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Can jobseekers learn from the Dragons Den?

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I didn’t watch much of this year’s Dragons Den but did catch the very last show on the 15/04 which featured the successful online Hurley venture pitched by Daithi O’Regan. This was an inspirational story how Daithi turned the low of redundancy into a positive and bright opportunity.

When watching these shows we must accept that they can be staged for TV to attract higher viewer numbers and don’t always reflect reality. Having said this when you look beyond the unreality and harsh put-downs there can be very valuable lessons to take away especially for jobseekers.

People hire people not ideas, skills or qualifications

You may remember the Dragons stating a number of occasions that they liked an idea but not the individual or they liked the individual but not the idea. There is much more to success on the show than having a good idea and the person behind the idea is probably more important. If we bring this back to job hunting. I often preach that there is more to landing a new job than skills and qualifications. Skills and qualifications improve your chances of getting to the interview table but it takes more than this to land the job. The person behind the skills and qualifications is more essential. It is important to remember this when you are meeting potential employers at networking events or at interview.

Energy & Passion – If you don’t bring energy and passion to the table you will struggle. This doesn’t always mean extrovert and Daithi O’Regan highlights this on the show. He wasn’t jumping around the room but you could still see his passion and energy through his eyes and tremble in the voice.

Sales & Presentation Skills – Some of the pitches received over the top TV put-downs but they were weak. The weakness can be attributed to my previous point (lack of energy and passion) but also to a lack of understanding/knowledge about the product/service or unique selling points.

Lesson for jobseekers

When engaging with potential employer’s wether at networking events or at interview you cannot rely on qualifications and experience alone. You must understand yourself (strengths, skills and competencies), you must be able to sell yourself and you must present your message with conviction, energy and passion.

Final point

I was interested to read an article in the Irish Independent yesterday with the heading – “Interview Techniques should be taught at third level”. The general gist of the article was that college students should be taught interview techniques to bridge the “major gap” between academic qualifications and their ability to get a job. Talk about stating the obvious!!