ArLyne's Diamonds

A running commentary of ideas

Thursday, March 03, 2016

Energy, Enthusiasm & Excitement Gets You to the Front of the Line


Can you imagine if I, or other speakers came up before you with shoulders slumped, dragging their feet and looking as though they really hadn’t slept well last night?

What would your first reaction be?
Most of you would automatically think, this person isn’t going to be worth listening to – I bet her talk will be as boring as she looks.

Now suppose you are going into a job interview and you haven’t done your homework. The interviewer asks you a question related to how much you know about their product line and you don’t have the right answer. You haven’t even googled them. What do you suspect the interviewer will think? She will probably think, this guy isn’t really interested in working for us, he didn’t even bother to find out about us.

What will happen to you?

You will be embarrassed and might freeze during the next round of questions.

So, what do you do when you go to a job fair? What do you do when you come to meetings designed to help you with your job search? Are you prepared?

As a matter of fact, do you have business cards with you today? 

Are you energetic and enthusiastic? Do you show by the way you look, walk, talk, and offer information to others that you are on top of your game?

What Employers Want Today

You need to be on top of your game and you need to reflect that in everything you do and everywhere you go. You never know whom you might bump into just walking into Fry’s. 

Your literature, your phone calls, your e-mails, and your personal presentations all need to impress those with whom you are interacting. They need to grasp immediately that you are the best possible candidate for the position you seek.

Why? Because there is more supply than there is demand. There are more people seeking positions here in Silicon Valley than there are jobs to be given out. This is also true in many other parts of the country.

If I were a recruiter – or hiring manager – or employer, what would I want? I’d want only A players

I’d want to know that the person I’m hiring will not only do a great job, but will work well with others (does this sound like Kindergarten – sorry) and will stay with my firm as long as I need him or her to stay.

Since this is such a youth oriented culture here in Silicon Valley, I’d also want to see vim and vigor. Sure, if I am interviewing a twenty year old, I’d probably prefer to see a little calmness and maturity. BUT, if I am interviewing a mature person, I need to see some youthfulness.

What’s the Bottom Line?

In today’s job market, employers want and can get:
  •  Highly competent and experienced workers.
  •  A proven record of meeting and exceeding deadlines and expectations.
  • A valuable and well-respected team player.
  •  Someone whose verbal and written skills are outstanding.
  • A person whose personality inspires others to do their best.
  •  A willingness to do more for less – without grumbling about it.
  •  Loyalty and longevity (yes, even though they don’t necessarily promise the same).
Tips to Being that Most Desirable Candidate
Let’s start from the beginning of the process. 
  • Before you ever get to the interview you have to send a query letter (or e-mail) and a resume.
  • Maybe even before you do that – you do your research. Every hiring manager or recruiter is looking for something slightly different.
  • Here are a few things you need to learn before you start writing:
o    What is the company’s product or service?
o    Are they growing, downsizing, or remaining stable?
o   How does the department – or group – you are interested in working with fit into the overall business?
§  Is it part of the core-competencies
§  A critical support function (HR, IT, Marketing, Sales)
§  Or, something that might be spun off, or discarded
o    Whom will you be working for? 
§  Personality/character of manager
§  His or her style of management
§  What type of communication style works best
§  Biases – needs and wants
o    What specifically are they looking for – and what do they really need?
  •           How do you do that research?
o     Google them
o     Google the hiring manager
§  She might have written articles you can read and thus get a sense of their style and beliefs 
§  If you do, and you can then refer to something you read during your interview with that person, you will be ahead of the game 
§  Everyone likes flattery – especially if it feels genuine
o     Go on their website
o     While there also look for information about the department and the managers you might be working for, or interviewed by
o     Do an informational interview with someone who has worked for or is currently working for the company – and hopefully that department
§  LinkedIn
§  Friends/Family
§  Past co-workers
§  Etc.

Ok, you’d conducted your research and now you know a lot more than you did before. What do you do next?

§        Incorporate some of what you learned into your cover letter. For example: 
·        “I have long been an admirer of the reliability of the Intel chip and would be honored to work designing components that utilize their chip.”
§        Make sure the style of your letter is consistent with the cognitive style you’ve discovered
·       A detailed person wants some details
·        A theoretical or artistic style wants word-pictures
·        An A type wants quick facts only
·        Low-context people want short and sweet
·        High-context people want to have you get a little friendly and personal (Me: Tell the story of Southern V.P. coming to New York – and of French social lunch before dinner.)
§      Tailor your resume to the specific job you seek
·        Don’t groan – you are on a computer now and revisions are easy to create
  •        Let’s talk for a minute about resume writing:
o      Your resume is a marketing tool – not a data sheet
o      In today’s world you can have metadata in small fonts on the bottom which will be picked up by computers scanning for specifics
o      Do not use the same trite expressions everyone else uses
o      Don’t brag – prove your points within the body of the text
o      White space is good – aesthetics matter
o      It can be as long as it needs to be – although less is more
§  It needs to be tightly constructed
§  If you are very experienced and that experience is relevant to what you are seeking – 2, 3 or even more pages might be appropriate
o      Bullet points and phrases are good, full sentences are not necessary
o      Do not mention that you know how to walk and chew gum at the same time 
o      List important skills, not that you’ve learned to type
  •  In short, your resume and your cover letter are the first signs that you are an A player. Don’t be a dud.
What’s next?

The Phone Call - The Dreaded Phone Call

o      Rehearse – what are you going to say, keep it simple and short
o      You are calling to make an appointment – not to tell your life story
o      Thank the person for taking your call
o      Ask for an appointment time
o      Ask if you need to bring anything to the meeting, or send beforehand
o      Thank again – and say goodbye

The Interview

  • Everything you’ve done thus far is so you can get the interview -- here is where you will make or break your opportunity to get the job.
  • Here, more than before is where you need to show energy, enthusiasm and excitement – without looking like a cheerleader.
  • You’ve done your homework, you know how you are going to answer the tough questions, so here are just a few reminders:
o     Ask questions that show your interest in the job – not the benefits
§       By this I mean never ask about vacations, health insurance, pension plans etc., until you have been made an offer and you can use all of these items as negotiating tools before accepting or rejecting the offer
o      Don’t monopolize the conversation, but don’t be a yes/no person only
o      It’s a conversation – give and take
o      Find opportunities to tell stories about some of the extraordinary things you’ve done for prior employers
o      Don’t waste time talking about sports, or other non-essentials, but be sure to be positive if your interviewer does


Post a Comment

<< Home