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Applying for Jobs: Selling Oneself

(13 Posts)
absolutelynotfabulous Sun 03-Apr-16 15:33:29

Yikes! I'm applying for work, and struggling to find the right words...

I've got plenty to say, but I don't want to look twattish or arrogant.

I've lost loads of confidence and I'm ancient as well, so I'm not holding out much hope.sad.

I'm desperately trying to put myself across as confident and competent but I just can't find the words. Help!

OP’s posts: |
ivykaty44 Mon 04-Apr-16 12:38:40

On your CV or covering letters?

WaterWorld Mon 04-Apr-16 13:07:14

hard to answer without knowing a bit about your circumstances and the type of jobs you are applying for.

Generic starting points

Imagine yourself in the place of the recruiter. What do they want to hear about you?


Imagine your last boss. What did they value in you?

SantasLittleMonkeyButler Mon 04-Apr-16 14:31:59

Relevant experience? One advantage of being "ancient" is often that you will have a lot more experience to offer.

I speak as a fellow "ancient" person wink.

absolutelynotfabulous Mon 04-Apr-16 14:32:07

Thanks both. My field is a combination of Education, Training and Management.

I'm talking mainly about CVs and pre-printed application forms btw, in the main.

I'm happy to use "active" words which make me look dynamicgrin but when reading them back, they sound a bit twattish. I've lost loads of confidence as I've been a Sahm for a while and, to make matters worse, I'm ancient. I feel I've got something to offer, I don't boast or lie exaggerate, and I've got loads of experience (mainly down to being ancient). But my efforts at selling myself look, to me, cringe worthy.

I put together an application this morning (for a Project Officer-type job) and I said something like: "delivered, within budget and on time, the Goverment-funded BlahBlah project, gaining a Grade 1 for the Department."

I thought it sounded arrogant and boastful. All I'd done, in reality, was do the job I was paid to do!

water I was made redundant from the last two posts I've had, so not valued at allsad.

OP’s posts: |
soundsystem Mon 04-Apr-16 14:38:53

That sounds fine and not cringe-worthy at all. I know what you mean, though, about not wanted to sound twattish!

I find it easier to mention specific projects I've worked on or things I've implemented so (very much as you said) "delivered X project on time and under budget resulting in Y" or "implemented blah blah impressive thing which increased turnover by £X and allowed organisation to enter blah new area of business". Then it's facts and easier than saying I'm a whatever type of person iyswim

WaterWorld Mon 04-Apr-16 14:43:34

hmm well stuff the folks who made you redundant and consign that to history

Showing you did the job - well what could be better? It's not boasting it's factual. Plenty of that is fine, though it can sound a bit much when the word 'I' features a lot so form sentences to avoid that happening too much.

Other tips
-provide details to 'answer' every line on the job description for the job you are applying for, even if only in bullet form - it's likely the shortlister is doing a partly tick box exercise - best to get all those ticks if you can.
-keep answers and narrative fairly concise and use their vocabulary (make the recruiters job easy)

absolutelynotfabulous Mon 04-Apr-16 16:30:33

water I've answered all the questions, and, yes, I put it in bullet point form to avoid rambling and too many "I"s. I'm glad I seem to be on the right track.

As I'm an old gimmer, I deliberately avoided mentioning my age as such. Not sure that's a good thing or not....

OP’s posts: |
WaterWorld Tue 05-Apr-16 11:21:49

Your age is clearly an issue to you.

It's not supposed to be a job selection criteria but I know it can feel like it is.
I'm 44 and I feel it for me too!

If I was 24 I might feel age (and consequential lack of experience) was working against me also.

If I was 34 there are also reasons I could feel my age was working against me.

At the basics though the employer is looking at whether you can do the job, whether you will be reliable, essentially if you will make THEIR job easy LOL.

Apols for the generalisations.

absolutelynotfabulous Tue 05-Apr-16 14:34:23

water thanks. I agree that, whatever age you are, there's something working against you. I'm 56 (cripes) so only 11 years off retirementgrin. 46 sounds positively youthful to me.

Just hoping for an interview, really....just looking for a chance sad.

OP’s posts: |
PotatoesPastaAndBread Tue 05-Apr-16 22:58:11

As someone who reads a lot of CVs and job apps I would say: say real stuff (like your example above) and don't go overboard on the adjectives and action words - they do sound twatty, and worse, they sound empty. "I'm an energetic self starting enthusiastic professional...." Just give me real examples of what you've achieved.

And don't try to be too clever. We recently had someone apply for a job saying "I'm not only a self starter, I'm a self finisher too". Sounds wanky. Literally.

PotatoesPastaAndBread Tue 05-Apr-16 22:58:58

oh - and good luck!

absolutelynotfabulous Wed 06-Apr-16 15:48:35

potatoes you've made my day! Self-finisher indeedgrin.

OP’s posts: |

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