Salesmanship is the answer!
You may not wish to be a salesperson but by searching for a new position you are selling yourself, selling the benefits of hiring you. You can’t get away from that fact. So if your forte is not sales, perhaps you ought to spend some time learning some of the skills.
Attitude is first and foremost: There are three fundamental attitudes. Open-minded people who want to learn better ways of doing things regardless of the idea or concept; Skeptics, who have some reservations but are willing to listen and learn; and Cynics, disbelievers who are unwilling to try.
If you are a cynic, read no further, you cannot be helped.
If you are willing to listen, here are some things that good salespeople know that could help you:
Prospecting – Define the market target. For job seekers the target is the hiring manager specifically; no one else, not HR, not your network, no one else. The hiring manager is the person to reach out to.
Marketing – How can the target be reached? First identify the hiring manager’s name. There are several ways to do this but most effectively it is through your network. Build a network of people who know the hiring manager and people who know other people who may know the hiring manager. It can be a lengthy chain.
Advertising – Before reaching out to hiring managers prepare good collateral materials, your resume and cover letter. These documents need to be ATS-ready. Be committed to editing each document so it is responsive to whatever the hiring manager tells you his/her critical need are.
Executing – If you are not a salesman that’s ok, but learn a few sales skills to be successful in your search, such as making a concerted effort to speak to the hiring manager before applying for a job. When you find out what the hiring managers critical needs really are, describe how you can help resolve those problems. Then you will be ready to edit the collateral documents and make them responsive to the real needs.
Skills – When reaching out to people, whether they are the hiring manager or people to network with, learn what to say to make the a positive connection. Understand how to establish rapport, how to approach people in a manner that does not cause them to fend you off. This requires preparing scripts for different situations, practicing and refining them until you have internalized them vs. memorized them. The way you speak needs to sound natural, not rote.
There are other valuable sales skills to learn as well such as closing skills. Closing every conversation to set expectations for what is to happen next is just one example.
Practice – It goes without saying that practice is an essential part of learning. All the textbooks in the world can describe how to do something. Practicing what is taught is what develops the skills. Make mistakes during role playing. Revise scripts and practice some more.
Does all this sound forbidding to you? If so, get professional help from a good job search coach.
Get more help by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org or by visiting http://www.hoochresumes.com. And leave a comment if you like this post.