So my job search series continues. Honestly, I may wrap this up into a booklet.
Anyway, for those of you following along, I lost my job late May 2012. I then went on an intense job search, trying all the techniques I knew. I found a job in 3 weeks – and also learned quite a bit. Now I’m writing all my findings up in what is proving to be a disturbingly long-winded series.
One lesson I’ve been realizing for awhile, but that became very apparent, is that you want to be yourself on the job search – your best self.
What I mean by being your best self is that on interviews and searches that you essentially are yourself, but bringing out the best qualities of yourself. If you’re gregarious, go for it. If you’re calm and methodical, don’t try to go gonzo and speed yourself up. Bring out your real strengths, and the ones you show when you’re truly being yourself.
As for your negatives? Own them. Admit to your mistakes and flaws – and show how your good traits make up for them. Don’t wave them in people’s faces in some lame attempt at false honest, just admit to them and go on, or apologize if they come up.
Think of it as being the you you want to be able to be all the time – for your interviewers.
This has a lot of advantages:
- It’s honest, without falsehood or self-flagellation.
- You’ll quickly know if you fit in with the people you talk to – and find fits you may not have expected.
- You’ll be natural and people can really assess you.
- Interviewers are used to B.S. They’ll be happy to see someone being real.
I noticed that when I just “was me” the amount of interviews I got and leads I got skyrocketed and many were high-powered. I even had people who didn’t hire me call me back to help them with recruiting or ask advice. I’d like to think it’s because I’m awesome, but also I’m sure some of it was that we found the right fit (a few people got disinterested fast), and some of it was they were relieved to not have someone drop a load of B.S. on them.
If you think about it, it makes sense. If you can fake your way through an interview to get a job, are you really going to be the right person? If you’re not being yourself, perhaps you come off as false and deceptive.
Be your best self. It’s honest, productive – and frankly, easier.
Steven Savage is a Geek 2.0 writer, speaker, blogger, and job coach for professional and potentially professional geeks, fans, and otaku. He can be reached at http://www.stevensavage.com/