Give recruiters a taste of your skills immediately

Image: Lukas Blazek

To make my conversations with potential colleagues useful, I begin by posing the following question:

How do I make my skills tangible?

That’s the first task to consider when I reach out to people that I’d like to work with.

Ergo, the most important task when sending out communication is to make the recipient have a taste of what you can produce with your skills and knowledge. Immediately. No waiting for the callback or the interview.

That’s partly the reason the tech industry loves building the prototype.

Although for the last two years, I’ve relied on a simpler framework: assemble snapshots of my previous work, attach short stories about those projects and make a portfolio. If I am totally honest, though, it’s such a lazy process through which to present the samples of my work.

I have to return to more creative ways to talk to potential colleagues!

I used to play around with different communication ideas when on the hunt for work opportunities. Alas, I grew complacent and began churning out simpler-to-make portfolios that do not speak to people on an emotional level.

Here’s an example of how an application I sent to Cerebra Communications allowed HR personnel and the Head of Content to experience my thinking and writing before we met:

I wrote up a profile story about my interest in writing, and life experiences and presented it as my CV. I did it in much the same way that a journalist would cover a subject of their story.

I received a call to visit the office for a conversation.

I landed my first job in the digital marketing industry.

Without prior experience, too. I mentioned my limited digital media experience in the profile. My goal, with the application, was simply to request access to a space that would allow me to learn fresh ideas and meet different people.

In return, my writing skills and a set of unique life experiences were what I had to contribute. It was the only way through which I could add a shred of value to the agency at that point.

So then, when you present yourself, think about the ideas you can use to make other people experience your skills before they even sit down with you.

Thus the format and thinking behind my application became the reason I got called in.

How can you do this for yourself?

Sum up your efforts with these three things:

  1. Find ways to showcase the person(ality) that you are.
  2. Invite people into your mind. You can use writing, video, podcasting, or other types of online projects with your name on them.
  3. Help the people who read your application to imagine what it would be like to work with you. To live with.

Because ultimately, professional relationships allow colleagues to learn about each other and share the human journey.

By THEMBA JAY

Wordsmith: I write and edit words. I speak and facilitate public conversations. I think and consult.

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