This post will be a bit different, maybe more personal and less academically supported, but hopefully entertaining and useful. I’ll try to stay short.
So, today I attended a very interesting event, which definitely would classify as a different Saturday from those lazy all-day-in-bed-with-movies weekends. I went to a youth recruiting day organised by Aspira Consulting at the nice venue – Gilt Bar. Let’s start with first impressions… A nice and smiling person greeting me at the door and sending me upstairs to join the other attendants. I think – we’re off to a nice start. And we were.
I’ll skip the introductory details (although everything was calm and atmosphere was friendly) and will cut straight to the case.
PART 1 – CV, cover letter, interview.
Firstly, I have to point out that on a Saturday like this when everyone is still half asleep it is important to play your cards right when it comes to presentations. I have to admit, first presentation by Neil Hingorani (sadly I can’t find a link to add here, if someone can help me out with that, it would be greatly appreaciated) was spot on – perfect volume, enthusiasm and the level of engagement.
Practice does not make perfect. Only perfect practice makes perfect. [Vince Lombardi]
We’ve all been in a situation when we go over and over editing our CV’s, cover letters, personal statements, applications etc. until you think you’ve reached a perfection. However, at events like these we always get to see that difference in how people think when they are looking over your applications. Funnily enough, it is easy to skip some elementary details and points when you do your own feedback. People love themselves too much to not be biast.
It is through seminars like these that you understand you have been asking yourself the wrong questions. It is not about “what is wrong with me?”, “what should I have done differently?”. It is about – how can I get the attention, how can I sell myself more.
The answer is pretty easy, in my opinion: Stay loud, proud and thruthful to yourself. Pay attention to details. Pay attention to what you are interested in, maybe there is a pitch you can pick up and make it relevant. And for the love of God – DO NOT LIE.
Moving on… PART 2 – Understanding Social Media.
I have always enjoyed my fair bit of social networks.. Oh well, that is a lie – people who know me will say I am on way too much social media platforms. I say – so what, that is who I am and how I operate. I am curious, so I find my ways to deal with it.
A presentation by Matt Hodkinson continued to make my day enjoyable and fun. Discussing all the features of social media and it’s meaning in networking and jobseeking has always taken a special part in my mind. And let’s face it, in our globalised world that is constantly online it is a great opportunity for employeers and jobseekers to find one and other.
So what is this all fuss about? It is about non-existant limits, about no borders about the noise (credit for the noise metaphor goes to the presenter). It is about hashtags and keywords, about covering different platforms and doing background research. It is about being yourself, being opened to adventures and being discoverable. In other words – search for what interests you, but do not forget that somebody might be looking for you, so: KEYWORDS, KEYWORDS, KEYWORDS.
PART 3 – Present yourself.
As you probably guessed, I really enjoyed myself during this presentation (I secretly love presenting myself even when I am not asked to). And dynamic and passionate Scott Summers is to blame for this.
So what are the things that build up a great presentation of yourself?
You need to be interested to be interesting. [Scott Summers]
That is the basic idea, isn’t it? You have to be human, you have to interract to get the feedback. It starts with first impressions and end with the moment you shake hands and say goodbyes. It is all about the communication – body language, words and sounds. It is everything we do during our contact with another human being, whether it is our future boss (fingers crossed) or just a guy next door. People learn unconsciously to read signals and interactions, so that is the main thing to concentrate on when presenting yourself.
At the end of the day, who are we? We are who we want to be. And don’t be afraid to be curious; ask questions you do not know answers to, as this is the way to learn.
PART 4 – Networking PA Access All Areas.
I have to admit, this was probably the best way to end the seminar sessions. Fun, light and adorable presentation by Josephine Green and Merryl Futerman from PA Access All Areas.
Fake it until you make it! [Josephine Green and Merryl Futerman]
Might sound a bit bad. But it is a great advice – faking it for a bit might turn into a real passion and no faking at all. And it almost always does. A great scope on icebreakers, networking events and full of great jokes. Networking covers everything from preparation before to interesting personal and not so personal facts. Be not afraid of approaching people that might determine your future. Be not afraid to say thank you and approach the host. Be not afraid to engage! Simply – mingle, have fun, be polite, be personal (with respect to boundaries of course).
As far as I am concerned these events, no matter how much leader trainings, seminars or lectures I’ve attended, always give me a new insight. They give me a confidence boost. They give me power. I met some great people today and I would not change this Saturday for anything else today. This is a type of thing I would suggest more and more people to attend. This is the way of learning from those, who have proven themselves in the area. This is the way to get prepared.
Lastly, stand out, don’t be a gray mass, don’t be afraid to ask questions and most importantly – stay true to yourself! Only then can you deal with whatever the life throws at you.
Thanks to all the speakers and organisers for a wonderful session of learning today!