When looking for a job, you are competing with at least a hundred other candidates who are interested in the same position. This means that it is not enough to create the perfect resume or cover letter, but also to ensure that you will do your best to impress them. In that sense, the power of persuasion can be a very important part of your job search.
See Also: How to Win Friends and Influence people
As psychologist and marketing professor Robert Cialdini says, there are six principles of influence that you need to be familiar with. In his book on persuasion and marketing Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion (1984) he writes about his experience during his three “undercover” years’ of applying and training for a range of sales jobs including used car dealerships and telemarketing roles where he had the chance to observe real-life examples of persuasion.
So, if you want to learn how to influence other people – potentially employers – the way Cialdini does, here are his six key principles of influence:
Reciprocity is the exchange of goods where a return is expected. In marketing, this kind of return of “favor” is disguised in the form of free samples and is effective in generating profits.
It draws the attention of visitors to sites or companies that offer premium products in an attempt to try out the real goodies that come at a cost. So, if employers were to check out your online portfolio, they would be getting an insight into your work. But most importantly they would start wondering what you could do for them if you were working with them.
The idea of consistency has a lot to do with the way you see yourself. Cialdini argues that everyone has a self-image and when they are presented with an idea and decide it fits their self-image they are more likely to be influenced. Likewise, someone who makes commitments tends to follow these through. What makes these people reliable, loyal and trusted individuals, is also the image that they build around themselves and the need to be consistent.
3. Social Proof
It only makes sense that you will become influenced by people around you. What they do, you do. This happens when you are not sure about a course of action, and you look to those around you to make a decision or take a course of action. So if they are looking up at the sky you are more likely to do the same. If they are about to start a fight, you will find yourself in it. This is what Cialdini refers to as social proof and has a very strong influence over us.
To put this in context, employers follow certain rules while they are checking off their list of things that you have done right or wrong - either in your resume, cover letter or job interview. They look at what other candidates have said or done and compare their situation to yours to choose the best candidate. If you manage to show those good qualities other candidates possess as well as something that they haven’t done, the job is yours. That’s how you stand out from the crowd.
Giving the appearance of authority makes you more convincing. This means that wearing formal clothes when you are going to an interview increases your chances of getting the job. People respect authority, and they want to work with the best of the best. If you have had an impressive business title or you are driving an expensive car, then people are more likely to comply with your request. I am not implying that you should get one, but making yourself look more authoritative could give you a major boost.
Who knew having the same name as a potential employer could increase the likelihood of getting hired? According to Cialdini, people prefer to say yes to those they find physically attractive, similar to themselves in any way, or who give them compliments. This becomes more evident in marketing, as salespeople are customising their products or services or becoming more knowledgeable about their clients’ preferences.
Scarcity explains the supply and demand factor which says that the less there is of something, the more valuable it is. For you this means that the more rare skills you possess, the more valuable you become to an employer who is looking for someone who can demonstrate that knowledge. Think about it this way; if they are many people who can do the job, decision- making for employers becomes difficult, whereas if you are the only one who has the qualities they are asking for, you will get it. Didn’t you know the more uncommon a thing is, the more people want it? That’s how scarcity works.
The truth is that you can influence employers as long as you employ the right tactics. These six principles should help you boost your job hunting efforts, so you might want to try them out...
Have you ever used any of these tactics before? Let me know in the comments section below…