A common question Career Services professionals are asked is “Can you explain to me why I was not the one selected for the job; I know I was the most qualified person they met?
With the increasing pool of ultra-talented job seekers available for mid-career, managerial and executive positions, the determining factor in decision makers’ minds is to hire the Best Person for the job; and it does not automatically equate to the most experienced or best qualified candidate being the candidate offered the job. This may leave some of you scratching your heard to understand why and how a seemingly less experienced or less qualified candidate is the superior choice.
The answer and logic lies within The Credibility Factor. Above all, what companies crave are the intangible factors that tell them if a candidate will be well respected and capable of influencing outcomes in a positive way.
Here are four examples of what The Credibility Factor is all about in conducting a successful jobs search.
Silence is Golden.
Certain professionals believe the best way to establish credibility while networking, casually speaking to others in a business setting, or in a face-to-face or telephone interview is monopolize the conversation. Their rationale is “after all how will people find out how qualified and talented I am if I don’t tell them?
This may ring true in proving you are eminently qualified and have the right experience.
However when it comes to building up credibility as the ‘Best Person’ for a job, you must train yourself to be a better listener than talker. In the long run you appear more credible by actively listening when others speak and then asking insightful questions based on what they had to say.
Think of this as being at a cocktail party and two people in your field who you hardly know come to network with you to get on your radar screen. The first starts off and continues telling you how much you can learn from his/her vast experience in the field (and with good reason). The second person’s conversation starts out inquiring about you and they attentively listen to what you have to say before waiting for you to ask them about them self.
I bet, even if you may learn more from the first person, if asked who you would prefer to be around and who you are more likely to befriend, recommend, or hire it would be the second person you met. Credibility is built with your ears and not your mouth.
Consistency trumps Unpredictability
Another component in establishing credibility is what I call a Positive Performer Predictability Quotient. This does not mean you are rote and predictable. On the contrary it means you can be as innovative as the next person but people will see you do so while you exhibit consistency in your actions, deeds, values, and your interpersonal relationships.
When people read your resume, talk to others about you, interview you, and work with and for you, they should feel confident that “What you see is what you’ll get.”
Always tell the truth and follow your heart
This should be a no brainer, but in a world dominated by grey areas instead of plain black & white this can sometimes be a slippery slope. Just remember if you lie, stretch the truth beyond the limits, or follow the group’s agenda against your better judgment, like many politicians we know, a lifetime of building up credibility can be undone in less than the blink of an eye.
Establish a reputation as a ‘First Responder’
Don’t you hate it when people don’t return your phone call, voice mail or email for days or weeks at a time, if at all? On the flip side don’t you love getting an answer to your question – even if it is not the one you want – ASAP?
Make it your business in a job search to touch base with everyone who contacts you as ASAP, even if they are pushy and annoying; the reputation you will develop is one of extreme credibility and I guarantee this reputation will spread like wildfire.
As always I am happy to critique US resumes at no cost if you email it to firstname.lastname@example.org
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