Applying for a job – handy hints and tips

As the year marches on, we come to the beginning of Spring and the end of the financial year budgets. Within many organisations resources are reviewed, rotations rotate and the gaps in services are identified by managers look to fill new or existing posts and put them out for advert.

Simultaneously students in their final year begin to have a dawning realisation that the end is actually in sight and shock, horror they will have to start applying for jobs. Other levels of staff will also think about if they should stay in their current post, move clinical areas or try for a promotion.

This first blog in a series of 3 walks you through the steps in that process.

First of all though I have to tell you what happened when I went for my first OT job interview.

Unbelievably now, the District OT came to meet me at the train station and drove me back to the hospital. She then took me for lunch and after that we had the interview. I was the only candidate, I got the job and she drove me back to the station. How times change….

Now the interview applicants are capped after the xx person and obviously you have to make your own way there and back mostly without even a hint of a cup coffee.
That said, if this is the job you want, you need to get that interview and in order to do that, you have to stand out from the competition. The first step in this process is the production of a high quality application.

It’s important for you to demonstrate to the interviewer/s that you have the qualities that they are looking for. The qualifications for the applications will be pretty much the same for whoever is applying. The personal statement is the thing to get you in front of the interview panel. The first thing to do is to is to print off the job description and highlight all of the key qualities that the post requires.
Everything highlighted has to be mentioned and evidence provided to illustrate how you have/could carry it out. This means you will have had covered all their criteria and added some more of your own. You should have examples either from your assessment booklets if you are a student or from your supervision records if you are already qualified. If the job descriptions go on for pages try and combine groups of similar activities.

Think about you, your strengths, what would you bring to the organisation, department and team. This is not a time to be shy, this is a time to tick boxes and sell yourself to someone who doesn’t know you, and never will if you don’t tick all the criteria for shortlisting.
Before you hit the send button, re read, check for typos, ask someone to read it through and use your job description as a checklist against your application form.

Everything included? ✔️ good to go.

Next preparing for the interview……..

Any comments, suggestions please don’t hesitate to get in contact margaret@ot360. I look forward to hearing from you.

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About Margaret Spencer

For the kind of collaborative supervision you have always wanted. Are you are passionate and enthusiastic about occupational therapy? Are you working in the NHS, third sector, independently or for a private company? Would you like your supervision to enhance, and develop your professional practice? If you answer yes to any of the above I would love to hear from you. Have a look at my website to see where we could work together. I have supported many occupational therapists in developing a service from scratch,. I have worked with OT's to design training packages for support staff in older adult falls services, I continually carriy out audits in psychiatric intensive care units, and learning disabilities forensic services. On behalf of commissioners I have completed service reviews in learning disabilities from 2002 onwards. I complete individual HCPC audits with OT staff in many different clinical areas, am involved in yearly appraisals, and monthly supervision sessions. I also critique, design and write job descriptions. I shortlist and interview for all levels of OT post from Band 5-8. What ever your needs I can support you.

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