“Whatever you believe about yourself on the inside is what you will manifest on the outside.” ~ Unknown
The way you walk into a room can be an influential indicator of how you will carry yourself in a potential position. Be diligent in your efforts not to let nervousness or excitement for an interview be too profound that it affects the outcome of you being viewed as a qualified candidate for the desired position. It is important for you to walk and speak with confidence and make strong eye contact with everyone that you interact with during your interview process. Research the basics of body language before starting your career search. Learn or refresh your knowledge of how your body language relates to interviewing and daily interactions with people. Your increased awareness of body language can potentially become your gauge of how an interview is progressing. Your body language during an interview is equally important as your interview attire, interview dialogue, resume, social media presence, and follow-up communication. Your body language preparation can be favorable in confirming that you will be viewed as qualified for your next desired career move.
“Pulling a good network together takes effort, sincerity and time.” ~Alan Collins, Author of “Unwritten HR Rules”
There are a variety of ways that you can network for your next career promotion, industry contact, or new professional resource. You can attend an online networking event, a lunch chat, or an after hours networking event. You can also host your own networking event at your home, a local venue, or a restaurant. Invite respected professional peers, mentors, and industry influencers you would like to reconnect and connect with.
Get creative with planning your networking event. Your event should display a festive and upbeat theme with coordinating decor and edible treats that represents excellence. Develop an event schedule that is time sensitive and easy to administer with a smile. Take time to identify intriguing conversation starters and industry relevant current events and trends to candidly discuss. After your networking event, skip the email and send a handwritten thank you note. A hand written thank you can leave a notable lasting impression that can connect you to the career shift that you are seeking.
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One of the most powerful tools you can create and promote during your career search other than your resume is a career portfolio. Your portfolio is a great opportunity for you to display your professional accomplishments and awards. When developing your career portfolio the presentation format and creative ideas are endless. Your presentation can be produced as a brag book or through an online portfolio source. Your portfolio should be professional and consistently industry relevant. Do not rush the process and have fun formatting your portfolio with quality copies and clear pictures. Take a moment to view your great work with pride and confidence. Your portfolio can be an empowering conversation point during your interview that ushers you to opportunities to speak more in-depth about your accomplishments with verifiable data present beyond some interview questions guides. Your portfolio can be the deciding factor for you being considered for a position or a promotion.
Career Portfolio Content Ideas
- Non-confidential metrics
- Letters of Recommendation
- Previous non-confidential industry related project outcomes
- Community outreach projects with pictures if applicable
- Media tears
- Mock industry related projects to show your creativity or plan execution ability
“One important key to success is self-confidence. An important key to self-confidence is preparation.” –Arthur Ashe
During an interview it is important for you not to sell yourself or your industry expertise small. Your resume and/or referral secured the opportunity for you to interview. In most cases, your confidence and ability to effectively explain your skills and knowledge will advance you to the next step in the interview process. Display good posture, eye contact, and avoid being fidgety during the interview. It is important not to take offense to any questions about explaining your ability to be effective in the potential role. Sometimes it may seem that the same questions are being asked of you in different ways. Throughout the interview, display patience and provide detailed answers with a smile in a calm demeanor. For select technical positions, be prepared to complete proficiency tests if required by the potential employer. Let your attitude be upbeat and engaging in conversation. Remember, your end goal is to leave a positive lasting impression that leads to a potential job offer.
Interview Prep Activity
Partner with a friend, family member, or mentor and complete a mock interview. Research possible interview questions online that are related to the potential position. Be receptive to the critiques. Edit your answers or body language until you are confidently interview ready.
Everyone has a desired career title that they would like to accomplish and feel that they are getting a return on their investment for their cultivated skills, professional development, and education to date. Depending upon your perspective of your career path, sometimes your dream career can be masked under a position title that initially seems to be unappealing to you. It is not always to your advantage to dismiss positions based upon their title without reviewing the potential position description on job boards or with recruiters and hiring managers. Your desired position income, experience, and benefits wish list can be one perspective shift away from being a reality for you.
Depending upon your industry each position you submit for will require a listing of professional and personal references. It is important to stay in touch with previous managers, mentors, and business peers that you had positive outcomes and interactions with professionally. Give them a call, send them an email, or reconnect with them through various social media platforms. Develop a reference listing that can be viewed as benefit for you.
Position Submittal Preparation
- Research and identify position descriptions that interest you versus the position title solely.
- Keep a current listing of contact details (i.e. phone number, email, website, and physical business address if applicable) of professional connections and previous employers.