Let’s look at a likely entry-level scenario of a typical millennial. Hell, we will push the boundaries of your imagination. Let’s say it’s you!

You studied hard, got all your A’s and the diploma. You know stuff. The job market awaits your arrival. You are ready.

Dream company, job interview. Hey-ho, let’s go. You wonder what sort of extra package you will get along with the top salary.

Reality check.

Your resume looks great on paper, but during the interview you can’t seem to get traction with the recruiter. Your question-answer dance does not sound as great as you imagined it to be. “What the…” – you think to yourself – is she not impressed with my accomplishments?

Perhaps not. Or perhaps you just can’t speak well enough about them.

It’s Not What, But How

You see if there are few things I’ve learned over several years at work, this would make it to the top of the list.

It’s not always about what you do, but how you do it (and even more so – why you do it).

Take a second for this to sink in.

To put this into the context of the topic we are discussing here: it’s not always about what you know, but how you communicate that knowledge.

You can be a top-educated, walking encyclopedia in your field.

But guess what?

If you are not able to communicate your thoughts and ideas in a clear, effective and confident way – nobody will know. It will fall flat.

It’s not always about what you do, but how you do it (and even more so – why you do it).

I’m sorry. I know you might have been made to believe that it only matters what you know and the rest will take care of itself.

It won’t.

I sometimes get to work with people who seem to think they are somehow immune to this necessity.

“I work in the background, never talk to customers, I am a technical guy” – they say. Many IT folks land in this category as well.

I have a very simple way of altering their point of view. I ask if they have attended or seen any recent industry conference or IT meet-up. It’s quite popular.

Sure we did!

Then I ask them – who are the key people in these meetings?

Hmm, speakers?


Showcase Your Mastery

Realize this. Speaking well puts you ahead of the crowd, because you can present yourself and your ideas or accomplishments in an advantageous frame, unlike the silent majority.

Consider this last resort example. Two people, let’s call them May and June. They compete for the same job position within the vast field of IT.

All things equal. Skills, competencies, experience. The only difference – speaking & communication skills.

The limits of my language are the limits of my world.

– Ludwig Wittgenstein, philosopher and logician

June took the time and effort over last few years to become confident when speaking about herself and her accomplishments. She knows how to be likable and how to grab attention when she communicates. May? Not so much. She focused on the technical side of things and a glowing CV.

Who do you think is going to come out ahead, considering that candidates are going to be evaluated in a face-to-face environment, having to converse with recruiters and present their work to their potential boss?

It’s common sense. Yet it eludes many.

What about you? Can you sell your ideas and achievements?

Want to know what else is in it for you? Check other posts in these series:

(more coming soon!)

Wojciech is a trainer, teacher and life-long learner on the topic of effective communication. He believes that speaking clearly, effectively and with confidence is essential to our success and taking advantage of all life’s opportunities. READ MORE