Home>Industry Update>Company News>Practitioner viewpoint
Home>Industry Update>People on the Move>Practitioner viewpoint
Home>Industry Update>Recognition & Reward>Practitioner viewpoint

Practitioner viewpoint

10 June 2021

Hopefully the worst of the COVID pandemic is now behind us and thoughts are turning to the future again. Louise Ward looks the opportunities available and how to get them.

Understandably, many people have put career development plans on hold during lockdown, but the jobs market is starting to pick up and there are some really interesting roles being advertised. The pandemic shone a spotlight on our profession, and highlighted the benefits associated with a proactive approach to health, safety and wellbeing. As businesses start to focus on a ‘new normal’ we have an excellent opportunity to design out risk at source, and to put the focus firmly on the non-technical skills which will be so important in a more flexible and blended approach to work.

It’s an exciting prospect. But have you thought about your next career move? What’s your 5 year plan? And would you be ready if your dream job came up right now?

Do you have an up to date CV? Or do you grab the old one and frantically add a paragraph about your most recent role each time you need it?

It’s well worth taking the time to maintain your CV regularly. It’s not just about adding the details of your most recent job. As you develop in your career your focus changes and this needs to be reflected in the style and tone of your CV. Bear in mind that this document is going to determine whether you get a shot at interviewing for that dream job! It needs to do you justice! It should short, punchy and easily readable. Don’t waste space listing all the accountabilities on your job description. Focus instead on your values, core skills, key achievements, and the experience that you have developed in your career so far. 

How long is it since you last had an interview? It’s always a strange experience, but this has been exacerbated by the requirement to work remotely and the use of video calling in recruitment and selection.

I’m regularly surprised by how unprepared candidates are when they arrive for interview. For me there are a few essentials that should always be part of interview preparation.

Firstly, do some research! Find out as much as you can about the company, the sector and supply and value chain. What are the current topical issues and opportunities? Think about how your skills and experience might correlate to this, and about the ways in which you could add value to the business.

Secondly, be ready to sell yourself. Interviews frequently start with an opportunity for you to introduce yourself, talk through your experience, and explain why you are interested in the role that you’ve applied for. This is your launchpad into the interview! Don’t just talk through your CV, really focus on your key skills, the things that you’re proud of, the experiences that have shaped your professional development, and your aspirations for the role. You can think about and prepare for this session ahead of the interview, and if you deliver it well then hopefully you will go into the structured questioning feeling positive and good about yourself.

Thirdly, do some preparation. Review that material provided by the recruiter, and think about likely areas of questioning. What are the core skill requirements for the role? What experience are they looking for? It’s likely that there will be some competency or strength based questions. So prepare some examples of scenarios where you have demonstrated some of the attributes outlined in the role documentation, and be ready to talk through these. Be careful about jargon and acronyms which might not make sense to someone else.

It’s also very likely that there will be some technical questions about topical issues too, so do some reading and research so that you’re well placed to discuss these, even if you don’t have direct experience of them.

Finally, think about the things that you would like to ask the interviewer. Interviews should be a two-way process. It’s an opportunity for you to find out about the organisation, the role and the people, so that you can make an informed decision about whether it might be the right fit for you. So think about some insightful questions that will help you to engage the interviewers in a discussion and give you a good insight into the organisation, rather than defaulting to basic logistics of the recruitment process.

There are always plenty of demands on our time, but you never know when that dream job may come along – so it’s definitely worth being ready so that you’re well placed to take advantage when the opportunity arises!

I very much hope that the future is looking brighter for all of us. Good luck and happy job hunting!

Louise Ward is the health, safety and environment director at Siemens. For more information visit, www.siemens.com/mobility