Monday 18 November 2013

Sent on a fool's errand to possible frustration

Like a fool’s errand
At a government mandated training course this morning where the disconnect between all related departments became so apparent that it was laughable, the dead hand of government protocols landed with a thud before us.
The question was whether any of the participants knew why they had to attend the course on advice and instruction of their advisors, for literally all the answers given, none was close.
Persuade to dissuade
The referral office was just ticking boxes without knowledge of the reasons to tick boxes, as each answer ranged from helping to write CVs, finding work for long-term unemployed, interviewing technique tips and useful preparations for work.
Surreptitiously, part of the purpose of sending people for this course is to frustrate them off the welfare roll and at least one of the attendees disappeared the moment the group broke up for the first break session.
To the market with the marketable
However, in the midst of the mundane and rudimentary, there are nuggets of wisdom, clues as to how people can alter their outlook and mind-set, leading to gainful employment.
Fundamentally, a CV is marketing literature; it is the means of selling yourself to the market. A market seeking talent and expertise you may possess.
The CV should create enough curiosity to excite interest, but it should never be overloaded such that there are no discussion points to give depth and detail to the ability and personality of the person.
The demeanour to project
We rise to challenges thrown our way in everyday walks of life but that boldness and confidence with which we effortlessly tackle problems seems to be lost at interview.
It is important to act naturally, being oneself rather than trying to impress thereby giving rise to nervousness, one of the factors indicative of poor interview technique.
Blessed at the font of the double page
The advice whilst useful could be quite prescriptive as preferred fonts being Garamond or Verdana, set headings providing uninspiring structure, page setups with set margins or that a CV must never exceed two pages with the employment history restricted to five years except for security or artistic roles.
For information technology roles, the suggestion is to use LinkedIn to document the other roles or have a webpage containing that detail.
Some things
Avoid clich├ęs like ‘hard-working’ or ‘customer service skills’ in the profile because people are expected to be hard-working regardless, and customer service skills are innately functions of a person’s respect for others, acting courteously, politely and with a friendly disposition – you either have it or not.
Besides all this, forms, yes, many forms filled to the point of distraction but with the challenges, opinions, reviews, assessments and the ideas, it really was not a wasted day. Another day of observation and participation is set for the morrow.

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