- Be real
- Be memorable
- Be professional
It doesn’t matter whether you’re writing a CV, meeting a potential employer in an interview situation, attending a networking event or posting on social media, these three principles always apply when you’re hunting for a job.
Be real – be you. Fakeness is perceived readily and it’s ugly and unattractive. A potential employer wants to know who you are, what makes you, you and will only employ you if they feel you’re genuine, believable and real. So quit trying to be someone else, forget about the type of person you think they want and instead try and relax and present yourself as who you really are. The passion and realness of your story will come across and that will be more attractive than any other presentation of yourself.
Be memorable. I read a lot of CV’s, I interview a lot of people. I have a database of 20,000 IT people. Try as I may to remember all those names and people’s backgrounds and stories, I just can’t, or I’ll need to re-read my notes to jog my memory. If you present your CV the same as everyone else and if you give the same clichéd answers to interview questions as everyone else then employers aren’t going to remember you and will likely treat you the same way as everyone else, that is with a, ‘thanks for your application but you’ve been unsuccessful on this occasion.’
Be professional. So here’s the balance to the first two points. Being real doesn’t give you license to wear thongs (flip flops, for you Americans) to an interview, because that’s who you are and how you roll. Having text colours of pink, red and yellow randomly throughout your CV because it’s memorable doesn’t increase your chance of getting a job. You can be memorable for all the wrong reasons. Being professional means, you understand the employer’s values and you respect them. It means you communicate with clarity, respect and purpose with the type of language expected in a boardroom rather than a pub. For most IT positions this is a non-negotiable.