Look before you leap

We all play different roles in life. In a few hours, we can transform from parent to friend to manager modes effortlessly. Each style requires different communication methods. This is something that we don’t even think about.

The word ‘role’ is defined as ‘a character or part played by a performer’. In real life, we adapt to different situations and our body language and language changes as we interact with different groups of people.

Amending our styles enables us to fit in with our environment and we do this on a daily basis. Sales people get specific training on how to adapt their personality to communicate effectively with their customers. This can have a dramatic impact on the relationships they develop.

Managers often are shown how to get the ‘best’ out of their employees by working with their skills and strengths.

However, more often than not, people tend to send the same CV and cover letter, and communicate the same message when being interviewed for completely different roles. Like a good salesperson or manager, we need to adapt ourselves to communicate effectively with an interviewer.

We need to communicate a different part of ourselves for each role that we apply for.

How do you do this?

Rather than sending out a multitude of identical CVs to various companies with no thought, think carefully about whom you are sending your CV to, and what type of company it is. That thought could make a world of difference. Do not limit yourself to one CV.

When sending your cover letter, highlight those parts of your career that are most relevant to the role in question. If they are looking for someone with strong sales experience, highlight what percentage of sales you have achieved in the past.

If you are an engineer, show where you improved yield with your last employer. A common mistake people make when designing CVs is to display equivalent amounts of information per job.

Information positioning is very powerful in CVs and by highlighting your key, relevant work areas it draws the interviewer’s attention to your relevant experience. Make it easy for your interviewer to select your CV – adapt each CV. The more ‘factual’ the information, the better.

For example, state percentages, key achievements and concrete examples of success. The biggest error that people make here is that they place very little emphasis on what is important. Your CV should highlight what is imperative for the vacant role and illustrate how you are the best person for the job.

In an interview situation, the same method applies. Who is interviewing you for the post? What type of company are you applying to? How is your experience relevant to the post? Be smart before the interview.

What exactly is the interviewer looking for – how can I communicate this message?

Interviewees tend to make the same common mistake. They forget that their answers need to be relevant to the post. Put yourself in the interviewer’s shoes.

Careful thought and consideration can dramatically increase your chances of achievement for interview selection and success. Use it to your best ability.

Sli Nua Careers (tel 094 95 42965, www.SliNuaCareers.com ) are based on Main Street, Headford, Co. Galway, and carry out CV Preparation, Interview Training, and Personal Branding. For your free e-book on interview & CV tips, email [email protected].

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