Sunday, 12 January 2014

Skills I Wish I Could Put On My CV

I start a new job tomorrow and I am flipping terrified. It's a massive change from what I was doing before Christmas, and I'm still not entirely convinced they don't think I'm a complete moron. 

This girl looks far too polished to be seen as a moron. I'm not her. From here
They may, or may not think this due to the fact that when asked "What are the five skills you feel the role needs, which you could bring to this position?" (or words to that effect), I started by saying two fairly sensible things, then had a complete panic where my mind went completely blank. I sat there, panic stricken and managed to choke out "I'm so sorry, I'm really nervous and my mind has gone completely blank". The panel were very sweet about it, told me to take my time, have a sip of water, and carry on when I was ready- which I did. By saying "Well, I know I'm really not demonstrating this right now, but I actually deal with pressure incredibly well".

Seriously. I don't think I could have chosen a more moronic thing to say in that situation. Fortunately, they seemed to see the funny side of it, and since I was offered the job anyway, I can't have been that bad, can I?!

To be honest, there were many other things running through my head at that point, I'm just pleased something vaguely work appropriate came out of my mouth. But how much fun would it have been had I been able to say whatever I wanted?! The other day, Kristin posted on skills she wished she could put on her resume and I thought it sounded like a brilliant idea. So- here are five things I wish I could have said in answer to that question.

Found here
1. I bake a lot, and I am apparently quite good at it- this genuinely nearly came out of my mouth, because I just had no idea what else to say. However, I think I could swing this one- baking shows patience, precision, and attention to detail. And anyway, who doesn't love someone who brings in cake every now and then? Even better- someone who makes an excellent cup of tea to go with said cake.

2. I'm a fount of useless knowledge. The QI Elves have nothing on me. I may not know who is currently top of the Premiership, and I certainly couldn't point to Leeds on a map, but I do know that the collective noun for a group of cats is a pounce, and how to pick up an ice cube only using string and salt. And you never know when that might come in handy.

3. I am a complete and utter morning person. Honestly- if you aren't a morning person, you really don't want to be around me first thing. Once I'm awake, I am awake, and I think everyone in the vicinity should be too. I bounce around, I have solo dance parties in the kitchen while I'm making breakfast, I sing. Yes, it could be seen as annoying, but it also means I'm brilliant in a 9am meeting.

4. I'm impatient, and I expect others to be too. Seriously. Sounds like a bad thing, but it isn't. In all of my previous workplaces, I have baffled people by how quickly I do things. If I'm given a task, I don't sit around and wait to do it- I do it there and then, hand it back with a smile, and ask "what's next?". Obviously this goes somewhat out of the window when I'm horrendously busy, but that's when the "time management and prioritisation skills" come in. And that's a skill I do mention

5. I am really, really stubborn, and really, really competitive. Can't do it? Can't do it? Go away, just because I'm small doesn't mean I can't polish off that entire pizza, or lift my six foot brother up. If you tell me I can't do something, chances are I will then go ahead to do it just to prove you wrong. And competition? I turn absolutely everything into a competition, whether that's out-swimming someone I don't know, or getting to the car before you, or finishing all of my work before you've finished task number one on your to-do list. They go hand in hand, and mean that I really don'y give up easily at all.

Fortunately for everyone, I don't put these things on my CV, because I don't think I would have ever been hired. I tend to leave these to be discovered by employers, friends, potential love interests, and distant family members all by themselves, and for the most part, no one seems to mind any of them. Either that, or the cake making makes up for absolutely everything else.


  1. I'd agree with 3, you definitely are a morning person. But Alice my dear, please don't put yourself down too much. They hired you, because you are wonderful. It sounds like you handled yourself brilliantly in that interview. And I love that you are able to turn cake-baking into a plausible answer at an interview! You are going to be just wonderful tomorrow. My mum always says to me, 'people don't ask you to do thing unless they generally think you can do it. Which probably means that you can.' She's right. xxxxxxx

  2. I've had a couple of interviews over the past month so I really do feel your pain! And best of luck with your new job tomorrow! :) x

  3. Ha ha I love this idea! I think you can certainly turn all of those qualities into being related to work! For me, I wish I could add how much I care about everything on my CV - I think through every situation and outcome possible (which isn't always terribly productive, but can be helpful in decision making and being impartial!) x

  4. This made me chuckle. I think they would make everyones CV far more interesting if there was more creativity.
    When I worked at the BBC one of the popular interview questions was 'If you were a superhero in this job who would you be and why?' - I always wanted to say Mary Poppins and had my reasons (ok, not really a superhero as such!) but never got asked the questions.
    I'm sure you'll be fine, they picked you for a reason, but GOOD LUCK! x

  5. Oh no - hey, we have all been there (including your new colleagues!!!)!!!! Good luck with your new position - I am sure you will rock it!!!!

    Meghan xo

  6. Less of this putting yourself down Alice, you're bloody brilliant and they realised this, and you totally deserve this job. Sending you lots of luck for tomorrow, can't wait to hear all about it.

    Ps. Going to try the ice cube thing now xx

  7. I loved this! I too start a new job tomorrow! Good luck on your first day

    Lauren | Bits and Bobs xx

  8. Ooh love this post idea poppet, SO much good luck for the new job- let me know how it goes and see you soon! eeee xoxo

  9. Ahhh I love this!!! Hooray for the five things that make you a very good employee - and boy they do, the place where I work would love to hire you based on these skills!!!

    Good luck for tomorrow love, but really, you will be more than OK, and also, everyone is new in the beginning - you're perfectly entitled to not know a thing!! Let us know how you get on. I started a new job a few months ago and it was the most exhausting adjustment ever - don't let it get you down, you'll be popping along to work feeling like you can handle anything in no time!


  10. Super good luck in your new job sweetpea x

  11. hehe these are great :) i laughed at what you said! Brilliant! ;) xo

  12. This is the best post :)
    I often think there are dozens of things I could list on my resume if they were deemed acceptable - for instance, I am not very good at, but enjoy immensely, sewing. It takes a lot of concentration and patience unpicking all my screw ups and I think this shows a very strong work ethic!

  13. I am SUCH a morning person too! Amber left a comment back on my blog about how she DID put some of these things on her resume for a job that she thought was a long shot and it totally got her hired! Who knew :)

  14. congratulations on the job! :) fantastic post by the way & I'd just like to say I'm beyond curious how to pick up an ice cube with salt & string, well that could have a post of its own! :)


  15. Don't worry, way back when I was being interviewed for my first job (which was in financial publishing, during the middle of the Northern Rock crash to give you context) I was asked about the financial crisis. My mind went blank, and I eventually managed to speak, what came out? "I have absolutely no idea, I've been abroad for the last 6 months..." I have no idea how I managed to get that job!!

    How has your first week gone?

    Scarlett x

  16. Providing baked goods is an important office skill if you ask me. I also second Anna, teach us the ice cube trick!


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