Sunday, April 14, 2013

Be positive and sweat the details …

“Excellence is in the details. Give attention to the details and excellence will come.”– Perry Paxton

Staying positive and focused in the midst of a job or career search is indeed challenging. However, it is imperative and can make the difference between getting a job, growing, being prosperous - or not. I am sure this true story will help illustrate the point:

An employer had a job opening. Many resumes were received and the top four candidates were invited in for an interview. As the story is told, three of the applicants came into the interview and talked about how bad things were in the economy and their lives. The applicant with the least qualifications was positive and focused. Guess who got the job? The less experienced, positive candidate.

My advice: Check your personal baggage at the door. Don’t carry in the challenges you face, and do not talk about them. You are there to impress and sell yourself – keep that in mind always.

Employers want to hire people who are positive and committed. Qualifications are important, but secondary to attitude. The sad fact is that I hear this type of story over and over again from employers.

How can you remain positive? A few ideas:

  • Take this opportunity to change something in your life — perhaps exercise, weight loss, appearance - and make this a part of your plan.
  • Help someone else — perhaps someone who is looking for a job or dealing with some issue where you can provide help and support.
  • Help an organization – volunteer, another great way to meet more people (and that is networking).
  • Focus on what you contribute - skills, experience, and of course, your passion and always keep this in the forefront of your mind.
  • Be with people who are positive - it “rubs” off on you. Be positive and let this “rub” off on others.
I have also talked with employers who are interview and hire people who have told me stories about how people are lax in preparing for interviews or in how they contact a company. They are showing up late, forgetting what job they are interviewing for, looking sloppy, or in other words, not sweating the details.

It is critical that one:

  • Prepare for an interview. Have your notes about the company on hand, typed and looking professional. Find out as much as you can about the company you are interviewing with, and be prepared to give a 30-second overview of what you have learned.
  • Look sharp. Shine the shoes. Be sure your outfit is fresh and clean. Assume formality rather than casual. You can’t overdress for an interview, but you can under dress for sure.
  • Before the interview, sweat the details of your resume, letters, web presence. Be sure your resume doesn’t just say where you have been, but rather, the skills, qualifications and accomplishments you contribute. Always include a cover letter (or email) when applying. Google yourself and be sure your web presence reflects what you want others to see.
  • Ask for the job - if you really want it. Always follow-up. Send a note in the mail (snail mail) the same day as the interview. Make sure your interviewer knows – you want the job!
Be positive and sweat the details. You will win!  

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