Got World Series-Level Game, Job Seeker? Bring It!
As the San Francisco Giants battle it out with the Kansas City Royals for the 2014 Major League Baseball World Series title, it is a good time to reflect on what winners do--what people do that makes them legendary--not just in sports, but in any professional opportunity. That's why I suggest that you apply for your next job like you are trying out for a World Series baseball team.
True, there are only two teams in the World Series, but that leaves 28 more MLB teams looking for talent so they can be in the next World Series. Companies are looking for talent in much the same way. They are constantly trying to build the team that will take them all the way to the World Series, whatever that looks like in their industry.
Here are five things you can do to earn a spot on that championship team.Know the game for which you're trying out
Step one in your job search strategy is to decide how you intend to portray yourself in professional profiles, resumes, job applications, and interviews. For starters, make a conscious and informed decision to target the industry and/or discipline you are passionate about pursuing. Nobody playing in the 2014 World Series got there because they bluffed their way to the top. Know the rules of the game for the industry you've targeted and speak their language.
Know the position to which you'll contribute the most
Hire a coach, study who you are, and polish your technique--not only in job seeking, but in succeeding on the job. If you are misrepresenting your skills, abilities, and experience (intentionally or unintentionally), you are setting up yourself and the team you are joining to under-perform. If you're going to play to win, do yourself and your new team a favor: play the position where you contribute the most. Have references who will attest to your performance in that position.
Be a team player
John Shalhoub, Director of HR for Aflac Global Investments (and a Cracker Jack Little League baseball coach) explains that baseball is a game played by individual contributors playing in a team structure. When you portray yourself in professional profiles and resumes, job applications, and interviews, emphasize that you value collaboration and will commit yourself to the team's success more than your own. Have references who will attest to your team performance.
Bring your A-game
When you portray yourself in professional profiles and resumes, job applications, and interviews, emphasize that you value skill building, education, and doing everything you can to elevate your personal performance, productivity, and the profitability of the organization. That means having your homework done on the industry you've chosen and the team you're trying to join. It also means having a world-class resume with no typos. If your game is slumping, why should anyone believe you're major league material?
To demonstrate that you've "got game," some say that attitude is everything. Attitude is like the icing covering the cake and sitting between each layer. The layers are the four components of a championship job search listed above. Without executing each of those like a champ, you have nothing but sugar, butter, whipped cream, or whatever else you make frosting out of. But you've got no cake. Likewise, cake with no frosting is hard to get excited about.
If you intend to help your new team play for the world championship, you need to demonstrate and provide evidence that you understand what "game on" means and be able to bring your best game--all of it--on day one of your new job.
That's how you can become a legend.