Talking to a colleague today about some up and coming promotions, I was offering words of encouragement as they are highly skilled and currently acting in one of the roles and they reply with “No I won’t apply, I know how to do the job but can’t write applications” I paused for a moment in disbelief at what I was hearing, a talented employee with every skill listed in the job specification but choosing not too apply as they feel they can’t write the application.
I kindly offered to assist them in drafting some suggestions including the first line of each criteria and talked to them about their skills, including the ones that I had just seen today in action. After a brief re-cap, they seemed to change their tune, much to my delight, I offered words of encouragement and re-assurance that they need not be afraid of writing the application, but to merely tell a story and illustrate it with examples in a clear and succinct way. Simple right? YES!!! It is. People often get bogged down when it comes to writing lengthy documents of any kind, they focus on the word-count, where they are going to get the time and many other factors.
My suggestions are simple, start each paragraph with a draft opening line, don’t rush it, if a magical line comes to you during the day – have an open word doc and add to it as you think of things, after all, its a work in progress until you piece it together and hit that submit button.
This got me thinking, how many people out there are brilliant writers but lack all the skills required for the job? Quite a few I suspect and I am sure you will agree that in your working lives you have seen a few ‘slip through’ the process. I want people who have the skills and abilities to recognise this and have their doubts about writing and selling themselves addressed and nurtured to a state where they are well rounded and confident in their abilities to do so, is that so much to ask?
I shudder to think of the companies out there failing miserably at the hand of brilliant application writers but with no skills, abilities or interest in the role – perhaps just the salary…am I right?
I was once kicked out of a tutorial at University for pointing out to my tutor that some people are brilliant at studying, give them a topic and a book and they will study day and night and pass every exam and assignment you throw at them – put them into the field to work with people and a little common sense – failure is imminent. I may have hit a nerve with the tutor as I suspect they were this person I was describing, I thrived more in the external study environment after that funnily enough.
Until next time!