In my business as a recruiter and career coach, I talk to job seekers every day who are kind of all over the place in terms of a job search strategy.
There are a lot of moving parts and details in a successful job search, but the typical job seeker focuses on only one or two things—their resume, or answering interview questions, or maybe how to write a thank you note. They zero in on whatever piece that’s currently tripping them up.
There’s nothing wrong with making a weak area stronger—but what happens is that they get so focused on one or two details, they miss the bigger (and more important) picture.
Once they see it, it changes the way they approach their entire job search and it makes them more successful—they get more interviews, they have better interviews, and they often get multiple job offers.
Because this is so important, this is typically the first thing I teach my clients as a career coach:
The job search is a sales process.
A lot of people aren’t ready to hear that because they’re introverts or because they think, ‘I’m not in sales or marketing, so that doesn’t apply to me.’ But it does.
In this process, YOU are the product.
The job search is the process of ‘selling’ that product.
Thinking of yourself as a product and the job search as a sales process is a mindset that will put you miles ahead of others in competition with you for that job who don’t understand this concept.
Why? Because they won’t know how to package or market themselves in a way that gets them hired, or ‘purchased’—or chosen, if you like.
On top of this, the job you’ll get will probably be a better one that what you would have gotten before, without this guideline.
Let’s play this out to see how this works:
If you’re the product, then the hiring manager (your future boss) is the buyer.
Your salary is the ‘purchase price’ of your product (what they’re going to pay you to do the work)…
Everything else flows from this.
The resume is a marketing brochure that tells about your product. This makes it different from a simple job history—and much more likely to get you an interview.
Your resume must address the benefits of the product—whether it be time saved, money made, value produced, etc. The only way to do this is to use data-based evidence, or numbers on your resume.
Your social media presence is your advertising. This includes Twitter, Facebook, and especially LinkedIn.
A targeted, direct marketing approach using these social media platforms (as well as other means) will get you in front of more buyers, or hiring managers, will give you a statistically much higher chance of getting a job offer—or even several job offers.
The job search in many ways is a numbers game.
If contacting 20 hiring managers would get you one job, then contacting 100 hiring managers could get you 5 job offers. That’s a lot better than only one.
The interview is your sales call where you’re showing the buyer (the hiring manager) the benefits of using your product (hiring you). What can and will you do or provide for the company?
This is why I tell all of my clients to bring 2 things to every interview:
- a brag book that shows in living color all the wonderful things you’ve done in the past
- a 30-60-90-day plan that maps out all the wonderful things you’re going to do in the future
These tools help you ‘sell’ your product because they are evidence beyond what you say. They can see it for themselves in those documents.
The most important part of the interview is ‘closing the deal.’ Closing is a sales technique—but remember, the job search is a sales process. If you close, you will increase your chances of getting the offer by 30% - 40%.
Closing is simply asking for the business. When transferred to an interview, closing becomes a question like, ‘Based on our conversation, can you see me being successful in this job?’
With this question you really find out what they’re thinking about you (so important!).
You always follow up a sales call with a note that thanks that person for their time and makes a final pitch for your product—based on what you talked about together. That’s your thank you note.
Your references are recommendations from others who have tried your product—‘product reviews.’
Every part and piece of that process works together to sell YOU as a candidate. You do have to master the individual parts, but once you get your mind wrapped around selling yourself as a candidate, you will perform each one of those individual pieces better and stronger than before.
You will be way ahead in the game of job-getting.
Learn more about how to get the job you want by attending one of my free training webinars. Each week, I give you practical tips and advice you can use today to get hired.
Best of luck!