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Employment 37 Would you hire yourself?

By Audrey Prenzel, CARW, CEIC, B.A., B.Ed.

There are many crucial actions, some more subtle than others, to elevate your attempts to secure the ideal job. Aligning these 6 considerations will benefit you during your employment search or advancement in Canada.

1. The Paper Trail Even in this electronic age, sending or hand delivering a hard copy document is recommended. So, the first point of contact with a decision maker will not be you; it will be your résumé. I’m not focusing on résumé content here, rather the appearance. Is the document folded or crumpled? Did you scratch out an old phone number and pen in a new one? Busy employers do not want to try to decipher text through coffee cup rings, grease marks or smudged text. Quality paper carries smells, so be careful if you smoke or wear strong perfume or cologne. Stand out the proper way.

2. Looks Count Be cognizant of how you look. This obviously

refers to wardrobe, manicure and hair during interviews for men and women. I applaud those individuals who care enough about their appearance that they look fantastic when they are not pounding the pavement. Remember what they say about never knowing who you will bump into while waiting in a supermarket line. So, dress up and look the part of a busy, employed person and you will be soon.

3. Be Positive If you maintain a confident-rich demeanour, others

are sure to notice. When you’re functioning with an optimistic mind-set, others will adapt the same perception. Operate under the assumption that once a job with a good fit crosses your path, you’ll consider it. If you demonstrate a desperate or defeatist manner, this slashes your marketability. Positive affirmation works for some, but you need to be positive from the inside out. Employers can tell when you have worked on yourself. That matters in every job. Apply this upbeat nature when discussing former employers, colleagues and work places.

4. Be Responsible Make sure you are on time for interviews. Arrive about 10 minutes before it is supposed to start. Do not show up earlier than this. Ensure you have any

reference letters, additional copies of résumés or portfolio ready if this has been requested. Follow through with keeping subsequent scheduled interviews, phone calls and forms completion.

5. Speaking

Practise saying good things about yourself. Rehearse the phrases that will undoubtedly be asked of you in an interview in front of others and in front of a mirror. Thinking about the answers is not enough. Actually plan and say your answers aloud. Thought fillers - uh, um, hmmm - or slang phrases - like, man, and that type of thing, you know what I mean - or simply taking too long to respond to the questions indicates you were not prepared. Diminished credibility with the hiring manager likely follows. Closely linked with our verbal message is the information we send with our body.

6. Body Language Your mom told you to sit up straight and she was right. Slouched posture, weak eye contact, nervous facial expressions, and excessive hand gestures can be distracting and work against you. It’s amazing how many tics and weird things you’ll observe when using the mirror as outlined above. Don’t weaken your chances by ignoring this. If not a professional, have a friend interview you with a video running. In face-to-face situations most of our communications are nonverbal. It documented that 55% of communication success stems from nonverbal body language and behaviour. The balance comes from words, tone, inflection, volume and meaning. Reflect on these tips to see if you’re the kind of candidate that you would hire. The labour market is competitive and it takes every ounce of smart thinking to outpace the competition and secure employment offers. Best of luck!

!Audrey Prenzel, CARW, CEIC, B.A., B.Ed. is the founder of Résumé Resources, an international career transition firm. She holds numerous roles with Career Directors International including Mentor, Canadian Advisor,

Director of International Relations, Military Transition Expert Program Leader, and Aerospace / Defence Program Leader. Audrey is the author of "Military to Civvie Street: The Complete Job Transition Guide for those Leaving the Canadian Air Force, Army & Navy". Visit Audrey's website

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