Sunday, April 28, 2013

Job Searching is nothing but Marketing and Selling

Nothing but Marketing and Selling? Those things are not easy for many people. None-the-less, Job Searching is a marketing and sales job. Job seekers must sell the benefits of being hired, thus they become salespeople by default, whether they want to or not. One can sit on the sidelines and watch others get jobs or one can learn marketing and the art of selling.

Resumes and cover letters are advertising literature used in marketing and selling. They are the collateral documents used to advertise the benefits of being hired, but they are only the starting point. They need to be used in conjunction with selling skills that support a marketing plan. A job search marketing campaign requires a strategy, the fundamental approach, and tactics, the details that support the strategy.

So it is important for job searchers to treat job searching as their job and learn the necessary sales techniques to be successful. I’ve been a job searcher and later, a recruiter. Trust me, if I can learn how to sell, anybody can!

For starters, job seekers are well advised to use job boards and the web as research tools to identify companies and positions, not as a place to apply for positions. Applying online is equivalent to jumping into the black hole and disappearing. There are far better ways to get a job.

As a general rule, don’t apply for a position until AFTER speaking to the hiring manager. Learn the right tactics to support your search strategy:
Learn how to research the companies for the information you need. Learn what information to search for and where to find it.
Learn how to network properly.
Learn how to find out who the hiring manager is.
Learn how to make warm- or cold-calls to hiring managers, (don’t call HR unless you are looking for an HR position, and even then, call the HR manager).
Learn how to create, practice and internalize scripts in making calls to the hiring manager and to get past the various gate keepers.
Learn how to close (close every communication and finally, the job).
Learn how to overcome objections.
Learn how to handle rejection (sales is full of it - good salespeople don't take rejection personally, it's just part of the job, so they learn to simply say "NEXT!" and continue on.

That's a lot of subjects to learn if you are not already a salesperson. But if you don't try to do it, your competition will.

I am among many people who teach and coach those skills. There are plenty of resources available. Selling was not my career until I became a recruiter after retiring from my engineering career. So I learned how, and now I share what I learned with my clients.  Again, trust me, if I can learn how to sell, anybody can!

By the way, can you imagine trying to unlock the "hidden" jobs referred to by others without speaking to those who hold the keys?

Get help by emailing me at or by visiting 

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

When you look at your own resume, what do you see?

When I look at a resume submitted to me the first thing I do is to view it as if I were the hiring manager to see if there’s a compelling reason for me to grab the phone and call the person.

I view it as if I am a recruiter who has to sell the job seeker to my valued clients, the hiring companies, or to the hiring manager if I’m an internal recruiter employed by the hiring company.

And I view it from the perspective of a job search coach
  • Is this resume a good attention-getting document likely to cause the reader to want to grab the phone and call the job seeker? 
  • Is the resume neat and well-organized or is it sloppy-looking?
  • Is it easy to read quickly; is it crisp and succinct? Or does this resume have a crammed, forbidding or odd appearance? 
  • Does it have all of the topical requirements of a contemporary resume? 
  • Does the candidate have a well-written brand with marketing ‘zing’ that makes me want to read further? 
  • As I read further does it clearly indicate the benefits of hiring this person?
  • Are there obvious grammatical or spelling errors that convey a message of carelessness? 
  • Is the resume a well-written advertisement
  • Finally I ask “Is this resume ATS-ready? Is it likely to be correctly parsed or might it either receive a low score or be rejected outright?

It would be prudent for you to view your own resume as if you are the hiring manager. If you cannot convince yourself that you would call yourself, you should seriously consider getting help. Professional help could shorten the time it takes you to find that next job step in your career and save you money if you are unemployed. 

If you would like your resume reviewed just send it to me at and I will respond with my comments. (I never a charge for resume reviews)

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

If you want to avoid the black hole, don’t jump into it in the first place!

You know, there are more ways to find jobs than just looking online and immediately replying to interesting things you find. Applying online is by far the least effective way to get a job! (OK, maybe responding to a newspaper ad is worse, I don’t know.) But look, if you don’t believe me then you need to read this article shared on another group forum I belong to entitled “Nothing personal: Why recruiters don’t get back to you” by Suzanne Lucas, March 25, 2013:

I’m not talking about recruiters who work in recruiting firms. I’m talking about recruiters who are employees of the HR department in the hiring firms. If you want to avoid the black hole, don’t stand near the edge, or worse, jump in. Job seekers need to talk to hiring managers BEFORE submitting any documents for a lot of reasons (see

There are four good ways to reach the hiring manager: cold-calls, warm-calls (hiring manager names given to you  through a network friend), cold-or warm-emails and recruiting firms. 

And if that contact that gave you the hiring manager's name is an employee of the company who gets a bonus by referring you if you get hired, you and the person who referred you just won the proverbial jackpot! That is an extremely effective way to get hired; it costs far less for a company to pay a bonus to an employee than to pay a recruiting firm 25 to 35 percent of your first year salary! Work this approach hard!

True, calling hiring managers is not nearly as easy as sitting at your computer and jumping at jobs found on line or on company websites. And there’s a lot of rejection with calling which means trying again. But from the above article we can understand what a time-waster it is to simply apply on line without making any attempt to reach the hiring manager first, at least at one company. Making calls is far more effective and is hard work! And there are skills to be learned. But if you don't do it, your competition will.

Get more help on this and other tactics by emailing me at or by visiting And leave a comment if you like this post.