Every day at work I see the frustration on job seekers’ faces. The job seekers are not outwardly emotional, but I know they’re struggling with a very difficult situation. Some are beyond frustrated; they’re searching for answers.
There’s a mindset job seekers need to adopt. They need to believe that, through their actions, they can positively affect their job search. To do this they need to practice the art of persuasion.
Persuasion is often used in the sales arena, but it also applies to folks who are looking for work. According to Dr. Cialdini’s, Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, there are six principles of persuasion.
- Social Proof
Being liked means presenting a positive demeanor, despite struggling with your job search. It also means helping your fellow job seeker with their search. In other words, you practice the five tenets of giving. This will yield positive results.
I think of one job seeker who often reports to me how her fellow job seekers are doing. I’ve witnessed her giving advice to other networkers, offering to meet them at networking events, and suggesting meeting in smaller groups to enhance their networking activities.
When you reciprocate, you are acknowledging the help you’ve received from others. Reciprocating persuades those who have given you help, as well as others who witness your act of reciprocation, to continue the act of giving. This is the foundation of building relationships.
Many of my former clients have reciprocated by agreeing to be a guest speaker at the networking group I facilitate. They talk about their job search and how they “landed.” Other former clients send me notice of positions their company is trying to fill.
Social proof is creating a strong personal online brand, which can be seen by thousands of people. Some job seekers have the misconception that posting updates 10 times a day on LinkedIn is effective social proof. It’s not. However, posting fewer quality updates is the ticket.
Social proof is becoming increasingly more important to job seekers, as employers are primarily looking for talent on LinkedIn, or Facebook and Twitter for any alarming signs. When I tell job seekers this in my workshops, some of them express looks of concern on their face. They have no social proof.
Consistency and Commitment
Consistency and commitment is being reliable and dedicated to your job search and the search of others. This is viewed as a great trait from those who are struggling in their search, because it provides them a sense of structure.
Showing up on time for networking coffee meetings, demonstrating a friendly demeanor whenever you’re out in public, staying involved in your networkers’ efforts, and delivering the same message to your stakeholders are all examples of consistency and commitment.
Authority keeps you top of mind with employers and influential people. You influence others with your knowledge of relevant topics. The best writers, speakers, and curators know what’s trending, and they report on it in a timely manner.
People follow the advice of experts when what they’re writing, speaking, or curating is relevant to them. Therefore it’s essential that you know your audience well. Once you, as a job seeker, become known as an expert or “authority,” your words will be respected.
The less there is of something, the more desirable the object is. This doesn’t only apply to iPhones when they first hit the market. If you possess a talent that employers are hard to come by, you will persuade them because your talents are scarce.
You don’t have to be a rocket scientist, though. I think of job seekers who have it all; the required job-related skills, as well as emotional intelligence. The combination of these is often scarce. If you can persuade employers that you are the full package, your chances of landing a desired job are greater.
Persuasion is not a one off thing; it involves all six principles. When job seekers visualize each principle, they will be able to master them. One who wants to master Authority, for instance, must put effort into demonstrating through social media their expertise in a topic like digital marketing.
When job seekers use persuasion, they control their destiny. Their situation may seem dire, but it can be turned around. If you’re struggling with unemployment, look at the six principles and see which ones you must improve.
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