Worksheet 2 – Building a positive image

Identifying your assets

Worksheet 2 is about clarifying your talents, skills and achievements. It can be hard to do this straight away, so the worksheet is in two sections:

The first part (Questions 1, 2 & 3) are exploratory. This is where you need to think expansively about all the things that you like doing, those that you think you are good at or those that you are most proud of. Once you have collected an exhaustive list under all these topics, it will be far easier to outline your real achievements – both official (‘hard’) and subjective (‘soft’).

Essentially in the first part of the worksheet (Questions 1, 2 & 3) you are making notes so that putting in your actual achievements (Questions 4 & 5) will be a much simpler process.

Preparation / groundwork

In answering Questions 1, 2 & 3 think in the very broadest sense about your talents, skills and interests. Think as creatively as you can about what makes you happy, what you are good at and what you have done in any aspect of your life which you are proud of. Make each list as long and as comprehensive as you want.

Your answers here will help you fill out the achievements section of the worksheet (Questions 4 & 5).

1. What makes you happy / what do you like doing?

2. What are you good at?

3. What are you most proud of?

Once you have completed Questions 1, 2 & 3 use these answers to complete Questions 4 & 5.  

Your achievements

4. Outline your objective achievements – write a comprehensive list
These are all the ‘official’ qualifications that you have, the ones that have been formally awarded to you, such as:

  • Exam qualifications
  • Driving licence
  • Qualifications from hobbies eg. sports (football, skiing, athletics, tennis, swimming, lifesaving, music, drama, DoE etc)
  • Job related qualifications even those that have nothing to do with your work eg. HGV licence, carpentry, typing, bricklaying, upholstery, plumbing, playing a musical instrument (without grades) etc.
  • Work based awards / promotions – eg. employee of the month, sales awards etc.

If you haven’t got any official achievements, don’t worry, you will be able to make up for this in the next section ‘subjective achievements’.

5. Outline your subjective achievements  – think creatively, make your list as full as possible
These are your more personal or ‘soft’ achievements, such as hobbies (eg. playing in bands, taking part in political or social causes); or positive character traits or behaviours you have exhibited which cannot be measured as such but undoubtedly are achievements (eg. volunteering, learning a new skill at a later age); rescuing a pet, learning to cook, bringing up a child as a single parent) etc.

For example, if you said that you are sociable and like meeting people, this can be turned into the more formal skill of excellent people skills, which suggests good customer service. Or it may be that your ability with people has manifested itself in terms of encouraging siblings or friends who are shy or introverted, or dealing with difficult customers in one of your temporary jobs such as waiting or in retail, or even being on a committee of a club or social group. These examples demonstrate an ability to engage with people, a talent valued in many jobs.

You could also include things here which you are not naturally good at but have worked hard to achieve results in eg. getting maths GCSE; overcoming a fear of heights; learning to drive or dive or or anything else which didn’t come easily. Often the things we struggle most with are the ones which best demonstrate the positive aspects of our character.

Additionally, you might include much softer factors here which demonstrate what matters to you. They could be political, social or cultural eg.

  • Supporting BLM or standing up to the school bully
  • Visiting old people in their homes or listening to your grandparents repeat the same story many times without showing them that you’ve heard it before
  • Breaking up a fight
  • Getting family or friends to make up when they have fallen out
  • Showing compassion
  • Showing common sense
  • Showing good judgement
  • Being fair and open minded

Some things to think about:

  • Hobbies – eg. music, sport, drama, clubs or other leisure activities. Don’t just think about what you have done but think about why they are achievements. What do they say about you? For example, if you help run a football, boxing or other sports club that is very positive. Think about it in terms of why you did it, how it helped others, what it says about you, what you learned. If you have taught yourself to play the guitar or other musical instrument what has it brought you, what does it say about you? Or you might have learned to cook never having done so before, again that says positive things about your character
  • Work success – not just specific awards but more subjective factors such as challenges you have overcome such as, dealing with difficult customers effectively, suddenly stepping up to manage a team, ironing out disagreements between your colleagues or even organising events such as a trip to the Bowling alley or the Christmas party
  • You should have listed a lot of possibilities earlier but make sure that you have been comprehensive and thought about every aspect of your life – volunteering, languages, travel, adventure, sports, music, clubs, social occasions, organisation, art, cooking, how you deal with people, teaching, dealing with pets, the older generation, friends, or even the slightly bizarre, such as walking over hot coals!

Which do you think are your three most important?
Of all the achievements you have listed, which are the three you think are the most important to you?

This might be a little tricky as all of your achievements – both official and subjective – will be important in some way in demonstrating a positive aspect about you. Choosing only three doesn’t mean ignoring the rest, it is simply a way of thinking about what your stand-out achievements or talents are. It’s a useful exercise to do here as it will help you when you come to creating your personal brand in Step 3 and particularly your summary.

If you find it difficult to pick only three then just try and put them in a priority order – which do you think are the most important and the least important bearing in mind what you are you are trying to achieve with your working life.

1

2

3

Meeting the needs of your proposed target audience
Once you have completed the achievements section, look over it and compare it to the work you did in Worksheet 1 about your target audience.

How well do you think you are meeting their required needs and skills? Ask yourself the following questions:

  • What can I add to my achievements section?
  • Have I missed something out?
  • Should I take up a new hobby / skill to demonstrate that I do have the necessary skill set?
  • Or, should I think about changing direction?
    It may be that you need to break down your ambitions into bite sized pieces. For example, if you decide you’d like to be a pilot but so far have none of the right skills and achievements, you might need to think about what you can do to work towards your dream. You might need to think about first getting another type of job which will help you towards meeting your goal. This will involve looking at the skills that you identified as necessary to achieve your goal in worksheet one and looking at your gaps to identify what is missing. Then you need to take steps to fill in those gaps so that you are putting yourself in a stronger position to meet your goals. This is not about denying your dreams but about taking a realistic approach over the short and long term.

How well do you meet their needs?

What can you add / develop to meet their needs more exactly and enhance your chances of landing your dream role?

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