What’s the real key to getting hired? Is it a great referral, wowing the hiring manager in an interview, specialised skills nobody else has?
Surely it’s a bit of everything.
There are a few intangible qualities that make you more likely to land a position, and some ways to emphasise them once you start the job.
Several LinkedIn Influencers weighed in on these topics this week. Here’s what two of them had to say:
Sir Martin Sorrell, founder and chief executive at WPP
“Different roles require different skills and attributes,” wrote Sorrell in his post Seven Qualities That Will Get You Hired. “But the best people we hire… tend to have some very important characteristics in common.”
Among his top seven:
“An ambidextrous brain. We live in a world increasingly dominated by data but if all you can do is read a spreadsheet you won’t reach the highest level. Success in business means being able — as Roger Martin of the Rotman School of Management puts it — to appreciate qualities, not just quantities,” Sorrell wrote. “The intangibles of judgment, creativity, intuition and imagination are essential… because they are the things that make innovation happen. They’re just as important as logic, financial literacy and an eye for detail.”
“The ability to argue. An argument is usually a more constructive exchange than a conversation in which everyone wholeheartedly agrees with each other,” he wrote. “If a leader is surrounded by yes people they learn nothing. Good people know how to stand their ground and make their case — even (especially) when others don’t want to hear what they’re saying.”
“Early adoption. The same curiosity that leads them to look beyond national borders makes the best people obsessive about the new. High achievers are generally magpies, forever drawn by the glint of new technologies, new thinking and new trends,” Sorrell wrote. “This doesn’t mean they abandon or undervalue the old, but it does mean they are never wholly satisfied with the status quo, they never stop learning and they never stop driving their businesses forward.”
“The will to win. I look for people who really care about winning and losing. I take it personally when we lose a piece of business, or someone leaves the company. After nearly 30 years in the job, losing still gets to me,” he wrote.
Neil Blumenthal, co-founder and co-chief executive at Warby Parker
The first 90-days on any job are critical to making a lasting impression. What can you do to succeed in those early days? Blumenthal offered his own take in his post How to Crush it at Your New Job.
Among his tips:
“Remember names. Be disciplined about this because it goes a long way during the first few weeks of a new job,” Blumenthal wrote.
“Ask questions. But ask the right questions. …Make sure your questions are thoughtful,” wrote Blumenthal. “Before starting a job, you should have done your homework: read everything about the company, learned its history, asked HR if there’s anything else you should know before starting.”
“Deliver a quick win. Look for opportunities to score a quick win as soon as you get to your new job. Even if it’s a small task you can perform, it will demonstrate an impact,” he wrote. “Before co-founding Warby Parker, I worked at a nonprofit called VisionSpring, where we trained women in developing countries to give eye exams and sell affordable glasses to their communities. As soon as I arrived, I noticed that the organisation’s eye charts were printed on flimsy cardstock. I immediately spotted an opportunity to brand the charts with our logo — not for self-promotion’s sake, but because it added credibility for both the administrators and patients — and to laminate the cards so that they'd remain fresh over long periods of use.
“It was a simple task that demonstrated impact and got me off to a running start.”
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