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5 Ways to Leverage Radical Candor in Your Job Search

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Let your best self shine during your job search.

During Jobvite’s 2019 Recruiter Nation Live event, we were #blessed to hear from Kim Scott, best-selling author of Radical Candor and co-founder of Radical Candor LLC at one of our keynotes. Kim is an expert in becoming a “badass leader” without losing your humanity, and watching her in-person, everyone left her session blown away by how she brings the same empathy, humor, and veracity that she preaches.

Recently, Purple Ink used the principles in Kim’s book to discuss five ways candidates can be just as honest, fearless, and human as they search for their next opportunity. Here are the highlights:


The original post appears on the Purple Ink website.

Success on a job search requires that you put your best foot forward every step of the way. This means that before you move forward, you need to step back and assess several things. In this blog, I’ll share 5 areas that deserve reflection and sometimes radical candor from a trusted advisor.

Radical candor is a concept introduced by Kim Scott in her book Radical Candor: Be a Kickass Boss Without Losing Your Humanity. She writes from the standpoint of managers who are afraid to give real, candid feedback, and explains how detrimental it is for the growth and development of the individual. When you offer radical candor, you are challenging directly and caring professionally.

Consider employing this concept as you search for employment! You can get radical candor from a previous boss, coworker, friend, or even spouse, but it’s not likely. Generally, people don’t want to hurt your feelings. A career coach deals with this daily, and their goal is for you to find a great job that you love as fast as possible.

A trusted career coach should provide you with radical candor that can boost your confidence and transform your ability to land the job of your dreams.

1. What kind of job will let me use my strengths and skills?

Often, we select a major in college and unfortunately, sometimes those roles don’t end up being the best fit for us. It could be that you were terminated because the fit wasn’t good. Now is an opportunity to find the right role. Think about jobs where you were really operating in your strength zone. What responsibilities did you have? What parts of your job were you quick to attack and what tasks did you procrastinate doing? People who use their strengths in their daily work are more productive, engaged, and have more positive outcomes.

Assessments help define what careers to investigate and what types of roles may be interesting to you. The Strong Interest Inventory and CliftonStrengths are two well-respected tools that are used by organizations all over the world. Talk to a career coach to learn more about what assessments might be right for your needs and how coaching helps you discern what paths might be right for you. Ask for radical candor.

2. How do I market myself and what’s my personal brand?

Your resume is your marketing material, your “one-pager.” Ultimately, the goal is to entice them to want to know more about you. The average resume is read in 20 seconds, so it needs to be easy to see why you are qualified. A Certified Resume Writer will be able to turn your experience into a master marketing tool to optimize your invitations to go to the next step.

A LinkedIn profile is a must for most professional positions. A career coach can help you transform this site into another marketing tool that shows prospective employers and coworkers who you are. Is your profile picture professional enough? Ask for radical candor.

3. What kind of company and culture will feed my spirit?

Research prospective employers on Glassdoor and other social media sites. What do ratings and reviews say? Check out the company website and see if the mission, vision, and values align with yours. Is a mission-oriented company something that drives you? Are you passionate about companies that are green? Is youth services an area where you feel a calling? Ask your coach how to best present yourself for success at these companies.

4. How do I show up?

What am I presenting in an interview? Am I positive or a complainer? Am I wearing a wrinkled shirt or baggy pants? Do I project energy or am I stuck in the old ways of doing things? Is my appearance professional? It’s fine to self-assess, but it’s nearly impossible to look at our self and really see the impression we make. Check out Amy Cuddy’s Ted Talk on Body Language. Prepare for phone interviews and in-person interviews. With preparation comes confidence. Ask for radical candor from your career coach about how you answered questions.

5. Can I do this alone?

Have you been on a job search recently? Do you know what roles you are pursuing? Do you naturally network? Will you be okay if this takes a while? If the answer is “no” to those questions, consider a career coach. Working with a career coach will speed up your success on the job hunt, provided you work the program. Even getting a job one day to a week earlier will pay for the career coach, and the quicker you are employed, the quicker you are earning again. The longer you are on the job hunt, the more difficult it can be to explain why you haven’t had success. A career coach should help you discern your path, give you the tools to be successful and help you navigate the process. They are experts on job hunt success and will help you every step of the way by encouraging you and…yes, by providing radical candor.

If you’re a candidate looking to bring your specific brand of candor to a new workplace, check out our weekly “Companies Hiring” blog we update every week!

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