Imagine you are a recruiter –your job is harder than ever now because there are many, many talented people out there looking for work, and every job advertised gets thousands of responses.
You still have your own targets to meet. How do you get through more responses in the same time? Easy – you spend less time on each application during your “first sort“ until you get to the handful of people you will seriously consider.
So for job applicants this means that they have only a couple of seconds to make a first impression on you and keep their CV in the “in” pile. Recruiters allow as little as 10 seconds, probably no more than 30 seconds, to scan a CV and make an initial decision.
So as a job searcher what can you do to keep your CV in the “in” pile?
Well the first issue is your application itself There are many posts on this website that go into detail, but in summary , the CV must be neat , concise, well laid out, easy to understand, tailored to the advert, have the keywords and relevant skills easily accessible to the recruiter.
The CV should not be cluttered with irrelevant skills, qualifications and experience that masks the relevant information. There should be a tailored covering letter clearly highlighting why you fit the advertised post.
But if you get to interview you will have more time to sell yourself won’t you?
Well, not really.
Our brains observe hundreds of things about a person in the first few seconds of meeting them. And we use those observations to make decisions. In fact researchers from NYU found that our brains make eleven decisions in the first three to seven seconds of meeting a new person. And once we have formed an opinion, we do not search for evidence to change it, but look for validation of our initial opinion.
So those few seconds are key. You probably haven’t even spoken yet, or shaken hands.
“You only get one opportunity to make a first impression.”
The recruiter is going to put you forward to their client, or manager, so if you are inappropriate for any reason, then that reflects on them.
What are the things that put a recruiter off a candidate once they have met them at interview?
This is what will influence their impression, and potentially dissuade them from putting you forward;-
- Physical appearance –outfit outdated or flashy, untidy, unsuitable or overpowering.
- Inappropriate smell – overpowering perfume, after shave or even body odour.
- Poor handshake –it should be firm and confident but not too forceful.
- Poor eye contact can also be a problem.
- Your speech will create an impression too -avoid saying “erm” or “um” or “like”. Poor grammar, inappropriate remarks, swearing, talking too much or too little. Talking too loud or too quietly or too quickly.
- Your demeanour –do you appear brash, overconfident, shy , disorganised
- Mannerisms, such as drumming on the table, fidgeting, giggling, and interrupting them.
- Lack of sincerity and interest in the job, perhaps illustrated by poor research
- Inability to interact well with them or their staff, including reception staff.
- Poor manners and attitude.
Research indicates that perception of the message in your communication is based on ;-
What you say 7%
Tone of voice, the way you say it 38%
Facial expression, Body language 55%
This means that 93 % of communication is nonverbal, So it is not only what you say, but your delivery, body language and voice are equally important.
So the vibes you give off are related to your attitude which in turn is related to your self-confidence, work ethic, and confidence. If your are well prepared, have done your research, know you have something to offer –Your “Value proposition “then you will have the right attitude and demeanor.