Reflections on Recent CPD by Rosalind McNally

I have recently taken advantage of one of the many benefits of CILIP membership through their online learning. The CV webinar I attended late one weekday evening was delivered by Alistair Morris

I cringed as Alistair brought me kicking and screaming into 21st century recruitment techniques. I looked down at my 6 page, tea stained, CV. No one is interested in that summer stock moving job you did at Manchester Polytechnic 25 years ago. The fact you like walking? No one cares.

It was explained that modern recruitment success relies on you aligning the key terms for the “Hot skills”, that is, the hard functional and technical skills of your professional role with those of the recruiter. Filtering of CVs or applications may well be done electronically or by a person under instruction to look for those key terms only. Knowing what these are is essential. Most Library staff in the health sector will be applying by application through the NHS Jobs website, but the approach needed will be the same.

What are our Hot Skills?

I considered what these are for an Outreach Librarian using the PKSB for Health and Knowledge for Healthcare. You can also look at job specifications as they are advertised to monitor this.

Further learning points were:

The way you see your CV should be the business case for you. At a career grade Band 5 Librarian on 25k that’s 125k+ over 3 years so you have to pitch to that and what will be the Return on Investment for the organisation, to have a chance of an interview

Try structuring your CV into sections with a concise Key Value Proposition of your key areas of expertise, career highlights and recent career history. These can then be more expansive in the individual sections, or be used within an application for a particular role.

You can use techniques like FAB (Feature and Benefit) for your Key Value Proposition, and STAR (Situation, Task, Action, Result) for your career highlights.

More traditional sections of the CV, that is, Career History, Earlier Career, Qualifications/CPD, Personal History, Recommendations, should all focus on achievements.

So where am I now? Having ditched that hobbies section I have drafted some FAB statements for me from my last 6 years, which I can use in meetings and to inform discussions as I am in 2 services integrating currently. I also feel more confident of my own value having spent time reflecting on what my achievements have been, which for all of us can get lost in the pace of modern working life.

Late night webinars may not suit everyone but I found it fit around my caring responsibilities, and you can also enjoy a glass of wine in the process. The company provides a commercial CV writing service and interview coaching and has some good free taster resources you can access from the site.

Rosalind McNally
Outreach Librarian
Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust

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