Understanding this post, will propel you forward in making things happen when you’re dealing with people. I would even go as far as saying that this can be extended to ANY sort of interaction; in work, love, family life and really.. just life in general.

When applying for a job, we all know that the resume is extremely important, for this is what people use to make their first impression. If you haven’t captured the reader in the first 5 seconds, they are onto the next resume.

Well, now I’m going to say something which may seem radical. As important as your written communication may be, it actually only accounts for 5% of your ‘total mark’ determining whether you get the job. It’s a test item that you must pass in order to proceed, but doing well there alone, is really not enough. Think about it. There’s another 95% to achieve! So concentrating on the resume alone, may be a complete waste of your time!

What’s the remaining 95% made up of? Have a think about the following.

If a recruiter likes your resume, they call you, trying to assess your suitability. Mostly, they’re listening to what your verbal communication is like, for even if you have all the right skills, if you can’t communicate, you’re out.

You must answer their questions, sound professional, ask them suitable questions, and that’s just the beginning. At this point, they’ll decide whether or not to interview you face-to-face. Phew you passed that test? Well, that just earnt you an extra 10% of the total weighted mark of your test. Seems you’re in the clear now.

Oops. Nope, you’re not. Now you’re in the interview with the recruiter. You just lost that 15% you worked for, and have to earn it all over again! Frustrating huh? They speak to a LOT of people and and rely on you showing them again that you’ve got the goods!

Verbal Communication is key now, but now you have to translate your 5% of your written communication (your resume) into language, and then build the 10% up again, by answering questions in a structured, clear, concise manner, using examples that are relevant and engaging. Without Verbal Communication that matches what they’re listening for (based on what they’ve been briefed by the HR Manager), you’ve lost your chance.

There is one more thing that will allow you to earn the remaining 85% of the mark possible. It’s the largest and most important facet, and it’s your non-verbal communication. It will either make or break your interview.

Your non-verbal communication is made up of things like body language, posture, facial expression, clothing, gestures and eye contact. It’s also important that you are aware of the thoughts about yourself which you subconsciously project to the surface. Be clear on your internal reasons for going to an interview. Sometimes these lurk beneath the surface and can be sensed as how truthful you are or the ‘vibe’ you give off. The interviewer may not be able to “put a finger on it” but they’ll sense something doesn’t align.

Why they sense this, is because there is a lack of congruency between all the levels of communication. Your sales funnel starts with your 5% of written communication. This is your surface communication. Beneath the surface lies your verbal communication and you further sell yourself with this 10% of verbal communication. However you seal the deal with your non-verbal communication, which takes up 85%. And the only way that you’ll actually get through this funnel and get the job, is when they are all congruent and are sending the same message.

Everything in life is about communication. It’s about what you say, what you project internally, and how this lands for other people.

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