Friday, January 26, 2007

How to Use Your Personality to Find a Job

I usually write about freelancing issues. But, I've been getting a lot of queries lately that revolve around FT employment. So, I devoted all of this week's posts to FT employment.

Have a question, send it in and I'll address it in a future issue. Today's topic, using your personality to find a job.

Monday we go back to talking about freelancing issues, specifically the article is entitled, "Quick Copy! Tips for Freelance Writers to Increase Income & Output" It's a two-part series. Stay tuned!

Y. Black, Publisher

How to Use Your Personality to Find a Job

Many times, job seekers leave their personality at the door. After all, this is business, right? And, savings are running low, there are bills to be paid and you've borrowed from every friend you have.

So, time to put on the "game" face when you go to the interview. Many times, this is what the recruiter and/or employer sees - your worries, not the real you. Your personality can be your biggest asset when looking for a job.

Outlined below are three things you can do to make sure it shines though - and lands you the job.

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1. Be Unique/Be You: Usually, an interviewer will ask you to "tell me something about yourself." Don't think along the lines of something that will tie in with the job at hand. Tell them something personal.

This will do two things: i) it will make you memorable because you will probably talk about something you enjoy, or a recent accomplishment; and ii) your enthusiasm will naturally loosen you up - letting your natural radiance shine through.

For example, I recently finished my first marathon. I trained for a year for that darn race! I am dying to tell anyone and everyone who will listen.

2. Be Upbeat: No matter how many worries you have going into an interview, do not let them shine through in the interview. The interviewer is there to find the best person for the job - not the one who is most desperate to have a job. And, desperation can be smelled like a cheap perfume.

Remember, interviewers see many people and the slightest "negative" can turn them off. After all, this is a people game. Everyone wants to be around someone who is positive, sunny and has a good outlook on life.

This person may have to work with you day in and day out. They may have a stack of bills too. BUT, they don't want to be reminded of it. So, no matter your worries, check them at the door. Don't paste on a fake smile, but do walk in with a positive, can-do attitude.

3. Be Curious: I've probably interviewed 2-3,000 people over the last decade. I can count the number of times on one hand that candidates have been curious about a company and the people that work for it.

After you've discussed the responsibilities of the job at hand, most interviewers will ask if you have any additional questions. At this time, inquire about the interviewer. This will take some interviewers off guard, but if done the right way, can be a big boost to your candidacy.

For example, you might say something to the effect of, "This seems like such an interesting company to work for, what drew you to this firm?"

Or, "You seem to really enjoy what you do, if you don't mind my asking, how long have you been with the company/in this line of work?" Or, "I'm sure you see a lot of people, what do you think would make a candidate successful in this position?"

Two to three questions is enough. Keep the questions in the professional realm, and/or ask their professional advice. Most people like to talk about themselves, no matter how shy they may be; and most people like to be helpful.

Asking them about their time/duties at the company and/or seeking their advice in some way about the position at hand will go a long way towards letting them know that you are really interested in the position and are open to advice/help.

These are two of the biggies that employers look for - in every employee.

Employing these three tactics will go a long way towards making sure that your personality, in addition to your credentials - shine.

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