Five tips to land that dream job by Leighton Denny MBE
Friday 9 October 2020
Leighton offers some tips to ensure you can use dyslexia to help you land your dream job. Leighton Denny MBE is an award-winning business leader, beauty expert and internationally recognised figure in the beauty world, having created many multi-award-winning beauty collections – including Leighton Denny Expert Nails’ Like 40% of self-made millionaires, Leighton is dyslexic.
As an Ambassador for British Dyslexia Association, he is passionate about helping young people reach their full potential and not to regard dyslexia as a disadvantage but to understand how it can help you. Leighton says, ‘“I have no doubt I wouldn’t be where I am today without my dyslexic thinking. I find I can see certain things more clearly and perhaps less traditionally than other people – I say I ‘think out of the bottle’. Being different is your biggest asset and I promise that this will help you succeed in the future’.
Having interviewed countless candidates over the course of his career for positions ranging from Nail Technicians, Receptionists, Heads of Marketing and Warehouse Managers to PAs and PR Directors, Leighton offers some tips to ensure you can use dyslexia to help you land your dream job.
- first and foremost – do not think of dyslexia as a draw-back. Present it as an advantage to your potential employer. Dyslexia opens all sorts of creative thinking and a lateral approach and you can bring a different angle and insights to the job. Learn what you’re good at and channel your energy into that, instead of focusing on what you can't do. It is no coincidence that 57% of students at Royal College of Art are dyslexic!
- make sure you have done your research on the company and then use this knowledge to demonstrate how dyslexia can actively help the company objectives and bring something fresh to the table – whether it is brainstorming, visuals, communications or creative ideas
- show that you have thought through your own strengths and weaknesses and have taken steps to deal with any potential weaknesses – eg, address how you manage any aspects of the job that might be more challenging or time consuming. For example you may use Grammarly for emails or written work which will demonstrate how you have taken time and care to ensure that your work is always error free. Grammarly also helps with creative suggestions and with tone. Your written work will probably be more error free than most non-dyslexics!
- demonstrate that you have identified any potentially difficult situations and have a solution – for example, I personally sometimes struggle with written presentations. I will make sure I know the presentation almost by heart but if I am reading from a screen I will add in phonetics for words I may struggle with – for example I will write jojoba out as ho-ho-ba!
- if you struggle with written notes, eg if you are taking notes in a meeting, make sure you flag this up and can then take notes straight onto your lap top which you can correct later, or even use voice notes
Throughout Dyslexia Week, we are asking people to sign our petition to increase access to assessment in schools. Join our campaign by visiting www.change.org/bdadyslexia