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When you are applying for job roles, and preparing for interviews, you’ll likely be asked to explain what your key strengths are.

This can be a difficult question to answer – after all, we spend so much of our time at work focused upon our service users that it can be difficult to reflect on what we do.

As a youth offending team worker, you’ll have an enormous amount of interpersonal and professional skills. Working with children and young people in a variety of situations means that no day (and no case) will ever be the same. As such, you’ll have developed an incredibly varied skill set but how do you know what you are best at? It’s a fact that no one is good at everything – in such a busy environment, you’ll soon find that you naturally excel at some tasks whilst struggling with others.

Conduct a personal SWOT analysis


In a job-hunting situation, the first thing you’ll need to consider is how you can present yourself as an effective practitioner.

You’ll need to be able to sell in your skills and explain why you are the best person for that specific job. You’ll also need to be aware of your weaknesses and explain how you plan to overcome them.

But how can you do this? After all, if you’re job-hunting, you’re unlikely to be able to ask a colleague or your line manager. Is it possible to do a minor self-assessment on yourself to discover your strengths and weaknesses?

Yes, it is.

As you start the job-hunting process, why not take a few moments to conduct a personal SWOT analysis upon yourself? If you know what your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats are then you’ll have more of an insight into your skill set, which can help you write your CV and prepare for any hard-hitting interview questions.

What are your strengths?


The first thing you need to consider is what are your strengths? Are you particularly good at completing admin tasks, or are you a strong advocate for your clients? Try to consider how a colleague would describe you.

Perhaps you can remain calm in stressful situations, or maybe you are extremely thorough and always pay attention to detail. In a role which consists of stressful situations and plenty of report writing, these are skills which are highly valued amongst youth offending teams! You want to be able to sell in a story about what you are good at, and why it is so beneficial for the people you work with.

Are you aware of your weaknesses?


Everyone has areas for improvement.

It’s how you recognise these weaknesses and what you plan to do to overcome them which can turn you into a great candidate. In an interview situation, you will almost certainly be asked to explain your weaknesses. It can be easy to lie and say that you’re great at everything – but you’ll quickly be found out as soon as you start the job.

Instead, why not be honest and explain the areas you struggle with and explain how this awareness means that you’re more likely to take direct action to be able to make improvements. If you struggle with new forms of technology, then you could invest in some basic training to improve your skills. Or if your counselling skills could need help, then you could request that a mentor helps you to make changes.

What do you mean by opportunities?


When conducting a self-assessment, this is a hard area to think about. After all, SWOT analyses are usually conducted on businesses, not people!

However, think about opportunities in relation to the specific job role that you are applying for.

Are there any opportunities that you think could help you achieve your career goals? Perhaps it’s a step up the career ladder, or maybe it’s an opportunity to work with someone you highly respect. During an interview situation, try to use these opportunities as a basis for the discussion. You’ll be asked why you are the ideal candidate for the job, so use your opportunities to explain why you think that it’s the right fit for you and your career.

What are the threats to consider?


Threats are usually seen as external conditions that you have no control over.

In a youth offending team situation, these could be budgetary cuts or policy changes which could impact upon the work that you are trying to do. You’ll need to be aware of these as they could directly impact the way you work.

You can use these to your advantage – you may be asked about hypothetical scenarios in an interview. By taking time to think about how you would react in these situations, you’ll have a better idea of how to answer these questions.

If you need advice or guidance on how to successfully demonstrate your strengths in your CV or during an interview, why not take a few moments to speak with one of our consultants? We’ll work with you to establish how you can sell yourself in the most effective way possible, helping you to get your ideal youth offending team officer job role.
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