The 3 secret job criteria

MIAMI - OCTOBER 01:  Eduardo Castillo (L) sits...
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Have you ever wondered why the colleagues who do nothing useful at work, but believe they’re the best thing since sliced bread, are the ones winning promotion after promotion, while you struggle endlessly on doing the work of 3 to prove your worth?

Continuing the theme of 9 power tips on how to get or keep a job, here’s a rundown of the 3 hidden skills that you’ll rarely see on a job description, but which add up to the REAL criteria you have to meet to land that dream job you’ve got in mind…

  1. Self Confidence.  If you don’t believe in yourself, how are you going to convince the interviewer to believe in you? Or your manager? Or the acquaintance who happens to know someone who’s looking for a person with just your skills, in the company you’ve dreamed of joining? You need to be able to project that aura that makes the interviewer think you’re worth as much as they’re willing to pay you – or more.  There’s more on this point in my first article, but I should also mention that this is critical to point number 2.
  2. Persuasion. Otherwise known as ‘salesmanship’.  Forget all the negative connotations, the bottom line is you have to convince the interviewer (or in earlier stages the HR person) that you are the one whose time and skills they want to ‘buy’.  They only want one, usually.  They also usually have a lot to choose from.  Even if it was possible to look into every applicant’s skills and history, there wouldn’t be time.  They pick the book with the glossiest cover and the most interesting spiel – just like you do when you visit the bookstore.  If you can’t come up with that interesting spiel, and can’t put any kind of gloss on the cover they get to see in that brief 15m or half hour interview, what do YOU think you’re chances are?
  3. Personality. When you think about it, a company is a team of people that spend excessive hours together, often doing things they really don’t want to be doing.  At the very least, they’re all spending too much time away from people they WANT to be with.  If a group of conflicting personalities are all thrown together in that environment, there’s going to be chaos and collapse – the opposite of the productivity they’re hiring you for.  They’ll probably never say it aloud, but they need to find someone who can fit in and keep the harmony going.A word of warning: this is one thing you really DON’T want to change to try to get the job.  If you’ve changed the way you come across for the interview, you’ll spend your days trying to be someone you’re not, probably becoming miserable in the process.  That can never work.  (Unless you’re a really good actor, in which case you should probably be doing screen tests instead of job interviews.)  Being yourself, then, is an important part of landing the job.  If you are true to yourself and don’t get the job because of it, you probably would have been as miserable working there as they would in trying to make you fit into their round peg world.  Keep looking.  You’ll find that square vacancy somewhere, but not if you’ve stopped looking because you’re busy being pounded into a round hole workspace.

So, if you’re in the job market (or thinking there’s a chance you might be), spend a moment to realise that the skills listed against a job are NOT the whole story of what they’re on the lookout for.  In fact, sometimes an applicant with all of them will end up passed over for someone who meets these secret 3 criteria a bit better (although they’ll never admit that was the case).  It’s well worth spending some time building your self confidence, learning a bit of sales & marketing, and showing off your personality.  You’ll be surprised how many areas of your life it can improve!  It might even help you join those people on the internal promotion ladder so you don’t need to worry about looking elsewhere…

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