ABC’s Shark Tank Holds the Key to Your Job Search

ABC’s Shark Tank Holds the Key to Your Job Search

Shark Tank is one of the only “reality” type shows my wife and I can watch (we’ll dabble in X-factor every now and then, shh!), but we love it because of the cool ideas/uncool ideas that come on the show.

Question? Yes…wait you haven’t seen the show? No, it’s not an exhibit at Sea World sir. And, No you shouldn’t let your kids pet the sharks there, STOP!

Go here to get check it out, and go to HULU to check out some free episodes.

The premise of the show is that entrepreneurs come in and pitch their products to the Venture Capitalist (“sharks”), and they try and strike a deal for a stake in the company.

So the entrepreneur must SELL his/her product to get the capital for the company.

The show is entertaining as it has some awesome products by awesome entrepreneurs, and some awesome products by crappy entrepreneurs and vice versa.

Some great products burn because the pitch was terrible or the entrepreneur was just…terrible.

The job hunt requires some of these same skills, you need to sell yourself to the employer, and we can learn right from “Shark Tank” what works and what doesn’t.


How you represent yourself, especially with your first impression, needs to be crisp. Those who go in the Tank with confidence and are sure of their product have a much better chance than the opposite.

In your job search, you need a similar mindset of “Yes, I got this, I’m confident that I can be an asset to this company.” When you have that going on inside, you will automatically show it on the outside.

You’ll smile more, walk taller, hold conversations longer AND more efficiently.

1. Present your case clearly and with sincerity. Employers don’t want to dig through your past to see if you have the talent to handle the position. Have those points ready for them!

2. Make sure you are professional and courteous.

Here’s an example of an excellent presentation (he also has the other 3 points as well!)

What can you put in your search from this clip?:

  • Speak clearly and professionally to all (even if they can’t help you.)
  • Show enthusiasm for your accomplishes, draw in others. (Notice how intently they all watched as he presented, they were forced to respect him).
  • LISTEN! Even though you want to keep talking about yourself in the interview, stop and listen to the other party. The wise listen, the foolish blab on.
  • Your demonstration (Resume) is organized, well presented, and immediately attractive to it’s viewers.

Be Unique

Hiring Managers don’t just want the bare necessities for the position, they want someone who brings a breath of fresh air to the table.

It’s your job to demonstrate how you Defy the Stereotype. You have something that other’s do not; yet, many fail to reflect that on their resume and in the interview.

God doesn’t make extras, so make yourself a star.

God doesn’t make extras, so make yourself a star. Click to Tweet.

If you are young, take skills from school and use them as experience. If you are older, you have years of experience to draw stories, successes and more that effectively demonstrate your unique value.

Show that off!

Here’s a clip that shows NO Proprietary Value and is immediately dismissed. The presenters are likable and smart, yet offer nothing unique.

Could this product make money? Sure, but not lasting value. Employers need those who bring increasing returns to the company, not a one-time blip on the financial statement.

Discover ways to Stand-Out from the Crowd. Invest in Yourself! Pick up the Free E-book, “7 Strategies to Invest in Yourself” by Signing Up!

Know What You’re Supposed to Know

One of the worst mistakes in the Shark Tank many entrepreneurs make is they don’t know the ins and outs of the company (especially the numbers).

Check out this bummer of a performance:

A tasty treat gone bad! How do you not know the numbers for your business? (Hope they have financial advisors for their own personal finances).

Yet many make this same mistake when they’re on the job hunt.

1.) What do you want to do? There’s tons of people who apply to jobs without the slightest clue of what they want to do.

Yes, we all need to pay the bills, but you should take the time to figure out if this position is even a step in the right direction.

It doesn’t stop there; once you apply and set up an interview,

2.)It’s your job to plan, prepare, and practice.

  • You should know the basics of the company like the back of your hand.
  • Have questions to show your enthusiasm for the position and to learn more.
  • Find out about WHO your interviewing with and something about them. (makes conversations go soooo much smoother)
  • Practice questions you know they are going to ask

This goes EVEN FURTHER once you are offered the position.

“What’s the market value for this position? What leverage do I have? What leverage do they have? What’s on the table for negotiation?”

When you negotiate (notice I said “when” and not “if”), you need to a solid base to have any push. You need to know the numbers and exactly what you deserve. If not, like Kevin O’Leary says, “You will get slaughtered!”


Talent can only go so far at times. In the end, you and your personality are what your co-workers are stuck with day in and day out.

So even if you have the other 3 points down, if HR doesn’t like you, chances are you may not get the position. (I’m going to publish a personal story next month on this).

Problems is, you’re not going to be everyone’s best friend and you must accept that; everyone won’t mesh with you. If you are in that circumstance, don’t be hard on yourself, just brush yourself off and move on.

You want to work with people you get along with as well, so do your research, talk to current and ex-employees and see if the culture fit is right for you as well.

Check out this lady:

The self-proclaimed “Vera Wang” of wedding runners had a great product and brand. She didn’t get a good deal because of that, it’s because she would be terrible to work with/for!

She did all the talking, didn’t listen to suggestions, and was border-line disrespectful. You may not agree with everything HR says and does, especially in the negotiation stage, but you should remain professional and you have a better chance at a good deal if they like you!

Some deals in the Shark Tank came about not because the product was amazing, but the investor said, “I really like you” and that’s what sealed the deal. It happens more times than you think in the shark tank!

You don’t need to be fake, just be open, honest and not a stick in the mud and you will be fine!

What Business Lessons Have You Learned in the Tank? (Job-Related or Not), Write a Comment Below with your Thoughts! Or Share This Link with a Friend!

Don’t forget to Subscribe to get Your FREE E-Book: “7 Strategies to Invest in Yourself!” plus many other Goodies!

  • Alex B. (@DreamJobGuy)

    My wife and I are obsessed with this show! So much so, that we will watch episodes multiple times. Why? Because just like you mentioned in your post, there is SO MUCH to learn from this show, the sharks, and people’s mistakes.

    Although I’m not developing and launching my own physical product, and I am, and continue to innovate business ideas, and bring them to market. I’ve learned so much from watching SharkTank when it comes to “bringing your A game!”

    Great post!

    All the best,

    November 29, 2012 at 10:30 am
      • Alex B. (@TheAlexBlythe)


        Thanks so much! I’m certainly looking forward to the launch, and the launch a a couple of other projects I’ve been busy with as well! 🙂

        All the best,

        November 29, 2012 at 2:38 pm
  • Cat

    We have “Dragon’s Den” in Canada. I think it may have inspired Shark Tank. One of the guys on it used to be on Dragon’s Den.

    November 29, 2012 at 8:56 pm