having a debate - on sending CVs etc

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joko | 16:55 Tue 06th Mar 2012 | Jobs & Education
24 Answers
just chatting with a pal about a job advertised as the head of a department on a big, longstanding soap.

she thinks i should apply... i dont think i am quite at that level ...but she says 'you gotta be in it to win it'...and although she and i both believe i could actually do the job, my CV would probably not meet the level they are looking for...quite simply most of my experience is in other very similar areas (films) with tranferrable skills, and not exactly what they have asked for...(tv)

part of me thinks 'what the hell, send it, they can only say no'... but then would it actually irritate them?...thinking that i must know i wont get it, and that i am wasting their time...

if it wasnt the HOD i would certainly apply, no question...

what do you think?



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the other benefit would be that they have my details and may think of me for a different job...
"then would it actually irritate them?"

And this bothers you why?
I think you should go for you, it won't hurt to try
Joko, you have to try.
Also, tweak your CV slightly - I've always tweaked mine to fit better with whatever job I have applied for (BTW I am NOT suggesting you tell lies)
True mrs_o but then Rabbit testing was a rather specialised post.
I'm with your friend, send it you have nothing to lose.
You believe you can do it so use the cover letter to explain why along with a tweak of your CV to highlight the skills you do have that match the job description.
Good Luck!
Question Author
well i dont want to jeapordise any chance of other jobs by irriating them

but then i suppose the chances of them remembering me while looking at CVs in the slim, isnt it?

its not like they would fall about laughing at my application... i think they would take it seriously and it would only be the tv/film thing that would put them off... the rest of it is pretty impressive (so i am told)
Question Author
i suppose so... if they would judge me negatively for having confidence and ambition then i guess i wouldnt want to work for them anyway...

(i would really but got to say that havent i?...hehe)
I'd go for it. In your short covering letter, I'd say that you are keen to progress and are already working towards the levels of skill required for this job (as long as you are, of course), and that you'd welcome the opportunity to use the skills you have learned in films into a television setting, to expand your experience. Something along those lines acknowledges that it would broaden your horizons and you're still keen to learn.
Heads of Dept are generally no better than most people who work 'beneath' them- management know that- and with film/ theatre/ TV experience counts for a lot. If you've been around a while and have not proved to be an unreliable menace and can give good references then there's no reason you wouldn't be considered. No-one is born head of a department, and as the others says fine tune your CV a bit. Tell them also WHY you think you would make a good HOD, and that you consider all your experience and skills to be transferable to the role.
.. and PS a person description for a job is always their ideal, employers do sometimes have to compromise on the parts marked Desirable rather than Essential!
You have had some good answers on here joko go for it, nothing ventured etc
Good Luck and let us know how you get on.
I agree with everyone else that you should go for it.

But think about the management skills needed by a HOD. I'm sure you have the technical ability so beef up your CV to address these other skills. Make more of the projects you have organised and planned from scratch. Talk about staff, budget and resource management as well as managing motivation and quality.

Good luck.
Question Author
thanks everyone

i think thats the area i would struggle with most with maidup - handling such as large team and basically running the ship... i can do the rest of it, no ptroblem, but i have never had to manage such a big department before - then again its already established so itd be a case of keeping it running to a set plan/routine rather than starting from scratch...

i think i will give it a never know...

thanks all for the advice - some of your 'phrases' will be useful in writing my cover letter too, so thanks for them as well
Well Joko, I run a pretty big ship and have HODs who help me so let me know if you have any queries. I can help with the jargon at least!
i agree you have to try. Well you don't actually HAVE to i suppose. Employers treat job specs as a wishlist - it might be flexible for the right person
ps, if it's anything like my work, the people who shortlist dont get to see the names or even the sex of the applicants so they dont subliminally discriminate
Go for it. Unless its a real numpty application which I am sure that yours isn't, I have never been annoyed by any applicant who didn't quite fir the JD/personspec.
Question Author
thanks everyone, i appreciate the vote of confidence... and if nothing else i may get some good feedback from them

having trouble keeping my cover letter short though...trying to fit all the usual stuff in as well as the additional things for this...bit of clever wordplay is in order...hehe

just as an aside, i would not normally use words like i'd, wouldn't and didn't etc in a letter like this, i would always write I would, Would not etc - but do you think they are acceptable these days in cover letters?

(in this letter it would not grant me much extra space anyway so im not going to do it in this letter, but just wondered what the general consensus was)
Try to keep the letter short by putting the info into the CV Joko.

Remember there is time to add more at the interview and at this stage,keep in mind those reading it who need to scan across both the letter and the Cv to see where the you have addressed the key elements of either the job description or the person spec.

eg If a requirement is to manage budgets, make sure its in and easy to spot. Don't use up vaulable space listing other activities or general chat about experiences.

(I'd use full words such as I would, rather than I'd. But less of the negatives, so reword if you find yourself saying would not, will not or did not)

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