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The Art of Persuasion in Your Job Search

The Art of Persuasion in Your Job Search

Charles Purdy | Monster+HotJobs senior editor

Use vivid language

In terms of your resume, that means weeding out generic resume-speak like “results-oriented professional.” Instead, describe the situation in which you achieved those results.

Also, use numbers to quantify your results (numbers are persuasive).

Say yes to a drink—of water

One of the many interesting tips in St. Hilaire’s book is to have a glass of water: If you’re a visitor and someone asks if you’d like something to drink, request water and thank her. He explains, “People want to do something nice for you, but not too much. This is a surefire way to make them feel good about themselves without inconveniencing them.’”

Create sound bites

A sound bite is a short, compelling phrase that can easily lodge in an interviewer’s mind—for example, “I increased site traffic by 20 percent in three weeks” or “I was the company’s top salesperson for seven months in 2008.” Find ways to weave three or four sound bites into your conversation with an interviewer.

Practice silence

Many hiring managers use silence to wield power: when you finish answering a question, they wait before speaking—and a nervous job candidate may end up saying something he didn’t intend to. Practicing before an interview will help you prepare thorough answers to common questions. Then, when you’re done, finish and smile expectantly—or even ask, “Did that answer your question?” (or ask your own relevant follow-up question).

Remember, silence is better than “Hmmmm” or “Like, ummmm.” St. Hilaire also advises, “If you need to think about an answer, cast your eyes down, not up. Looking down appears thoughtful; looking up makes it seem as though you’re searching.”

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