May I Present Myself?

We all want to be accepted on our merits. We want to be judged for the good work we do or the value we can bring to an organization in the form of experience and education. Everyone wants to be liked for who they are and not some fake mold they fit into. In a perfect world, perhaps it would be just this way.

In general, however, we are judged first on sensory cues: the way we dress, speak, smell, and conduct ourselves. You may be the most qualified applicant the human resources professional has ever seen but if you haven’t bathed in a week, your résumé will go to the bottom of the pile. Let’s face it: it’s human nature to evaluate by our senses first. It’s all that’s accessible to us in order to make initial judgments about whether or not we wish to go deeper. Are you worth getting to know better? Do we want to give you the benefit of the doubt and allow you to prove your talents and abilities? Then we will instinctively, often unconsciously, make evaluations about character, intelligence, flexibility, and aptitude by the image presented to us.

You see, there is almost an equal importance in the image a person presents as there is in the abilities he or she brings to the workplace. How we dress, how we speak, and our behavior tells others what we think about them. If a man shows up for an interview in a raggedy old pair of pants and a windbreaker, the message he sends is that he does not consider the interviewer or the company worth getting dressed up for. So why should he be considered worth hiring?

People judge character by the manners they see. They assess professionalism and prudence by the clothes we wear and the way we wear them. They read something in our style and wonder whether or not we’re educated by the way we use the English language. There’s no point in getting worked up about it; it’s just the way people operate. What we must do is recognize that in order to help people see the most important things about us-our values, our talents, our virtues and strengths-we must clear away as many impediments as we can. What we do when considering the image we present in any situation is remove the roadblocks that prevent people from wanting to know us better and truly see the important characteristics that tell them who we really are.

Take your manners, for instance. Do you know how to introduce yourself? Do you know how to introduce someone else to an executive? Do you know how to conduct yourself in a fine restaurant? Are you aware of habits you may be practicing that irritate others? Maybe you need a course in etiquette. Etiquette is simply the timeless rules of behavior that prevent us from being unintentionally offensive, rude, unkind, unfair, or self-centered. Gracious manners always make others feel comfortable. They tell people that you are capable of professional behavior that invites responsibility. If you need improvement in this area, there are any number of courses in etiquette you can take advantage of. You can also go to your local library and find the section on etiquette and refresh yourself on the guidelines that fit your need. Gathering the rules for good behavior is not hard. It’s like driving: you learn, you practice, and pretty soon you aren’t focused anymore on the mechanics of driving; you’re enjoying the act of driving and appreciating the scenery. Seek the information and then practice it.

Need some help with the way you present yourself physically? Find someone who dresses impeccably and tell him or her how much you admire their style. Ask them if they will mentor you in the image department. Don’t be embarrassed-most anyone would be flattered by this and would delight in assisting you! Tell them you need someone to take you under their wing and give you a crash course on looking like a million bucks. Remember to be willing to take their advice! Style is all about learning basics and then modifying to suit the situation. If you need to learn the basics, don’t fight with what you’re being told. Another resource is the invaluable cable television show “What Not To Wear” on The Learning Channel (TLC). Check your local listings to find the program and listen carefully how the consultants explain the rules of dressing appropriately.

Presenting yourself with excellence means that you may have to do some search-and-rescue operations: you must search out what you are aware you need and rescue yourself from the disaster of not getting how important this can be! Don’t let the sensory information you offer to the people you meet put up a brick wall. If you really want to be judged on your merits, you must make the path to your character smooth and easy to navigate. Make yourself presentable and acceptable so they can get to know the real you!

5 Top Tips For An Effective Executive CV Presentation

For the most effective Executive CV Presentation, there are 5 important elements to include for maximum impact. Your CV must gain some serious attention and immediately grab the reader. If your CV is just average, there will be plenty of others whose CV is well above average in this competitive environment, so you need to be able to make yours shine out. Let me show you what you need to do with these 5 top tips.

1. Your Profile or Summary Statement

An effective Profile or Summary is arguably the most important part of your CV. Use it to focus the reader’s attention on what makes you stand out: your dynamic record of achievement, your unique skills set, the value you bring to the table – all things that nobody else can claim so that it decisively sets the tone for the rest of the document.

2. Your Key Skills Or Competencies

This section can be presented in so many different ways, but the truth is there is only one way to make this section right: make it interesting to read. Your key competencies are much more than just skills; they are your strongest selling points! For the most effective executive CV presentation they should be dynamic and industry-specific. This section of your executive CV presentation also acts as a keyword-rich area that enables your CV to be quickly found by recruitment software in quite widespread use today.

3. Your Career History

For an effective executive CV presentation you need to describe the purpose of your role with powerful, punchy job descriptions. The descriptions of your roles and responsibilities in previous positions give a framework and context to your results before outlining your achievements in bullet points. So describe the ‘why’ of your job with reference to the size of your responsibility and at what level in the organization you report, then follow this with the ‘how’ and finally the results to sell yourself fully in the CV through your achievements and results to give them a frame of reference.

4. Personal Information

It used to be traditional to list interests or hobbies but this information doesn’t really give the employer any additional information about your work performance. Employers aren’t interested in your hobbies – they just want to know if you can bring value to their organization. Show them you value their time and are strictly business-oriented by keeping this information off the CV.

5. Language or Voice

Use words and adjectives at an appropriate level to successfully promote your abilities and place you above the competition. That doesn’t mean using unnecessarily long or complex words but if you over-simplify, or use too low-level language, it won’t carry the weight or authority it needs to represent you at the right level.

Please do not use personal pronouns (‘I’, ‘me’, ‘my’), keep your executive CV presentation impersonal and written so that it can be scanned quickly as many recruiters allow barely 30 seconds for the initial pass.

Executive CV Presentation Strategy

If you possess the quality of skills, experience and qualifications that are required for a job of senior and executive calibre, your CV must do you justice in reflecting this. In today’s economic climate, every vacancy attracts hundreds of qualified applicants and is incredibly competitive. This means that you cannot allow your CV to be anything less than absolutely outstanding, because your CV is the only representation of you that employers have.

Freelancers and Entrepreneurs — Let’s Examine Our Present and Recently Past Influences

What are the influences that are either helping or hindering you in your business and personal life? By making ourselves aware of them, we are more likely to work toward positive changes. In this article, my goal is to get you to examine your present and recently past influences.

The people we know, work and play with. Yes, we are heavily influenced by the people we let into our lives. If we hang out with negative, critical, complaining people, we can easily lose our enthusiasm and drive. If we join groups and make friends with those we want to emulate, we will be on our way. It is just like tennis and chess. The way one gets better is to play with someone who is better than we are. I am not suggesting that you drop the friends you have now, but I am suggesting that you join groups of winners, network with people who are known as successes and volunteer for worthy causes.

Life-long learning with books, tapes and magazines. It is astonishing to find out how few people read a book after graduation. I am sure that none of you reading this article would fall into that category. However, I must mention the wonderful scope of topics available today in book form, the plethora of tapes that inform and motivate — I listen and re-listen to tapes by Brian Tracy, Jim Rohn, Earl Nightingale and am always influenced to take a new action step toward success.

Visit your public library. It offers a wealth of influence — I always use my driving time to listen to tapes and CDs. In addition, there are almost too many magazines to read. I have found that the best way to benefit from the great information is to scan and then only read those articles that pertain to some part of my business or life. No matter what your specialty is, there are magazines that address your problems and situations.

Physical activity and a focus on health. One of the strongest influences on my well-being, business acumen, and energy level is daily exercise and sensible nutrition. Studies have shown that there are so many side benefits from regular exercise and proper eating that one could easily fill a wall with post-it notes listing them.

By pushing oxygen to the heart and brain, we keep both healthy and smart. If you are having a difficult time getting started, I suggest finding a buddy to go to the gym with you or work out with you. In the fitness classes I teach, the people who participate have become friends and they cheer each other on — another positive influence.

I ask you again, what are the influences in your freelance living? Are they helping or hindering your progress? What new and better influences can you and will you embrace in the future? What bad influences and toxic companions are presently draining you of your energy and passion for living?

It is time to make two lists — one with the bad influences (past and present) and one with the good influences. Congratulate yourself on the good influences and continue to pursue them. On the list with the bad influences, add an action step and a new influence to replace each one. Take action and you will be on your way to success!