We are starting a series of articles that link with our Business Gentleman courses, the first is linked with getting that perfect job. Whether you are embarking on a career, climbing the ladder, or changing a career, the information in this series will help you become the Perfect Business Gentleman (or in Lady).
With regard to all The Perfect Gentleman education elements we always say that Preparation is key to success and that is no different in the search for a job or a career change.
Before anything else, preparation is the key to success.
Alexander Graham Bell
1 – Clean Up Online
We live in a very public world these days as Social Media reveals our history and commentary to the world. We can certainly be found out for those drunken photos, those silly comments and anything else that might cause friction or indeed embarrassment to you in your career. We have heard of many companies trawling through potential employees Twitter/Instagram feeds and even requesting access to Facebook.
Make sure that you are not showing anything that you would not want that future employer to see. To paraphrase Warren Buffett, act as if you appeared on the front page of the news everyday and you wanted your grandmother to be proud of you.
2 – Start Building a Presence
As the complement to the above point, this also means that we can be found for the right things. Make sure that your LinkedIn profile is up to date, accurate and describes you best; make sure that the Profile picture is your best one and fits you and your image (more on Image in point 4). This applies to all outlets where your profile is visible, make them all consistent.
The Internet also allows you to develop a presence or to become a thought leader in your chosen area. Start writing a blog about your field, comment on news stories in social media. You can even use it as an excuse to interview people and find a Champion (5).
3 – Do your Research
Whatever area or stage that you are in on your career path it is always wise to do research on the all aspects of the job. Research the area you are involved with, stay up with current trends and commentary (this also helps feed your Blog). Research the companies you wish to work with, both in financial terms and culturally. Finally, research the people who will be interviewing you and the potential team that you will be working with.
All this will stand in you in good stead generally and should be an ongoing process, even after you get your feet under the desk.
4 – Style that works
People should look at themselves as a Brand. I realise that sounds trite and market-speak, but it is true. We have a limited time to make a first impression (less than a second) and we have to develop our message that we wish to convey to others in a short space of time.
Therefore, find a style both in dress and persona that works for you, develop it and be consistent with it. It will help you to be recognised as you go through the Industry and will also help develop your Presence (point 2).
5 – Find a Champion
A champion to us is part mentor, part cheerleader and part guide. They are someone who likes you, is more senior in your Industry and who you respect. You might know that person already and they might do these roles for you, which is fantastic, so keep nurturing that relationship.
If not, then you have to find one, and that can be done through points 2 & 3 above. Get to know them, ask them about themselves and don’t push to use them to get you in the door. Let your Champion discover the winner in you and then they will do it without asking.
Just for clarity, you don’t tell them they are your champion, you just know that they are.
Next Week we move on to searching for that job.
For a more in depth into the Perfect Interview, please look at our course http://codeofthegentleman.com/course/the-perfect-job-interview/