Job Seekers Must Sell Themselves Because No One Else Will
Job seekers in today’s economy face a daunting challenge unlike any other in their lives because competition for each available job is so intense that only the most dedicated and skilled seekers catch the attention of employers.
For most new jobs there are 30-50 or more applicants and only a few will be screened and maybe a half-dozen interviewed. The ultimate survivor who is offered the job will be the job seeker who does the best selling himself/herself to the employer.
The critical point all job seekers must understand and come to grip with is that to find a good job you must be a good salesman and to find a super job you must be a super salesman. Absolutely no one but you is expected to sell yourself. References, after all, are only checked after the sales campaign ends and the job offer is extended. You and only you must sell yourself to a prospective employer.
One of the frequent quotes I give to salesmen at work is “If you don’t believe in oranges then sell apples.” Paraphrasing for job seekers, “If you don’t believe in yourself, retire!”
Seeking employment is a full-time job requiring full-time effort. My motto in sales is “Always Be Closing” and the motto of the job seeker should be “Always Be Pitching” yourself. Always be reading to engage a friend, colleague, or stranger in conservation directed at finding the right job for you.
Here are some specific steps you should take to find the right door to the right employer:
Don’t Leave Home Without Your Passion. After several rejects and weeks of unemployment it is easy to become discouraged. Don’t! Wake up each morning exciting about your job search and what you will do this day to discover the right job lead. You must learn to enjoy the job seeking process.
Be a Cheerleader for Yourself. You must believe in yourself and be enthusiastic about the company and job you are applying for. Enthusiasm will be noticed during an interview. If you are not convinced you are the best person to perform the job why should anyone hire you?
Make It About the Employer. Do and say everything possible to convince the employer that hiring you will be the best decision they can make. Remain positive at all times. It is nearly impossible to overcome a negative impression so do not create one.
Plan for Employment. Develop an employment plan that identifies prospective employers, details your job skills, includes an elevator speech, and details job search strategies. In today’s tight job market, you have to be more flexible, able to continually adapt your plan to new opportunities and obstacles. Our plan should not be just to find a job but to advance your career and obtain success in life during “good and bad” economies.
Look Beyond Your Past Job. Too many job seekers limit their search to the field they were working in before their job loss. Broaden your search. Consider new skills. Inventory your job skills. Look at your jobless time as a springboard to a new career and a better life.
Be Accessible. Job seekers must be available to job makers. Do not use the extra time created by your job loss to take a month’s vacation. Answer the phone, check your email often, find out where job creators hang out and be there! Place your resume online in places where it can be found. Attend job fairs where you can personally meet prospective employers.
Market Yourself Creatively. Let the world know that you exist and that you are different and better than all other job seekers. Sign up for email alerts. Place your resume online at several job seeking boards and at corporate websites. Remember that 100 people may be applying for the job you want. A computer will scan 100 resumes to come up with the 10 best prospects. Be accessible to the computer scanner by making the very first paragraph of your resume a summary of your skills and experience. When necessary rewrite that first graph to grab the attention of the computer as it scans for the key words programmed by human resources.
Be Positive Or Else. There is no room in the workplace for complainers. No one enjoys a crybaby. Do not whine about your past work experiences, do not rationalize why you were laid off or why you were not promoted often. Talk about solutions; not problems. Expressing a positive attitude about your past companies and past work experiences, and being positive about the hiring company, its products and employees, is critical to getting a job offer.
Take a Risk, be Bold. To put yourself above the massive number of job seekers, be bold, be courageous, and be creative. Don’t stand still but step up and step forward. Say what other job seekers won’t say in any interview, talk about initiatives you will take that others won’t, use active and assertive language in your resume. Do not be content to wait in line; put yourself in the front of the line. Make yourself known to employers before a job is created. Write a marketing letter and send it to every company you would like to work for. Look at what every other job seeker is doing and don’t do that.
Almost all employers will not accept phone calls or walk-in candidates but will refer you to the employment section of their website. You must use websites and email for your job search but in spite of this always devote time each week to making phone calls, walking into companies with resume in hand, and placing yourself where employers are. Devote time each week to making yourself known on Facebook, Twitter or other social networks but always remember that your greatest asset is yourself and the best way to sell yourself is with personal contact. So network, network, network!
By Dan Milstein