Making it up


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I'm exhausted. I've spent the day addressing selection criteria. For those of you so ridiculously fortunate never to have done this, this is a marathon 'claim for a position' where you explain how your skills, training and experience totally match the requirements for the job you want. They are very big in the public service, where people might have a Masters in Archaeology and be an absolute genius at corporate planning for the criminal justice sector. I've been working in the public service for long enough now to know that they don't actually look at your qualifications, your CV or your cover letter. They have a list with names on one side and selection criteria on the other and they tick or cross each one and if you meet them all you get an interview.
Examples of selection criteria include:
  • Demonstrated ability to work independently and in a team environment to achieve individual, department and organisational goals.
  • Ability to work in a team environment, often under tight time constraints, to achieve departmental and organisational goals.
  • Self motivated with the ability to work independently.
  • And in fact the application I have just finished included ALL THREE of these, and it's a stretch meeting all them this many times, I must say. Because it's not enough to just say “I am self-motivated and can work independently.” No, you have to demonstrate that you have done this, with examples. i.e I in my current position I am requried to be self motivated in getting out of bed, dressing myself and getting myself to the office every morning, ususally by 10am. Once there my priorities are self directed and I am left relatively unsupervised, so I usually get a cup of coffee and surf the net for the first 45 minutes. I often use my own initiative, for instance taking advantage of my boss's flakiness by claiming to have put important documents in his in-tray, confusing him for long enough to give time to frantically find and do the work that's overdue. Is this a test of my suitability for a job or just my ability to blag my way into an interview? I think the latter, and I would sink into the ground with shame if anyone ever actually read my applications, they are so painfully earnest, pushy and exaggerated. Thankfully super-Meaghan gave me a lot of advice and someone at work lent me an old one of theirs to copy from (I'm not the first apparently, I just have to promise not to apply for the same jobs as her) so I got through it. Please don't ask me if I've heard anything though, I can't bear saying “No, I was clearly completely unsuitable and have failed.” I'll let you know, probably by politely worded bulk letter.


    3 Responses to “Making it up”

    1. Anonymous Lucy 

      I hate the recruitment process. Can you believe that people actually choose to work in that industry all the time? Ugh.

      Good luck!

    2. Anonymous Emma 

      Thank you! It is hell, and no, I can't believe people can bear working in that area. I'm starting to think recruitment agents are just one step up from real estate agents in their extravagant promises, failing to get back to me and not really giving a toss.

      I've got to keep going though, I think I'm gonna be one of Iemma's 5000.

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