Honesty is the best policy!

I’ve lost count of the amount of times I ask why someone is interested in a role, and they respond “I have always wanted to work in that”

This really gets my goat!

Why?

Let’s take a recent example of this where someone had a first degree in a completely unrelated subject to their masters and the role they were applying for. Let’s try to make this easier to follow, because even I’m confused.  Let’s say the original degree was in Golf Course Studies, and the Masters was in Creative writing. You then applied for a job as a magazine editor.  That alone is fine; I’m all for changing your mind and realising your career path as you go along. After all, it’s only through studying golf courses that you might have realised you’d rather be in the writing industry. But, don’t tell me you’ve always wanted to work in the writing industry when clearly at one point you were interested in golf courses.

Perhaps try:

“Following my degree in golf courses, I realised that I preferred writing about golf rather than managing golf courses, and I decided to pursue creative writing to make it a viable career option”

Still not quite following me?  Well consider this; when we talk to you about an application, it’s great to hear that you’re keen and we definitely want your enthusiasm to shine through, but just stating that this is something that you’ve always wanted to do and that the role is perfect for you does little to persuade us of that unless you can substantiate it. Whereas,  the above example tells me why you have chosen to apply for a particular role, rather than that you just liked the description!  I’m not going to turn this in to a typical advice blog as we have plenty of resources and posts to help you; firstly, check out this one about how to be the perfect applicant!

The main comment I want to make is that we’re not trying to catch you out (we probably don’t have the time, and we’re often not clever enough to try!).  Typically, if we ask you why you applied for a particular role, it’s to give you the chance to highlight why you think it is suitable and to give you the chance to discuss your relevant skills and experience. It’s usually best at this point to give a simple answer, and we can ask for more detail if we need it. Don’t tell us what you think we want to hear. After all, honesty is the best policy.

 

 

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