Category: Job Applications

3D Juggling 528: Rocket Science

Claire writes: “It’s when someone gets slightly irritated when describing their skills and says ‘Of course I do that – doesn’t everyone?’ that we know we are getting to the heart of what’s unique about them. Because not everyone does things like you do – and probably your most important skills are the ones that you don’t think are rocket science.

I can remember speaking at a conference about career change and finding your purpose.  Having invited all the delegates to talk with their neighbour to try and extract their core skills, a man in the front row stood up.  He told me that he had taken early retirement at 50, had a great CV and wouldn’t be doing the exercise.  I offered to look at his CV instead.  The first page spoke of communication skills.  ‘Imagine that a lady from customer services in a supermarket is sat next to you.  She also has communication skills’, I said. ‘What are different about yours?’

You could tell that he understood things in a different way when he smiled and replied: ‘I’m a trained hostage negotiator. I get it!’ Then he rewrote his CV!!

Clarity about skills is important when you are looking for a different kind of job and are unclear what that might be.  It’s also important when you are being interviewed and all the candidates fit the person profile.  The job is likely to be appointed on that extra piece of uniqueness. And you need to be able to describe it.

What is different about your skills? Think about it…”

© 2011 3D Coaching Ltd
May be distributed freely.  Please retain contact details: and send a copy/ link to

3D Juggling 481: My secret celebrity obsession

Su writes: I am secretly celebrity obsessed. I love it: the scandal, the outrage, the excitement. I google and find out the dirt. I am a mine of useless information about Cheryl/ Brangelina/ past and present members of Take That. Love it, love it, love it!!!

There. I’ve said it now.

You’ve made a decision about me on the basis of that statement:
1. You secretly understand and share this . You feel slightly better disposed toward me.
2. You can’t understand: this celebrity-obsessed culture is harmful and wrong. What a waste of time and energy. I must be a waste of time and energy.
3. You don’t really care either way.

When you write a CV, think about what the recipient needs to know. Do they need to know everything about you, including your celebrity-obsession, your fox-hunting hobby or the football team you support? There is a chance that this will make the recipient less well-disposed to you. However objective the short-lister or interviewer tries to be, there are some things that will rankle with them. As a result, they subconsciously start looking for more evidence to support why you aren’t right for the job.

Do they really need to know that you are interested in cooking, socialising and team sports? Is this really going to get you the job? You might assume this says good things about you – but does it tell the shortlister or interviewer anything that aids their decision on why you are right for this job? If their last Data Controller/ IT Specialist was a fly-half that had to take three months off work with a back injury they may well be less willing to give you a go. In your head, socialising means dinner parties with friends: in the future employer’s head it’s binge drinking every weekend.

Traditionally, CVs had a heading called “Hobbies and Interests”. Look at your CV. Consider removing it and instead including more evidence about your effectiveness at work. Help the future employer by giving them useful evidence on why they should offer you a job rather than appealing to their personal bias.”

Love this? If you need some help in your organisation for people looking for new roles, come out for a cup of coffee with us to talk about how we can help you. We’ll pay!

(c) 2010 3D Coaching Ltd
May be distributed freely. Please retain contact details: and send a copy/ link to


3D Juggling 461: Invisible Orchids

Claire writes: ‘The orchid we were given as an office warming present lost its flowers after a few weeks and has sat sadly on the window ledge for months looking decidedly dead. I trust that one or other of us has watered it from time to time. I have also considered consigning it to the bin. After all, what does a dead flower say about an organisation!

This morning I was listening to a client celebrate some significant changes in the culture of her organisation. It was great to hear as I can remember many conversations which were less positive. As a senior manager, she has influenced in many quiet ways and was taking stock of the changes. Others have noticed a shift in culture and are unaware that it came from her. Like the orchid, the organisation hasn’t been dramatically pruned or heavily watered. Quiet patience and a nudge here and there have taken it to the point where change is clearly visible. I moved a stake on the orchid this morning so that it can manage the weight of its new flowers. That will be our celebration of a living flower! My client has plans to celebrate what she has done in her team.

Some leaders are visible. Some leave a legacy that survives them. Some have done drastic pruning and some have elegant leaving dos when they move on but a year on, little of their legacy is left. Often it’s the invisible influencers who leave the biggest impact because the team say ‘We have done it ourselves’. The challenge, of course, is how to communicate that on your CV!”

Want to know more? Talk to us!

Love this? Do us a favour and send it to five people. Who thinks like you? You could send it to someone who you believe to be an invisible influencer.

© 2010 3D Coaching Ltd
May be distributed freely. Please retain contact details: and send a copy/ link to