Your job talk can play a crucial role in getting yourself hired. The people you will be presenting to are trying to sort through numerous applications, and this is your shot at standing out from the crowd. It's likely that for many of the people attending your talk this will be the only contact with you that they have. So, make everything you do exceptional! That includes any sort of materials you are thinking of giving to them (e.g., outlines, handouts, vita).
Applying for a job is a process that is challenging, unsettling, and pretty damn exciting. It's an opportunity to assess yourself and put together for yourself all your years of training and your own personal style into one coherent package. The job search can clarify and even teach you a lot about yourself.
Be clear with yourself what the purpose of your talk is.
This is probably not the time to include untested or idiosyncratic therapeutic approaches (no past-lives therapy, please), particularly those that could raise ethical concerns.
Know the controversies of the day, too -- for example, if you are going to present a client who has repressed memories, are you prepared for the possible challenges you will receive about the nature of memory and the validity of repressed memories?
Is there a THEME to this presentation?
This sometimes will help organize the structure of the talk, and guide what to include and what not to include. Perhaps the theme (or themes) is something about you, that you then illustrate at various points in the presentation.
What about you?
Provide an overview of what you intend to do in your talk. e.g., give an outline (either spoken or on paper).
This is a chance to demonstrate your approach to therapy. It is appropriate to spend a few moments at the beginning explicitly outlining your orientation, biases, and beliefs, independent of this particular client. Again, make yourself stand out, give them something to remember you by. And a brief overview of your approach also provides further structure/logic to your presentation. You move from the general to the specific -- They get to see how you apply your approach to a specific case.
Put energy into your talk -- act interested, enthused, use humor, self-disclose (appropriately!), whatever -- but convey a sense of involvement. This will keep your audience engaged with you, an important consideration because it is the overall gut response that remains with the people who interview you, and less what you specifically say to them (which isn't to say that the specifics are not important). Remember, they are not just listening to your talk to see what sort of clinician you are, but also they want to see if they want to work with YOU.
|Last modified: June 9, 2010||
Copyright, David L. Gilles-Thomas