Monday, July 14, 2014

Who was your favourite teacher?

It’s that classic question popular for high school reminiscing and, for some reason, bank security questions. Well, Miss Hoff, this blog post is for you. (Just don’t go trying to hack into my online banking now.)

Miss Hoff was my Year 7 English teacher who actually made lessons interesting – we studied Shrek, not Shakespeare. But one of the things that really stuck with me and has been very useful ever since was learning how to pee properly (cue pre-adolescent giggles). Of course this ‘pee’ was actually an acronym of ‘point example explain’ and a handy way to remember how to make an argument fully. Let me explain...
  1. Point: Briefly state what the point you want to make is.
  2. Example: Give an example to support your point.
  3. Explain: Don’t forget to explain yourself – what does the example show? How is this relevant to your overall argument?

I made an effort to pee all through my education, in my exams, essays, everything. And here’s where the job-hunting comes in: I do it on my CV and covering letters too. 

I think most people come across some acronym like pee during their education but you’d be surprised how many people don’t remember to do it in the real world. 

I’ve come across job applications before that just make a point (‘I’m an excellent communicator’) without backing it up or that give the examples (‘I had a part-time job’) without explaining why it’s relevant to the job. I find the final ‘e’ is missing the most often, so next time you have to write a CV or covering letter, ask yourself:

  • Why is this relevant to the employer?
  • What did I learn from this experience that makes me a better candidate?
  • What skills did I develop?
  • How can I apply this experience in the job I’m applying for?

Just like how you had to make an argument about the effect of the literary devices used in Shakespeare/Shrek, you need to make an argument for why you’re the best candidate for the job. No-one cares that you worked in a charity shop in your spare time but they do care that you learned the value of great customer service and that now you always deal with customers with an approachable attitude and a smile. You need to produce a complete, persuasive text and the best way to do that is to pee liberally, all over your application (further pre-adolescent giggles).

By Jess Jennison
Editorial Intern

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