Earlier this month Cosmopolitan magazine hosted its first-ever Fun Fearless Life weekend. Nearly 2,000 people — mostly women in their 20s and 30s — gathered in New York City’s Lincoln Center for a two-day “crash course in living fun and fearlessly.”
The sold-out conference, sponsored by Maybelline and Express, was packed with inspiring speakers, including Spanx founder Sara Blakely and social psychologist Amy Cuddy, and panels on topics like “making your mark” and “finding your power.”
Joanna Coles, Cosmo‘s editor-in-chief who MC’d the event, shared her own advice with the audience.
“At lunchtime yesterday, people asked me what my best piece of advice is, how they can shine in an interview, and what I look for when hiring,” Coles said. “And truthfully, it’s hard to say because it’s never just one thing.”
She explained that she “obviously looks for someone who can do the job,” but also wants to hire people with great energy.
“It’s really important to be surrounded by people who are going to lift you up,” she said. “I don’t want someone who will come in to work in the morning and be a downer, being like, ‘Ugh, I had a terrible night last night.’ I want someone who can at least put a spin on it, and say, ‘Ugh, I had a really s—– night last night! Next time I’m going to do better!”
When hiring, Coles said she asks herself, “Do I like this person? Is this person going to be fun?”
“So in terms of career advice: Find something that’s going to be fun,” she said. Because if you’re passionate about what you do and you’re having a good time, it will come through in your interview, and you’ll be a much stronger, more energetic and likable candidate.
During a Q&A with Caroline Ghosn, cofounder of Levo League, an online community for professional women, Coles shared another piece of advice for young professionals: Cultivate your brand using social media.
“Unlike myself, who grew up in the Jurassic age, you are able to create a voice and a following using social media,” she told the audience. “And that becomes invaluable.”
And finally, she said, as a job seeker, you need to remember that all companies are looking for people who can solve problems. If you walk into the room and talk about your needs, and fail to address theirs, you’ll never get the job.
“I interviewed one woman who leaned into the table and said, ‘I can do this job for you,’ and the way she said it was so confident. And I just went, ‘Oh thank God!'” Coles said. “So I think reinforcing to someone out loud that you can do ‘this’ for them is all they want to hear.”
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