She’s Got Instant Like!

A colleague of mine was talking up a woman he was hoping I could help with her job search. He didn’t know much about her work history and skills, but he was able to offer up “she’s got instant like!” He said it with a smile and a wink. He wasn’t discounting the value of a person’s expertise, he clearly understood the advantage people have in a job search when others like them on the spot. Lucky ducks.

Are they lucky though? Luck implies a chance outcome. Most people I know who have “instant like” have a three main things in common. One, they smile a lot. Two, they listen well and give others a chance to share the limelight. Three, they are more positive than negative so it’s not a strain to be around them.

When you think about the qualities I listed above, it’s easy to see why many job seekers struggle with getting their “instant like” working for them. It’s hard to smile and be positive when hunting for work. If you parted ways with your last employer under less than ideal conditions or are struggling financially and emotionally as a result of your search, being Susie Sunshine is a chore. Listening to others and seeing to their needs is also tough. While looking for a job, we tend to slip into “me, me, me” mode and aren’t even aware of what others need or when we haven’t given them their turn as the point of focus.

Thinking back through the years, those who managed to go about their search with enthusiasm, a smile, a positive attitude and the ability to think beyond themselves have clearly done better. They were the people corporate clients would get into bidding wars over. They were the ones whose skill deficiencies were cast off as no big deal.

I can hear people now, “but that’s not fair!” Prepare to be annoyed. “It is what it is.” It used to drive me nuts when people in my life would use that line of reasoning. That said, what’s so wrong about asking people to make a genuine effort to be pleasant? In the end, a likable person with the right skills is going to beat out the person who is likable, but doesn’t bring as much to the table.

I know a lot of people are working on beefing up their credentials right now in the hopes of standing out and gaining the advantage in the current market. That’s all well and good, but it’s also important to take stock of how likable you are at the moment. Hiring managers are much more likely to move on candidates they like.

1 Comment

  • Duck's Mom says:

    The timing on this is perfect Lisa, thanks! I can say that my own interviews that I went into relaxed and happy to be there went much better than ones where I knew less about the company/position.

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