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You Are What You Were

Your next job may be in your past

➔ Job seeking is a process – a sales process. You’re essentially selling yourself and a job interview is your chance to make your sales pitch.

There are a lot characteristics that you can emphasize as part of your sales pitch. This is true for all job seekers. Everyone has something to offer.

It should come as no surprise that, for older job seekers, their strongest sales benefit is their experience.

Not true across the board

For anyone who has ever looked into investing their money in a stock, a mutual fund, or any investment vehicle, you’re familiar with the phrase “past results are no guarantee of future performance.” When you’re talking about investing your money, that is on-the-button true.

The same can’t be said, however, for job seeking. In fact, just the opposite is generally the case.

Hall of Fame football coach Bill Parcells likes to say that “you are what your record says you are.” That is: if you have a .500 record, your team is likely to be middle-of-the-road average. Likewise, if you have a winning record, you’re likely to be a winning team. And, well, you know the rest.

The same is true for job seekers. If you want to convince an interviewer what kind of an employee you’ll be, have them check your track record. Have them look at what you’ve done. In this case, past behavior is the best predictor of future success.

You know that you’ll be successful at this job, because you’ve been successful at jobs in the past – maybe even at doing the exact same thing that you’re interviewing for now. But that’s the low-hanging fruit.

Even if it’s something different – maybe even a different career altogether, there are probably still correlations. If punctuality is important in this job, you’ve proven that you can be punctual. If working independently is key to success in this job, in your past work life you’ve shown that you can work independently… and that you’re pretty darn good at.

It doesn’t matter that you don’t have a track record of doing precisely what this new job calls for, you most likely have some soft skill(s), some transferable skill(s) that will apply. That’s all a part of selling you!


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