Politics is an inflammatory subject that people take personally. But more often than not, politics is the lot for career advice. Americans in general take criticism of their favorite candidate seriously. I watch the debates, speeches, and commentaries and as it has reinforced what not to do in the job search. One thing that stands out to me is that you can turn people on and off without having a conversation.
Networking: Your hands say what your mouth won’t make clear
Despite what we believe on the political elections, we learned this week that your hands speak a language of its own, and those excluded from the conversation will interpret it any way we want. Hand gestures are easy to mis-interpret, thus terminating your employment candidacy. Hand gestures are not wrong, but undisciplined movement can fail efforts to communicate well. An article in Forbes in 2006 confirms,
“Use hand gestures for emphasis…”
“You’re not a cheerleader, and you don’t want to fidget unconsciously. This is why it’s important to practice before a mirror.”
The startling image of Jan Brewer pointing at President Obama thrilled some, and angered others, depending who you champion. If no one has coached your hand gestures through Toastmasters or Theater, then you may not know what non-verbal messages you’re sending. If second and third interviews are rare, consider getting some coaching, especially if your hand movements are family entertainment.
Interviews: Mean what you say, and show what you mean
The whole tax return controversy with Gingrich and Romney is a great lesson in sending clear messages. If what you show people is different from what you said, it is hard to retain credibility (assuming you earned it to begin with). This is a common issue with job seekers who are able to get interviews, but no call backs. A frequent anomaly is stating on your résumé a certain type of experience, but unclear in displaying through accomplishments and results the skills needed to perform the job.
It shows up in your writing, too. You are just the last one to know.
Job search: The first candidate is not always the best job candidate
CNN reported right after the South Carolina Republican primary, that Romney had spent over million dollars in Florida primary ads before the other candidates spent money. We don’t know the outcome of the Florida primary, and neither do you when you race to be the first to apply for job. When employers announce an opening, most job seekers race to apply. That is old thinking as employers have many choices, and will wait until they have a pool of candidates. For me to say that this is recent is wrong because it has been that way for years. That is why, you apply when you have established and determined that the package you offer is your best.