MODULE 4: Communicating your employability

MODULE 4: Communicating your employability

“Communicating your employability … The recruitment process … How to communicate your employability … An example job interview”
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Summaries

  • MODULE 4: Communicating your employability > 1: Communicating your employability > Communicating to an employer what you can offer
  • MODULE 4: Communicating your employability > 2: The recruitment process > The graduate recruitment process explained
  • MODULE 4: Communicating your employability > 2: The recruitment process > Graduate experiences of the recruitment process
  • MODULE 4: Communicating your employability > 2: The recruitment process > Explore further: The recruitment process
  • MODULE 4: Communicating your employability > 3: How to communicate your employability > Example answers to interview questions
  • MODULE 4: Communicating your employability > 3: How to communicate your employability > Explore further: Communicating your employability
  • MODULE 4: Communicating your employability > 4: An example job interview > An example job interview

MODULE 4: Communicating your employability > 1: Communicating your employability > Communicating to an employer what you can offer

  • ANNA How DO you communicate your employability? Well, if we take online dating as an example, you’re marketing yourself to potential partners.
  • You’ve used words that accurately sum you up and hopefully they are true! The same goes for recruitment!!! Now that you know what YOUR employability “Looks like”, you need to know how to express it in the appropriate way at each stage of your career.
  • The first step is: the recruitment process for your first professional job.
  • Where do you start? Well, with the list of job requirements.
  • Every job will have a set of requirements, or selection criteria, which are the employer’s expectations for that role.
  • You need to demonstrate that you meet these expectations as the employer will use these to make a judgement on your suitability for the role and your potential to contribute to the organisation.
  • Job requirements are often written like a wish list.
  • Matching a job and its criteria to your capabilities and your internal understanding of your employability is the first step in the recruitment process.
  • What we want you to understand FIRST UP is that you should be focusing more on HOW you communicate your employability and less on the processes of recruitment.
  • You will have learnt how to reflect on your experiences and use that learning to recognise how you meet employer expectations.
  • This will form the basis of WHAT you communicate to employers during the recruitment process in your first job and throughout your career.
  • This means when you are applying for jobs and deciding whether or not you meet the selection criteria, you need to be confident in your potential to DO the job.
  • Everyone who applies for a job is constrained by the flaws in the process.
  • We realise the ‘best’ way to have your employability ‘validated’ is to get a job.
  • To maximise your chances of getting a job, you need to develop your employability and be able to effectively communicate it.
  • ANNA You need to translate your internal understanding of your employability into a format that not only accurately reflects what you can do but in language that an employer will recognise.
  • The takeaway message is this: you need to understand WHAT you can offer employers and know HOW to communicate this in a way that is meaningful to them.

MODULE 4: Communicating your employability > 2: The recruitment process > The graduate recruitment process explained

  • ANNA Unless you’re an entrepreneur, or you have some family connections, Sooner or later, no matter what field or industry you intend to work in, you will need to apply for jobs and go through the recruitment process.
  • What is the graduate recruitment process all about? We have told you that employability is all about developing the skills and attributes that make you an effective employee.
  • Of course, the only way you can ever really demonstrate that effectiveness is through being employed, and that means, at some point you will need to navigate the recruitment process.
  • From a simple job application and one-on-one interview to a series of staged recruitment events such as online testing, multiple interviews and assessment centres.
  • Particular elements of the recruitment process are designed to extract certain information about your capabilities.
  • Online application Interviews Assessment Centres Psychometric and personality testing Aptitude and competency testing Written exercises Workplace scenarios/case studies Presentations So you can now see how recruitment processes can vary greatly but no matter what, the aim is still for the employer to determine whether or not you are the best candidate for the job.
  • We’ve outlined some of the commonly used techniques in recruitment, but remember that what you experience will be different depending on the kind of job you are applying for and the organisation and industry.

MODULE 4: Communicating your employability > 2: The recruitment process > Graduate experiences of the recruitment process

  • PETER In actual fact, I started looking for jobs and getting my first job before I finished university.
  • At the end of 2009, I moved to Sydney and was working for a not-for-profit for year.
  • One of them was a full-time internship working in London, and so I was tossing and turning as to whether I’d for one job or another.
  • I sent off the application from Sydney at the time, and I had to move around the country for work.
  • So I got-when I was in Adelaide, I got an e-mail back saying that I was going to have my first Skype interview.
  • I had my first Skype interview with one of the members of the Future Considerations Team over in London when I was in Adelaide.
  • A couple of days later or a week later, I was in Perth, and so I had my next Skype interview with-so I got shortlisted to two people.
  • I flew back to Sydney, was celebrating the fact that I’d come back after six weeks of not being in Sydney, and then got an e-mail saying that I got the job.
  • LUCY When I started my internship, I was-sort of loosely interviewed into the role.
  • Over time, as I performed well, I was employed on the payroll for three days a week.
  • I did try to apply for some bigger corporate roles and things, but I just decided to stay in that internship and got off to that role and stayed there for a year.

MODULE 4: Communicating your employability > 2: The recruitment process > Explore further: The recruitment process

  • ALEX The recruitment process, underemployability, the connection between the recruitment process and employability-I think for us at the university, sometimes what happens in the recruitment process is not necessarily helpful for the message that we’re trying to get across to our students because a student can be-have high levels of employability but still be unemployed or underemployed.
  • I think sometimes they find that quite difficult to understand, that actually the labor market or the competitiveness of the job market means that they might not have got that job.
  • I think we have a problem with students taking the machine-gun approach to applicants for applying for jobs.
  • Of course, that’s the difficult thing for a young person to accept is the, “Actually I’m good and there is somebody else out there who might not even be better than me, but at that particular time, that’s what the employer wanted.” MICHAEL The jury is still out about whether the recruitment process is fair, whether it’s equitable, whether it does an effective enough job at determining or deciding who is employable and who isn’t employable.
  • I think what is challenging about the recruitment process for both graduates and employers is that it’s really about-can you-can employers discern who is actually playacting, and who is very good at interviews and the recruitment process, and who might be employable but they haven’t quite performed to the expected level? That is a challenge that employers have to work out, about whether they are getting an authenticated performance from a graduate.
  • I think what the recruitment process does or what employers look to do in the recruitment process is three things really.
  • One is to get a sense of the skills and the ability of the graduate and how well they’re likely to perform in a job, so what are their technical skills and how well might they apply those to the job their seeking? Another one is really about the attitude, and how proactive, and how resourceful, and how much drive the graduate has.

MODULE 4: Communicating your employability > 3: How to communicate your employability > Example answers to interview questions

  • So one team project that I worked on was to choose a student organisation, to analyse the group’s structure, formation and culture.
  • Unfortunately one of the group members was unhappy with the group that we had chosen and was significantly less engaged with the project.
  • From there we were able to work more cohesively as a group and equally contribute to the project itself.

MODULE 4: Communicating your employability > 3: How to communicate your employability > Explore further: Communicating your employability

  • I think once they see, what they’ve done has real value, then they become more confident and they stop thinking I have to be doing the job already and start realising I just have to show that I have the skills to be able to do the job in the future.
  • We always say to them, “Think, your evidence is you being creative. It’s a way of you articulating what you’ve learned, and you will use that in your interview process.” Often, they’ll use minutes, for example, of a meeting that will show evidence of participating in the meeting.
  • If we ask them for time management skills, that might be one of the outcomes they defined for their placement, and they need to find evidence of doing that.
  • We say to them, “Fine. If you were sitting in an interview with a prospective employer who said, ‘Oh, you say you’ve got good time management skills. How do you know that you’ve got good time management skills?'” You might then say, “Well, the process would be that I use Outlook and so forth. I’ve been-as per my reference from my supervisor, which you can access if you want to, they said I’ve got very strong time management skills.” We just try and make that connection between saying you’re doing something, showing the process of it, and then providing evidence of it.

MODULE 4: Communicating your employability > 4: An example job interview > An example job interview

  • So I think I’d be a really reliable worker and I’ve also had some experience in the field because I did a couple of internships – both in PR and Marketing throughout my university degree.
  • It’s a company that I’ve used a lot in the past few years and I think the service is impeccable.
  • So I think it’s really important with marketing that you have both sides of the experience where it’s pro-active and reactive.
  • Can you tell me why you think your communication skills are excellent? BRIANNA I mean, I have a degree in Communications, so I guess throughout that degree you would do a lot of presentations, writing a lot of reports, producing materials that had to be of a high standard in order to graduate.
  • So I think obviously having a dual degree in Communications, I would hope that my communication skills were excellent.
  • We’d just been on a 14 hour flight, we were quite jet lag so really forward to get into our accommodation.
  • So I think what I learnt from that was that it’s always good to prepare.
  • So you think you’re prepared but you really need to go that next step, perhaps call ahead and confirm the booking or allow a little extra money in your travel budget for the first couple of nights.
  • CARRIE Describe a situation where you’ve had to be persuasive? BRIANNA Persuasive… It’s always a hard one to think of… When I was doing a part-time role during my studies with a real estate, it was just after the Brisbane floods, so the market was obviously not doing too well at all and we got a listing for a boutique place that was on the river and had been architecturally designed.
  • A big TV network in Brisbane wanted to feature it on one of their news bulletin about the floods and how the real estate market was fairing and knew it would be a great opportunity for these sellers to really attract a wide audience.
  • So I called them up and explain this to them that sales were really low at the moment if they really needed to sell this was a great opportunity to reach a wider audience and after quite a lengthy conversation, they agreed to it.
  • Their property ended up selling within about 4 weeks, so that was a really positive result.
  • CLAIRE What do you think being proactive means and can you give me an example of a time where you had to be proactive.
  • Can you please repeat that question? CLAIRE What do you think it means to be proactive and can you give me an example of a time where you’ve had to be proactive.
  • I think being proactive means going above and beyond.
  • Perhaps undertaking some tasks that weren’t assigned to you, showing that you’re happy to really contribute more than what was asked and stay late or come in early to get the job done.
  • Can you please explain how you’ve managed your time and completing priorities? BRIANNA I think like a lot of recent university graduates we’ve done between 3 and 5 years of studies, so there was always part time work, friends, sport, family commitments that you were constantly having to fit in and there’s only 7 days in a week.
  • I think a lot of us have developed time management skills just by being students and having all the things that come along with that as you leave high school.
  • How do you think you would use the skills that you’ve gained from those experiences in the workplace? BRIANNA As I mentioned, I went on study abroad. So there were many more challenges to come after the accommodation one and I think that really build resilience as well as confidence.
  • CLAIRE What are the characteristics of a good marketing coordinator and do you possess those characteristics? BRIANNA I think good characteristics of a marketing coordinator would be to be creative, to get along with a lot of different people in the workplace and also to have quite a few design skills which also comes back to the creativity.
  • I think I do really well at getting along with a whole different bunch of people and working together to bring out our strengths, but a place where I could really improve would be with the creativity and the software like the Adobe Indesign package – not my forte, so I think I just focus on building relationships with people.
  • What experience have you had with social media in a professional setting? BRIANNA I’m a really avid social media user, I have over 5000 followers on Instagram so I guess people really like looking at the travel photos and the food photos.
  • Haven’t really thought that far ahead like I’ve always been aloof of the moment kind of person, so focus on here and then now rather than making places that are 5 years into the future.
  • CLAIRE Do you have any questions for me? BRIANNA No I don’t really have any questions, I think the position description in the selection criteria was quite thorough but I do have some references and also some of the awards that I’ve won recently.

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