Language Secrets for a Successful Job Search

By Alesia Benedict, CPRW, JCTC – GetInterviews.com

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On the job circuit, it is important to be yourself and clearly express your experience and ability in a way that will resonate with recruiters.  Sincerity is a critical component of being authentic, however you may need to massage your language to make sure the hiring manager is listening.  Of course you don’t want to deceive a potential employer with a trumped-up version of yourself.  That is very similar to padding your resume – a definite no-no in the world of successful job seekers. What you must do to ensure a receptive audience is to say all the right things – in the right way.

1.  Use the Language of Results.

Most CEOs are interested in how your behavior and enthusiasm can help the company move toward specific goals and objectives. An effective strategy includes researching the company for new initiatives, pet projects, or even community involvement and aligning your key work experiences with the activities receiving corporate attention.  Critical information will provide the frame for presenting your skills to the employer. Highlight strengths and experiences that parallel the business intelligence gathered in your research efforts.

Tailor your presentation to garner extra attention from a hiring manager.  Interest may be generated from shared efforts on a community project, HR committee work on social events (translates to improved morale in the language of the CEO), or attending city council meetings on zoning issues (the Division Manager will see you as a trusted representative of the company, as well as a Subject Matter Expert on community relations and regulations).

2.  Verbalize How You Get Things Done.

Gather several sample job descriptions for plum positions and study them for skill areas emphasized.  Sure, every position will share some basic skills that form the core of that profession, but each company has unique expectations within a specific corporate culture.  Compare the job descriptions with your personal work history, not just in terms of basic qualifications, but also in terms of added-value you bring to the table from your personality, extensive contacts, or significant accomplishments. Help the hiring manager understand how you will enhance the team’s functioning, levels of productivity, or bottom line when you deliver your significant skill set.

3.  Listen for Clues.

Many companies share an idiosyncratic language that reflects the corporate mission. Listen to how individuals talk and write.  By identifying trends, such as “do you see what I’m talking about” or “I hear what you’re saying”, you have tapped into clues about how individuals understand the world around them.  Neuro-linguistic Programming (NLP) suggests mirroring the language of those around you helps to create a bond of shared vision and direction. You will make a solid connection.

4.  Utilize Action Words.

Using powerful language conveys your individual influence and authority. It is not necessary to be in a position of authority to communicate that type of strength to others. When job-seeking, you may feel as though you are an underdog in interactions, but this is the time to step up your game and project your confidence and competence. Action words are a great way to do so. Your list of accomplishments may include “projects executed”, “costs contained”, or “profits accelerated”.

5.  Express Professional Passion.

Passion ignites interest. Define your professional passion by listing all the career-related activities that excite you. Don’t be afraid to express those professional passions by talking about what energizes you. Enthusiasm is contagious and most employers are drawn to candidates who are energized about the profession, their company, or the mere possibility of making a well-defined contribution. Whether you are a dreamer or a doer, you have specific skills to offer – get excited and don’t be shy about sharing.

6.  Incorporate Nonverbal Messages.

Remember the power of body language in addition to all other types of communication. Pay attention to your nonverbal messages as well as those of the hiring manager. In any face-to-face interactions, use the basics of good eye contact, a firm handshake, and an open stance.  If the body language of the other person doesn’t seem as open, try engaging him/her in conversation that is appropriately upbeat. If you are in the office, pay attention to objects on the desk for clues to possible conversation starters – a favorite sports team or plaque of recognition. Over the phone or email, introduce your interest in a special corporate project.

Put these secrets to work and you will be communicating with prospective employers at many different levels. Being able to effectively match the hiring manager’s communication style in multiple ways maximizes a sense of connection and shared vision. Speaking the same language helps the prospective employer see you as part of the team, getting you a few steps closer to landing that plum position!

About the Author: Alesia Benedict, Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) and Job and Career Transition Coach (JCTC) is the President of GetInterviews.com, the country’s leading resume writing firm. They provide professionals with customized, branded resumes and career marketing documents. Her and her firm’s credentials include being cited by JIST Publications as one of the “best resume writers in North America,” quoted as a career expert in The Wall Street Journal, and published in a whopping 25+ career books. Established in 1994, the firm has aided more than 100,000 job seekers to date. All resume writers are certified writers. GetInterviews.com offers a free resume critique and their services come with a wonderful guarantee — interviews in 30 days or they’ll rewrite for free!

Doostang News September 13: The Importance of Body Language

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You’ve heard that body language is extremely important in an interview, as it affects how interviewers relate to you and what assumptions they make. It’s stressful enough that you have to focus hard on giving polished answers to questions hiring managers fire at you, so paying attention to the positioning of your hands or the way you sit in your chair can feel overwhelming. That’s why you should work on perfecting these small moves now, so that they come more naturally when you’re in the hot seat!

What to do with Your Hands

From the moment you shake hands with an interviewer, what you do with your hands is extremely important. You don’t want to sit there with your hands underneath the table – during the interview, the person you are speaking with should always see them. It’s also important to make an effort to gesture. Even folding your hands nicely for the duration of the interview can seem too passive. Instead, use small hand gestures to compliment the answers you give. Conversely, you want to avoid gesturing wildly, as you can come across as erratic and will distract your interviewer. Try to keep your motions within the frame of your body.

Matters of the Face

Body language includes eye contact, and you should do your best to maintain that throughout the interview. Don’t lock in on your interviewer, as you may come across as a bit too earnest or even intimidating, but try to look your interviewer in the eye for the majority of the conversation. Some experts tell you to look at a person’s nose in order to maintain eye contact; if you do this, make sure that you’re really gazing at someone in a way that resembles eye contact instead of zoning out. Also be sure not to focus on the interviewer’s lips, as this can seem sexual. Another important point is that you should avoid touching your face. It looks strange, and some people believe that touching your face while speaking indicates that you are lying.

How You Sit in Your Chair

The way you sit in your chair at an interview is extremely important. By no means should you ever slouch, as it looks unprofessional and conveys that you aren’t very interested. On the flip side, sitting up so straight that you appear stiff is a bad idea too. You want to sit up straight in your chair, but you also want to appear natural and not nervous or uptight. Also try to lean forward a little bit in your chair – again, without slouching – to demonstrate involvement. When you lean back, you convey that you aren’t very interested or engaged in the conversation.

Body language is extremely important in an interview and completes the overall impression you make on an interviewer. Unfortunately, during the actual interview people are often too nervous to keep their body language in check, and tend to fall into bad habits. That’s why it’s important to take charge now and practice these things, so that when the big day comes, it will all seem like second nature!

Good luck,

The Doostang Team