Promoting your work experience – Problem Solving
Number 3 in our series of blogs is problem solving, we have already covered teamwork and communication so have a look at those if you haven’t already seen them. We are covering some of the key skills that employers look for in applicants and in these blogs we are focusing primarily on skills gained through work experience.
Problem solving involves some key personal attributes and brings together a range of other skills such as decision making, and depending on the setting also teamwork, leadership and creative thinking. You may also identify others as we go through the setting in more depth.
So think back to a time when you solved a problem and think about how you handled this.
- Did someone give you an actual problem to solve or did it perhaps arise as an emergency or crisis situation?
- What happened to start the process of needing to use your key skills in problem solving?
- How much time did you have available to you to solve the problem? What resources did you have available in terms of other resources so people and materials ? (Resource gathering)
- Did you need to think and act quickly?
- Did you have to make key decisions on your own to reach a solution or were decisions made in agreement with others? Did this lead to any disagreements, perhaps then leading to collaboration and then finally a consensus? How well was this handled?
- What did you actually do to resolve the situation or problem? Did you encounter problems along the way? How were these resolved?
- What was the outcome? Did you make something tangible? Or make someone’s life better through handling something quickly?
- Or reach a good outcome in some other way.
- With the benefit of hindsight would you have approached the task differently and how would you have done this? Self awareness.
- Is there a tangible way you can actually show what you achieved to an employer?
Employers are recruiting graduates for their academic ability but also as there is a perception they will be able to deal with difficult situations that arise. So they will talk to you about difficult situations you have faced and see if and how you handled these effectively. Or they will give you a scenario and expect you to deal with it effectively saying what you would do in that setting