How Ed Balls can help you get your dream job

I’m glad the title caught your attention. So, can Ed Balls really help you get your dream job? Yes, I believe his experience on Strictly Come Dancing absolutely can. It’s obvious to everyone that throughout the course of the show Ed Balls has become more and more popular. Whether you watched Strictly or not it has been hard to get away from the rise of Ed Balls. Before the show his career wasn’t going well, he had stepped away from front line politics; his popularity was at an all-time low. Now people can’t stop talking about him, there is talk about his return to politics and his popularity is now at an all-time high. He won’t be short of work offers that’s for sure.

So as a job seeker what can you learn from Ed?

1) Smile

Honestly. It’s as simple as that. Smile. When you meet people in the future make sure you do plenty of smiling. You’ll be surprised how few people do this and it will make a massive difference to your interview. I know it sounds simplistic but when we are in an interview scenario we are generally a bit nervous and when you are nervous you are programmed not to smile. It’s just human nature. So recognise your nervous emotions and use them as a trigger to smile and watch your interactions and interviews improve.

2) Show the Real You

If you Google interview preparation you will find pages and pages and pages of the same old advice.

1.      Research the organisation.

2.      Research the industry.

3.      Research the line manager you are meeting.

4.      Compare your skills and qualifications to the job requirements.

5.      Prepare responses to questions that you may get asked.

6.      Make sure you know how to respond to possible questions on your CV.

7.      Prepare answers to strengths and weakness

This advice is sound advice and I’m not arguing against the importance of knowing these things and being prepared. However many candidates create anxiety in themselves by focusing too heavily on making sure they have answers to every possible eventuality. I’m sure this has happened to you, where you have walked into an interview feeling prepared for everything and then the interviewer doesn’t seem to ask you any of the questions you have prepared for. My advice is please don’t forget to display what is most important of all, your personality, your engaging self, the side your family and friend see. The real you.

I have placed over 200 candidates in my career to date. People hire people they like, people that they can get on with, people they can manage, people that will fit well with the team and the wider organisation. You are in the room because your CV says that you can do the role. The hirer is now focusing on you. They are focusing on deciding if YOU are the person that they want to work with. Your experience and CV shows them you have the skills. Spend more time relaxing and showing the real you and I promise you that you will be more successful at interview.

3) Be Authentic

One of worst pieces of advice I read is the way to answer the good old strengths and weakness question. You all know it and I bet some on you have used it “make sure you don’t show have any weaknesses, tell them about your “development” areas” My advice, be authentic. If you have weaknesses tell the interviewer what they are, be honest. They too will have weaknesses, everyone does. By answering this honestly it tells the interviewer you know you, you know what you need to work on and you are an honest person that is self-reflective. I promise you interviewers will thank you for it.  Also if one of your weaknesses is a key attribute needed for the role I for one would want to know it. You may not want to end up in a job that doesn’t play to your strengths. The fact of the matter is not every job will be right for you and not every manager will be the right manager for you to work for. Be authentic and you will get the job that is right for you, Something to think about.

So three lessons from watching Ed Balls that will help your popularity rise and help you secure your dream job:

1) Smile

2) Show the Real You

3) Be Authentic

Thanks Ed