Unfortunately I haven’t made it to a few lectures due to some commitments with TA, my part time job, and an annoying cold!
One lecture I’m a bit sad I missed was Michelle Ashs lectures on CVs and Cover Letters. Thankfully it’s been recorded and I’ve already been to see her at the beginning of the year!
What Michelle went over in the lecture are things that I already knew from seeing her, but also from the fortunate situation I’m in where my partners mum is an HR manager, and helps me fine tune my C.V and Cover Letters, and prepares me for each interview.
Something I struggle with is writing cover letters. getting all those key words in, but not being boring, but also talking and selling yourself. As Michelle says, once I had a template, I usually edit it to suit the position.
Another thing I learnt from visiting Michelle at the beginning of the year was that you should also edit your C.V to suit each position. An example of myself not knowing this was last year when I sent so many edited cover letters but all the same C.Vs, which lacked some information which was included in the cover letter. I called the employer to ask why I wasn’t given an interview, I felt I had so much of what they were seeking! He responded by saying they were seeking agriculture experience, GIS experience, an some other things. Things I had listed more in-depth in my cover letter!!! He then responded and said he wasn’t given a cover letter, just my C.V from the Recruitment department. That was a bit upsetting because at the end of the call he said from talking to me it sounded like I did have the experience, but they had already hired someone else. So from what Michelle says, I now always edit my C.V in relation to the job. Which can be a little tedious, especially at this time of year when you apply for multiple jobs a week, but it should be worth it in the end!
Watching this lecture was actually very helpful as there was some things that were included that I had forgotten from our meeting.
The next lecture Michelle gave was about interviews. As I said above, when I do have interviews, my partners mum preps me – asks questions, told me about STAR (Situation, Task, Action, Result).
I get very flustered when I am asked questions I am unprepared for. For my first (and only!) “professional” interview, it went really well using the STAR technique.
The only downfall I usually get is that I never have any questions to ask! I do so much research I usually find all the answers I need.
Assessment Centers also worry me a little. My downfall in university is exam time. But I do well if I study hard and have time to prepare. Having to go to an assessment center may be my downfall in interviews. I guess I’ll have to find out!!!