Paul Boross, a motivational psychologist on Sky TV's School of Hard Knocks, knows a thing or two about how to sell yourself. He has worked with the likes of Richard Branson, Ainsley Harriott and organisations such as Google and the BBC. Here he shares some of the more unusual tips from his new book Pitch Up!, Pitch Yourself for the Job of Your Dreams, to help you to stand out when applying for an apprenticeship or a job.
Never sit down in a reception area - that way you won't embarrass yourself getting up from low chairs, you'll be able to walk across the room and greet the interviewer as they approach you. You will literally be ‘on your toes'.
Pre-sell yourself - there is nothing wrong with getting in touch with your recruiter before the interview. Create a portfolio of work to show what you are capable of -write articles, analyse research, use LinkedIn to build recommendations. Create a page online and send it to people who you would like to meet
Only post something on social media that you would share with your mother! Seems obvious, but it is surprising how many people still get caught out by those drunken photos on social media. Remember, 98% of recruiters use LinkedIn, 42% use Twitter and 33% use Facebook. Remember that once you place a photo or comment online, it is there forever
Don't wait for a job to be advertised - So you are signed up with all of the recruiters and you look at the relevant newspapers and job sites every day. Well it is not enough - if you wait for the job of your dreams to be advertised you are already behind the game. Get out there and network to find the best opportunities. While we are on networking…
Swap business cards at the beginning of a conversation so that you don't have to ask at the end and you have a handy reminder of their name.
Research the organisation - Got an interview for a job or an apprenticeship? Research three areas to make sure that not only the job is good for you but that the organisation is too: Operations (the resources, products and business model); Culture (the working environment) and People (their background, where they come from and where they go if they leave).
Follow up - is not just important after rejection to find out what you can improve but make sure you follow up as soon as possible with specific reference to the interview so that you can re-enforce all the best points in the recruiters mind. Write a personal letter, reminding the interviewer of why you're the right person for the job.
Ask - Above all else, don't be afraid to ask for the job! Interviewers want to hire candidates who are keen and motivated, so if you want the job, ask for it.
Pitch Up!, Pitch Yourself for the Job of Your Dreams is full of useful tips and advice to give you the confidence and motivation to secure a job.
For your chance to win - simply send an email with your full name and postal address to firstname.lastname@example.org
Please state Pitch Up in the subject line.
Closing date for entries - 30th April 2013