Job Searcher? How The First 5 Minutes Can Make Or Break You!

By: PAUL BOWLEY

If you're a serious job searcher, then you're anxious to what you have to get the best, most lucrative job offer. You have to follow a game plan that you're confident will work for you.

But, did you know that none of that will make any difference if you're not prepared to hit home run in the first 5 minutes of your meeting with an employer for the first time. Sadly, if you're a job searcher, you probably think your resume will get you a job. But employers don't hire resumes.

In fact, the first five minutes with an employer will decide whether or not you'll even be considered for a job opening. How you handle yourself in that short timeframe will make all the difference. Let me show you what I mean.

Picture this. You're at a party. Several of the guests are unknown to you. Someone approaches you to introduce himself to you.

"Like how ya doin, man"? he mumbles, hands in his pocket, eyes staring at something on the floor.

"What's up," you reply cheerily, studying his face for some sign of intelligence.

He mumbles something like, "Nuthin' much," without looking up.

Trying one more time, you say, "My name is Jack. How do you like this party?"

"It's OK. I gotta go now," he responds, turning abruptly and shuffling away.

The whole encounter took less than two minutes. You later find out that he's a genius inventor of sophisticated internet games who's quietly making a fortune. But what's your first impression. And does the rest of the conversation make any difference if you're unable to establish any meaningful contact?

We know from experience that, as a job searcher, you have no more than five minutes to establish a connection with someone you're meeting for the first time. That applies to meeting people at parties. But it especially applies to meeting a decision-maker who could be your next boss.

If you fail to take control and establish that connection, the rest won't make any difference. You've lost the opportunity. Here are some tips that guarantee you pass the critical first five minutes.

1. Take the initiative. Have an ice-breaking comment prepared to say. Even if it's something as mundane as a comment about the weather. The point is YOU take the initiative.

2. Make sure your hand is dry and your handshake firm.

3. Always look them in the eye with a pleasant, open expression.

4. If you are invited to sit down, be sure to move the chair a few inches before you sit. This amazing little technique goes a long way to establish your sense of control rather than accepting things as they are.

5. Pay a compliment. It could be something as simple as a comment about a piece of clothing . . . or a picture on the wall . . . or sharing a complimentary comment that someone else made. The important thing is YOU TAKE THE INITIATIVE TO OPEN THE COMMUNICATION!

If you're a job searcher and you miss the opportunity establish a meaningful connection in the first five minutes, the chances are will never be able to retrieve the initiative. And the negative impression you leave behind can seldom be reversed no matter how friendly the rest of the meeting goes.

Careers and Job Hunting
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