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Workshop: How to Achieve your Ambitions

Updated: Feb 16, 2020

Retired Australian High Commissioner and Career Coach Frank Ingruber commenced his workshop at The Hague Tech, WIL’s new venue, by explaining that all application processes are inherently similar, regardless of the field and type of vocational or educational field applicants wish to go into. To support this, he listed examples of individuals, including a graphic designer and a cardiologist, he has successfully advised, despite knowing little to nothing about their respective areas of expertise.

Much to the concern of the attendees, the speaker continued, by sharing statistics attesting to the utter competitiveness of the contemporary job market and the lacking quality of the majority of applications received by selection panels. This set the tone for the rest of the talk, which Ingruber dedicated to identifying and rectifying the most common errors made by applicants.

He recommended conducting 24-48 hours of research and networking (by for instance meeting up with employees and asking for their consent to refer to them in their motivation letter or interview) before beginning the drafting process. Frank Ingruber highlighted the importance of concision and of establishing a connection with the selection panel (i.e. focusing on how the employer will profit from the applicant, not on how one will profit from the employer).

Furthermore, he stated that the following ought to be avoided in curricula vitae and letters of motivation:

  • drawing on chlichés

  • empty statements

  • using form letters

  • repetitions

  • typing errors

  • timidity and arrogance (as female applicants tend to doubt their own abilities, they should focus on avoiding the former)

  • providing no evidence for skills listed

  • frequent use of “I”, “me”, and “my”

  • vagueness or excessive detailedness

  • including a “skills” section or “executive summary” in one’s CV.

The presenter explained that he conducts mock interviews with his clients, asking them around 200 (standard) questions and a few questions that do not lie within their area of expertise, so as to test their ability to think on their feet. Further advice included:

  • dressing formally (adapting to the employer’s official or unofficial dress code, so as to give the selection panel a sense that one will fit in)

  • paying attention to body language (filming oneself when talking and then critically analyzing one’s body language)

  • thinking of a rhetorical punchline to incorporate into one’s replies

  • arriving on time.

The workshop ended with an array of questions from the present WIL members who left The Hague Tech eager to edit their curricula vitae.

To learn more about applications, consult the following resources:

Application checklist on LinkedIn, created by Frank Ingruber:

“The Best Interview Attire for Women”, written by Alison Doyle (Job Search and Employment Expert)

Blog post by: Clara Lindemann

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