Numero P

In the world we live in today, ‘getting a job is a job in itself’. You cannot simply rely on your CV and / or your LinkedIn profile and hope you’ll get noticed or chosen. Nor can you just rely on an introduction from a family member or friend. All these things might help you get a foot in the door but when it comes down to it, it’s what makes you different from the rest of the pack that matters.

You need to remember, when you apply for a job, you are applying for a place on someone’s consideration list. Someone who doesn’t know you, has probably never heard of you, owes you nothing at all and will most likely form an opinion of you within a minute of making contact. First impressions do count. So make them count.

An introduction or recommendation used to be a shortcut in the recruitment process. It was also a way of saving money in recruitment fees, having someone you know (and trust) recommending you to a company (or vice versa). Now can just be an awkward obligation.

If you’re introducing someone to a company, both parties will most likely tell you what you want to hear. But really the little voice at the back of their head is most likely to be more concerned about what they are going to tell you should the interview be a disaster. Or if you’re hiring the recommended person, what happens if they join your company and you have to later fire them. It just gets in the way of your relationship and then everything just becomes awkward. Try not to mix business and pleasure.

I don’t care what anyone says, few people read a CV until the last possible moment before they are about to meet you. If they are one of the very few people that do actually read a CV when they receive it, the likelihood is, when they do actually meet you, they will have forgotten 75% of what they read. And one of the first questions they will ask is “so, tell me a little bit about yourself”. I rest my case.

And never underestimate your digital footprint, not in this day and age. Within 30 seconds of being given your name someone can find your profile on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. Most people haven’t yet worked out how to set their social media privacy settings correctly, so that drunk photo or post from the weekend will probably be the last thing someone sees just before they meet you. Social media can be your best friend one day, but your worse enemy the next.

LinkedIn is your professional shop window to the world. Just like your CV, there is absolutely no harm in regularly updating your LinkedIn profile. If anything, you should be encouraged to do it. It reminds you of your experience, abilities and capabilities. It should give you confidence and reinforce how great you are. Despite what you may think, just because you have updated your LinkedIn profile, it doesn’t automatically signify to your employer that you’re looking for another job. That’s your insecurity talking. What it actually shows is that you take yourself and your career seriously, and you’ve got your eye on the ball.

I have done a lot of research into the concept of ‘charisma’. What it is, what it means, why it’s important, why it’s such a valuable attribute and what people, brands and companies can learn from it. Charisma comes from the confidence of knowing who you truly are. People buy into charisma. They remember it. Whether you are applying for a job or going for an interview, the more charismatic you are, the more likely you are to succeed. Charisma can and will differentiate you from the competition. People believe in charisma. It’s a magnetic quality.

When I went for job interviews, I knew I was going to be on someone’s consideration list. I also knew that everyone else who was on that list was most likely to be as experienced and charismatic as I was. I wanted people to remember me and needed to stand out from the crowd. Everyone has a story to tell. Everyone knows someone. Everyone has done something great and has experience of doing something better than someone else. Don’t be afraid to be different. Be bold. Do what you’ve got to do to be remembered, get noticed and chosen.

Not all successful businesspeople have their own company. You don’t have to own a business to be good at business. You can still be good at what you do and work for someone else. You may not earn as much as you could do or have as much freedom in the decision-making process, but you can still do really well, be well rewarded and live a great life.

Copyright © Matthew Parkes 2020

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