The Canadian website Career Proud is full of great tips and resources for LGBT workers, and in a 2012 post titled “Candidacy: A Triathlon, Not a Sprint,” site partner Graeme Charles Imrie offers some excellent advice for members of the community looking to land their dream jobs.
Imrie wrote the piece around the time of the London Olympics, and as such, he compared the job-search process to a sport that rewards those with endurance and skills in multiple areas. “Like triathlon, the multi-sport event featuring swimming, cycling and running, applying for a position is an endeavour that requires endurance and training in three distinct skills: Research, Presenting and Etiquette.”
Read on to get Imrie’s thoughts on each of these topics.
Research: While this one applies to all workers, members of the LGBT community have a little bit of extra homework to do, according to Imrie. In addition to reading about an organization’s financial standing and plans for growth, you should try to determine whether it’s an LGBT-friendly workplace. “Even if nothing you discover is directly relevant to the job you want, you’ll learn their cultural lexicon and speak in their language,” Imrie writes. “If nothing else, the confidence you gain from your research will come across in the interview.”
Presenting: What separates a great salesman from a merely good one? According to Imrie, it’s a knowledge of not just one’s product, but how the product meets customers’ needs. Why is this relevant? Because job interviews are essentially sales pitches, and the key to landing an offer is telling a company how they’ll be better off with you on the payroll. Imrie advises rehearsing your spiel with people you trust and making sure you’re a master of body language. No slouching!
Etiquette: As much as the business world has changed in recent years, good ol’ fashioned etiquette still matters, Imrie says. Be courteous to everyone from the person who calls to schedule the interview to the people you actually sit down with, and try to work around their schedules as much as possible. Afterward, send a thank-you note.