Competency Based Selection

Used widely by ICT based organisations and is a fair way of doing things.  It covers the entire IT world and aims to reduce project risk and retain staff as a basis for staff development.  A competency based selection should give candidates an opportunity to make your case, what are you good at, what do you enjoy, what do you aspire to do? 

Bosses don’t see a lot of the challenges we overcome, what you’ve got to do now, is make people aware of what decisions you make.

Most people fall down at the interview stage.  The person who turns up at the interview needs to be the same as the person presented in the application form.

Continuing Personal Development

It is the responsibilities of individuals to control their own development.  Run your own world.  If you do, you’ll feel more motivated.  If you want to broaden your own experience, what are the different ways you can do this?

  1. Volunteer for tasks.
  2. Attend night school, will the organisation sponsor this.
  3. Distance learning
  4. Training courses
  5. Personal released

Interview Presentation Statements

You must prepare and practice your presentation statements before interview.

Talk about what it is you are good at and make yourself stand out from the crowd.

Providing Evidence

How?  Make a list of strengths and prove them with real world examples of your experience.  The key to this is thinking about the headings and mind-mapping.  Once we’ve got those, think about the evidence to support it.

Your Weaknesses

Don’t encourage the interviewer to ask more questions.  Give them an explanation of what you have done to combat such a weakness.

What is your unique selling points?

Explain why they should give you the job that you want.  If you can’t answer that, the wrong information will be in the application form. 

I can answer the three questions…

  1. Can you do the job? (Qualifications, Skills, Knowledge, Experience)
  2. Will you do the job? (Attitude, Motivation, Values) – Behaviours will leak out through the interview.  You need to prepare what you want to say at the interview.
  3. Will you fit in? (Role, Team you will be with, Culture?

How do recruiters make their final decision?

Final decision of all recruitment processes comes down to three questions:

Normally decided on paper…

  1. Can you do the job? (Qualifications, Skills, Knowledge, Experience)

Normally decided at an interview…

  1. Will you do the job? (Attitude, Motivation, Values) – Behaviours will leak out through the interview.  You need to prepare what you want to say at the interview.
  2. Will you fit in? (Role, Team you will be with, Culture)

Writing Personal statements

Be careful of waffle.  Be clear.  Use bullet points where possible.  Make sure the most important part of that bullet point information is in the first half line.  Normally people tell a story with the result being at the end.  The most important part of your message should be at the beginning.  A bit like a newspaper headline, write a brief heading, then back it up with evidence.

For example.  If you’ve improved data security with the Organisation.  Say this first and then explain how you did it.  Some people write application forms like a story, leaving the punchline at the end.  If you leave the juicy bits it at the end, chances are they will be missed.  You will come across a lot stronger if you do this.

Remember, recruiters may have a lot of applications to sift through and may not have the time to read your personal statement word for word.


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