At first glance, that appears to be a cynical question, doesn’t it? And, perhaps, one that makes some people nervous if you don’t have an answer. However, it’s a question for which you should have an answer. The reason is obvious: it is precisely the question in the mind of every hiring manager with whom you interview, every time.
When I meet with people, whom I may or may not represent, I often ask them during the very first meeting, “Why should anyone hire you?” Then I stop talking and listen to what they have to say next. Often I wait a long time and, more often than you may think, they stutter and stammer trying to come up with an answer. Have you considered what your answer might be, within the first few minutes of an interview, because it can very well determine the validity of your candidacy for the job you are seeking?
And even if you have something to say, is it concise, is it something others with whom you’ll meet find to be instructive and beneficial toward your goal of ranking among the top job applicants they’re likely to meet, all seeking the same job? I’ve sat with people who rambled on at great length but never really said anything, and I recall thinking to myself, “god, make this end!” as I look for an opportunity to escape and hasten the meeting’s end.
Now don’t get me wrong, nobody is an expert interviewer and anyone who wants to improve their skills can do so. Even if during the interview you may stumble and it is recoverable, most of us get tripped up at one time or another. By the end of the first interview, and each subsequent step however long you may have with an interviewer -- because the clock is ticking, you need to get your message across as to why they should consider you further and subsequently invite you to the next step.
How you formulate and deliver this message is up to you, but it is the central question; or do you mistakenly assume a piece of paper with your job history is all you need to get a job? If so, from where did you get that silly notion?
When I coach individuals, time and experience has taught me that you must craft an effective introduction, which encapsulates A) your most notable experience, B) what you’ve accomplished, and be able to illustrate to whomever you are meeting how they might benefit from the combination of A & B. And it is this factor that will then give your resume the horsepower you seek. It is a combination of things you will do; use of a good resume and the internet are but a portion of the overall effort – a concert of things you must do otherwise. You are just like everyone else and if you are not differentiating yourself from others you’re just going through the motions; do you have that kind of time to waste?
If you’re not aware, I wrote a handbook on this subject matter and I refer to this same experience and perspective every week, but I’d call your attention to my next blog entry a week from now when I will share with you the Rosetta Stone (of sorts) for those who recognize there has to be a better way and they only need for it to be shown to them in order to take full advantage of it. For those who think they know it all and are satisfied with the results they have, go ahead and get back into line with everyone else; but get comfortable because you might be there waiting for a while.
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