As we are bombarded with political ads, endless commentary from the pundits and the hype around Super Tuesday, it occurred to us that looking for a new job is a lot like running for office. There are certain rules that apply whether you’re a political candidate or a job candidate.

Define, and Then Refine, Your Message

Pick any political candidate and listen to an early stump speech. Chances are that speech sounds a little bit different than the speech she’s giving today. When you start your job hunt, you should have a succinct story prepared about who you are and what skills you bring to the table. But as you interview, you’ll start to see what parts of your story are resonating with hiring managers and what parts seem to be falling flat. Make sure to read these cues and adjust your message as you go through the job search process.

Get Your Endorsements

An endorsement from a popular politician or a respected leader can do wonders for a candidacy. But the wrong recommendation can do a lot of damage. When thinking about whom to ask to be a reference, contact people who will talk about your strengths and present you in a positive light. Just like a politician, you are judged by the company you keep. Think carefully – we’ve conducted many reference checks where the feedback was surprisingly negative.

Live up to Your Promises

Many political candidates have gotten into office by trading promises for votes and then find that they are unable to live up to those promises. As a job seeker, you may be tempted to promise results or numbers that you can’t live up to. While it’s important to be confident in your skills, and a bit of a stretch is a good thing, be sure you can truly deliver on the demands of the job. It’s better to be honest about your capabilities upfront than to find yourself in a situation where you’re not meeting expectations.

Avoid Gaffs

What would be the worst thing for either a job candidate or a political candidate to say? Maybe listing your time as a marijuana dealer under previous work experience on your resume or saying your career objective is “To claw my way to the top using any means necessary”? Can’t decide? Check out this hilarious list of job application missteps.

Are you in the running for a new job? Check out our job listings.

Are you ready to vote in a new member of your team? Contact us.