Understanding your sector
Understanding your sector

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Understanding your sector

3 What have you learned?

The overall aim of this course has been to help you to understand your sector better in order to progress your career. You have done this in various ways over the last few weeks and now is the time, if you haven’t done this already, to bring this learning together so that you can construct an action plan tailored to your circumstances and requirements.

Take a few minutes here to remind yourself how recruiters explore your understanding of the sector at interview and the different areas you would need to understand for employers in the private and public sector. Listen to Rebecca and Charlie from Gradconsult discussing what they, as recruiters, are looking for in an applicant.

Download this video clip.Video player: boc_uys_1_video_week8_interview_fielding_reeve.mp4
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Transcript

REBECCA
If I give you some examples of how I would test somebody's understanding of a sector, when I was a recruiter, it would be very simple. And for me, it's about their curiosity and their understanding of basic things like, who are our biggest competitors? What we think about our most recent products that we've launched? What do you think the biggest challenges are for our sector in the next three to five years? Those three questions would indicate to me that they have done some reading, that they understand what's happening, what current thinking is, and that they've scratched below the surface of just our website.
CHARLIE
The kinds of questions that I might ask, as a recruiter in an interview, about the sector would be, can they give me an overview of what they think the sector challenges are, what the wider environment-- how that's affecting the different things in the sector. I might I ask them to give me some specific examples of how their knowledge of the sector could influence the way that they're going approach the job. And so getting them to tell me how much they know about that sector, but also how much they've thought about that knowledge being important in the job that they're then going to do.
REBECCA
If you're in the public sector and you are looking for an understanding of the sector as a recruiter, you'd want to talk to people about policy that's affecting your area or policy that's currently being developed-- white papers, green papers, practise, guidelines that are being published by whatever standards might be applied to that particular area of public policy, but also looking at best practise within the sector, as well. So, within public sector itself, clearly there isn't competition, as such, but there are significant differences from one region or one area to another.
So, what's happening in other areas? What are the good things? And how would you apply them to our region or our area of policy? And those are exactly the type of questions I'd be asking, if I were recruiting for the public sector.
End transcript
 
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Let’s just recap now on the different avenues that you have explored during the course:

  • the global and international factors that affect your sector including political, economic, social and technological influences
  • the key elements that comprise your sector, most importantly your customers, competitors and your suppliers
  • sources of information and support that exist within and around your sector including professional and sector bodies, national and local government, trade bodies and trade unions
  • the benefits of networking and how to do this effectively
  • job markets and how these vary between sectors and industries
  • a SWOT analysis of your knowledge of yourself and the learning that has helped you to identify the implications for future options, including improving performance, gaining new qualifications and changing jobs or career.

You should be pleased that you have come so far and deserve congratulations for all your hard work!

If you have been tackling the activities included in each week’s section, you will have been compiling some thoughts and ideas already about all the above areas and their impact on your sector and, indirectly, on you. Even better, in your notebook you may have recorded other reflections to add to this collection.

Pause now and revisit your responses to all the activities by consulting your notebook or the Toolkit [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] . What have you learned over the last few weeks about your sector that you feel might have implications for your career progress and planning?

UYS_1

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