Since my school days, despite being a hard-working student, I could never beat a friend of mine when it came to ranking. While he was neither exceptionally intelligent nor as hardworking as I was, I never understood why he got better marks than me. It was after few years of friendly competition that once I got an opportunity to see his exam papers and then the reality dawned upon me. He had highlighted or underlined the important sentences/phrases/parts of the answer. What struck me was his presentation skills. I learned that besides content, presentation skills also matter. In fact, presentation skills set us apart from the crowd.
In our careers also, presentation skills matter a lot. Our “Curriculum Vitae” or CV is the first impression that we create on a prospective employer. CV is our tool to impress upon the employer so as to be called for the interview. And to arouse that interest, what we get is not more than 5 seconds. Yes, 5 seconds is the average attention span and our CV must be well crafted to make an impression in that 5 seconds. While one should seek the help of professionals to draft an impressive CV, but generally following should be adhered to-
- The CV should be compact and clean.
- No lies, strictly!
- Grammar and spelling check, religiously.
- Should list out all accomplishments with the timeline.
- Should not be one-size-fits-all.
Basis the interest that we have created through our CV we may be called for a personal interview. The positive outcome of an interview depends on our ability to convince the interviewer that we are the most promising candidate. We should consider an interview as a sales pitch. Mock interviews are a tool to train a candidate in soft skills, body language, tone and tenor of speech, business dressing, and most importantly to impart self-confidence to sharpen and improve his selling skills. Again, professional help is very important in conducting and training through mock interviews, a candidate should generally attention to the following –
- Dress smartly. Polished shoes, matching socks.
- Positive body language and should sound enthusiastic.
- Do your home-like on the company
- Be confident.
With proper packaging and smart presentation, we would always win.
Written By — Vishal Sipani, Board Infinity Coach
Coach Vishal works as a Manager at ICICI Bank. He is a finance professional with 10+ years of Post Qualification broad experience in all aspects of accounting, auditing, credit risk management, and Corporate Banking. Direct experience with the infrastructure construction industry.