Libraries, the universe and everything

Thing 21 – Promoting yourself
November 2, 2011, 12:40
Filed under: cpd23 | Tags:

This Thing has really got me thinking. I’ve been in my current job for almost three years now, and things have changed somewhat since I started. I’ve also just finished working on a big project and the time is ripe for some reflection. I completely agree that it’s good practice to keep the CV up to date, and I’ve certainly got some work to do on mine, although I must say I’m not feeling the urge to move on just yet! 

First up, my CV. I had to update this a year or so ago for work-related purposes and was struck by how dull it looks – it’s in the classic education / jobs / other stuff kind of format. I really liked Laura’s strategy of creating a mega-CV from which to extract relevant information, and I really want to learn how to produce a snappier and more interesting-looking document, but without the incentive of job hunting to spur me on this remains on the to-do list. Laura’s post also reminded me that I could be making more of my LinkedIn profile too.

It’s been a while since I did any applications, but I seem to do better at interview than I do on paper, which is odd given that I much prefer writing to speaking to people! Being super-targeted and cutting out unnecessary waffle is much easier said than done, but I’m sure it’s the way to go! My top tips for interviews are nothing new or original – know your stuff, be honest, shout about your successes, and don’t forget that they liked your application enough to want to see you! It is also important to remember that you are there to learn more about the role etc. too, it shouldn’t be a totally one-way encounter. Practicing competency-based questions and thinking about likely questions are a good way to prepare and also help me to relax beforehand – if I’m running things through in my head and know that I can give a decent response to most of what I think they’re going to ask me I feel a lot better going in to the interview room. Taking a sip of water is also a good trick to give an extra few seconds to think about the answer if faced with a particularly challenging question.

I really like the idea of basing job and life choices on an analysis of personal strengths and interests, and even in a fairly settled situation this process can help identify gaps that need filling, whether personally or professionally. So, I would say that my strengths are that I’m organised, efficient, dedicated, and can work effectively under pressure. I like responsibility and to be in control. I am most motivated by clear objectives and deadlines, and feel the greatest levels of satisfaction when the work I’m doing is valuable &/or useful. I love learning things and sharing them with others. One of my biggest interests is history, which translates well into my current workplace as I work with a historical collection and in a historic building. My team takes tour groups round the building and put on exhibitions, and I really enjoy these aspects of my work. Communicating is hugely important too – whether that’s finding the right language to reach a particular group, writing articles for the departmental blog, or whatever else is required.

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