What ‘007’ Can Teach Us about Job Hunting

By , May 30, 2013

There is something about watching James Bond movies that makes anyone want to get up, hit the gym and practice a smooth British accent (like the one M uses to deliver her biting one-liners.) For someone planning or making a career move—which is an adventure in itself—it pays to be like James Bond: Committed, collected and always a step ahead. These five 007 tips can put your dream job in play and give you the razor edge over the competition.

He has a killer entrance. Before the start of each of his movies, James Bond dazzles us with charm, ladies, fighting skills, and a trendy, personalized theme song. While we may not all have these things, we do have a resume and LinkedIn profile, complete with killer action verbs and personalized lists of talents and trainings. When you’re job hunting, perception is everything, and it is important that you are perceived as the qualified and enthusiastic candidate that you are. Scrutinize your resume with a fine-toothed comb and replace any passive verbs (was, helped, joined, went) with power verbs (managed, organized, lead, created).

He has mastered the elevator pitch. Bond, James Bond. The introduction is cool, confident and needs no more. Your elevator pitch should be the just like that, though more detailed. The first thing you must master before an interview is the answer to the question, “tell me about yourself.” It has to pack a punch with your biggest strength, where you come from and what unique talents you bring to the table. Even once you begin the job, your colleagues should each get that elevator pitch so you start with your best foot forward.

He has the right gadgets for the job. Bond has gadgets that make his job easier, and so do you. They might not be the glamorous exploding pen and invisible car paint, but they certainly are more useful for the mission at hand. If you haven’t downloaded the app version of your favorite news source, do that now. Staying current on world and local news is useful for any job interview. Also, the Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest apps are just a few that can keep you updated on trends that the news doesn’t cover. Knowledge of the latest cultural movements give you opportunities to bond with your new boss and colleagues. You have social media at your disposal. Use it wisely.

He takes the one-in-a-million shots. Bond knows everything there is to know about fear. If he sees a target, he takes the shot. On the less glamorous side, human resources representatives sometimes oversell a position in order to weed out the less qualified candidates. For example, they will require ten years of experience when only five are needed. Therefore, you can’t be afraid to apply to the job listings that require more years of experience or program knowledge than you have under your belt. Hiring managers hire people, not resumes. Therefore, knowledge, classes and related projects can always supplement a dearth of years in the field.

He gets the job done. Bond always offs the bad guys, secures the device, defuses the bomb. Likewise, you should be the proactive problem-solver that perseveres until the task is accomplished. Motivation and dedication are two qualities that will get you far in the work world. Highlight parts of your resume that reflect your perseverance and point them out during the interview. Make sure that you are the person they call when they need the job done and, like 007, you earn the reputation as the one who always gets results.

Author: Barbara Otto

Barbara Otto is the CEO of Health & Disability Advocates, which manages Think Beyond the Label.