CPD23 Thing 21: Promoting Yourself in Job Applications and at Interview

For this Thing we have been asked to define our strengths and interests and then to make a note of anything we have done which demonstrates these strengths. The idea is that this will then serve as a useful record to refer to whenever we are writing job applications or attending interviews.

At this early stage in my career, I feel that I am still in the process of discovering and developing my strengths and interests. One thing I am certain of is that I enjoy working with people – I like helping people and I like explaining how to do things, which makes me think that information literacy training would be an interesting and rewarding job for me. I also enjoy working on projects as this gives me the chance to be creative. As well as this, I like to tinker with html and web design and I enjoy doing research and writing.

I already keep a record of my skills and achievements to date in the form of my CV, which I update regularly. The current version of my CV is tailored to highlight my library experience, but I also keep a master version which contains my entire work history. This acts as a useful record of all my experiences and I usually refer to this whenever I am writing a job application or preparing for an interview. Recently I gave my CV a complete facelift and it is now in a completely new format – I think that it looks much better, but I will have to wait until my next round of job applications in September to find out for sure!

When it comes to interviewing, my view is that it’s better to over-prepare. I always do an extensive amount of research and note-taking as this helps me to feel more confident in an interview, and although I do rehearse answers to the questions most likely to be asked, the general research that I do beforehand also helps me to think on my feet if I am faced with an unexpected question.

One of my goals this year will be to keep a record of all my activities while I am at library school so that I can refer back to this when I am job-hunting. As well as documenting things on my blog, I’ll also keep updating the master version of my CV because I agree that having a record like this makes job applications so much easier in the long run. I’m prepared for a bit of a challenge when it comes to finding a job next September, so my mission this year is just to do my utmost to make myself employable and to try to fill in any gaps in my CV with extra-curricular activities while I am studying. My logic is that as long as I know that I’ve done the best I can, I’ll have no reason to chastise myself if I’m not immediately successful in landing my first professional post!

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