CPD23 Thing 21: Promoting yourself in applications and interviews

Maria’s Thing 21 post

I’ve been fortunate to have been in my current position for nearly a decade (I know some people would hate that but I appreciate the security!). The upside is I’ve not had to go through job interviews (which have now become the most terrifying thing ever in my mind). The downside is that I’ve never been forced to update my CV, and it’s more than a little out of date.

I need to improve it for my Chartership portfolio, but I’ve been putting it off because I don’t know where to start! Maria’s questions proved really helpful.

What do you like to do?

Watch television, go to the cinema, take photographs, read books, write, blog, tweet, use digital archives, make crafty things, research family history, spend time with my kids (this list is obviously in no particular order!).

What do you dislike?

Working with people who don’t give 100%, or who don’t have any passion or particular interest in what they do. Using technology or social media for the sake of it, rather than with a purpose. String cheese.

Do you remember the last time you felt that feeling of deep satisfaction after creating, building, completing something? What was it about?

Entirely non-work related, but it was the Christmas Curiosity project – which I’ve blogged about elsewhere, but basically involved compiling a box of festive goodies for a stranger. I included a few handmade items, and it was satisfying to create something from scratch that wasn’t too shabby. I don’t often get involved in something which is wholly me and me alone – from inception to completion, coming up with ideas (my pal Holly was invaluable for brainstorming) and executing them, and by the deadline too! As someone once said, I love it when a plan comes together.

What skills do you need to do the things you like?

Patience, creativity, being able to research, search, filter, write and edit, use technology, manage projects.

Outcome

What surprised me about the exercise was the focus on the creative – whether it’s making Christmas decs or writing blogposts, it’s the side of things I enjoy most but that I don’t do enough of at work. I probably need to fit more creativity into my social life though, rather than try to convince my manager we need library-branded mug cosies and the like.

It’s interesting looking at the list that I found it really easy to identify things I like to do and relatively hard to find things I dislike, or at least that were vaguely work related! It’s not as important for writing my CV, but if I’m facing interviews in future I should probably revisit the questions to help prepare.

As Maria suggests, I’ve built a spreadsheet (ah how I love spreadsheets) of activities that demonstrate these skills, and I’m going to use that as the basis of my all-new CV.

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