Ruth Mellenthin (UIC “06 MSW) asked, "How can I get hired as a supervisor if I have no supervisory experience? How to get the experience if I can't get hired as a supervisor?"
Ruth’s right, this is a little like the chicken and the egg question, which comes first?
There are several strategies to use. First let’s look at building the experience. If you are employed, seek out assignments that build leadership or management skills. Each profession and the specific skills they prefer is going to be different. Conduct informational interviews with other professionals to identify critical competencies. All candidates can also consider volunteering as a way to build different competencies. You can gain supervisory experience by leading teams, managing volunteers or chairing committees.
Second, you’ll need to sell the experience and abilities you do have. If you don’t have strict supervisory experience, describe the experience you have that utilizes the supervisory skills of leading, delegating, managing people, etc. You have to convince the interviewer that you are ready for the supervisory experience.
If you need assistance developing a strategy for building your experience or deciding how to sell your experience, the ACC staff members can help through an advising appointment . Visit http://www.uiaa.org/careers/packages.html for more details about services and fees.
If you have other suggestions for Ruth, add a comment below.