Are you a hard working professional who just can’t seem to get your foot into the door? In this article, I’ll show you how to get your dream job or start down a career path that you won’t regret.
Marketing Sales, and Product
To land your dream job, you’ve got to think like a marketer and a salesman because you are the product.
Marketers are constantly thinking about how they can best position their brands to succeed in the marketplace. They won’t ever do something just because someone else is doing it because that’s not how it works. You have to be unique, stand-out, show the world why you’re different than everybody else.
Salesman live in a world of finishing. They enjoy telling folks about their product, but what’s even better is closing the deal—finishing the sale. They are optimistic dreamers and believe that anything is possible.
Here is how to get your foot in the door and land that job you’ve always wanted.
Don’t Send a Resume
Resumes don’t sell, so don’t sell with your resume. Whether it be the first major step in your career or the fifth, that resume you just spent 10 hours perfecting may be the least important part of your job search. There are two reasons why.
Many employers are not asking for your resume anymore—they just want to get to know you and why you’ll be a valuable asset to their business. A great example is from Faithlife’s career website.
As you can see in this screenshot, they’re definitely looking for folks but aren’t interested in your perfectly boring resume—they want to know what you’ve done and why you’re the best.
Second, a resume is like getting a cold call from a salesman or a spam email from a sketchy business. You may or may not have asked for it, but it comes at your fast and without any context. What I’m saying is that cold calls and spam emails have a very low success rate because the customer (your potential employer) may not even have a need for the product (you), may have a secretary or a spam folder to filter what comes to him. Save it for later because your resume will be more effective presented live or as follow up sales literature.
Unless someone specifically asks for your resume, you’re better off initially marketing yourself in ways that have a higher success rate.
You Need a Website
In today’s web-based world, your personal site is the main place for people to verify your credibility. It shows that you are legit, and it allows people to learn things about you before you meet them or before they sit down to interview you.
Build a website is the first thing I did when I started looking for my current job. I built a one-pager under my name and sent all prospective employers and connections through this site. It’s where they would download my resume, learn about my lifestyle, see photos of my family, and contact me directly.
Interviewers would regularly ask if I had a website where they could learn a little more about it, and sure enough, I had somewhere to send them. This is one of the biggest reasons I got hired when and where I did, and I don’t even have a college degree!
Dodge Human Resources
The biggest enemy in your job search besides yourself is the corporate HR department. The folks in human resources are usually very nice, but they are not hiring you, they are screening you.
Focus on connecting with the managers in marketing, accounting, customer service, manufacturing, or whatever department you’re looking for. Those people are the actual hirers—the ones you want to network with.
LinkedIn provides great opportunities to network with people you wouldn’t normally have access to in real life. For example, at one point I was looking into a position at Possible Los Angeles, so instead of sending a resume to their bulk email bin or replying to a job want ad, I sent an InMail message to their Managing Director. In just a few hours, he wrote me back interested in what I had to offer. Sadly, that opportunity didn’t work out for either of us, but I believe if I would have just sent in a resume, human resources would have just chewed it up and spit it out into their garbage can.
Research, Research, Research the company you are trying to get into. Start by reading every page of their website, sign up for their email newsletter, and follow them on all things social so that you can keep updated with any major news.
Next, find and follow their senior leadership. I say this because every leader I’ve ever known swears that their company lives or dies based on it’s senior leaders. You want to know who those guys are and what they do.
After that, connect with some employees at the company and find out as much as you can about their experience at the company. They’ll feel obligated to tell you all the good stuff, but if you ask they’ll be honest about how things really are.
Write an Impact Letter
An impact letter is a brief letter you write to a manager, department director, or executive that tells them that you see gaps in their systems and how you could quickly jump in and develop a more efficient and cost effective solution.
Whether you can bring in more customers, re-structure an underperforming department, or even spearhead a lucrative sale, there’s always room in an organization for a solid impact player.
Present Your Resume (AKA an Interview)
Alright, when you get to the interview it’s officially time to use your resume. You’ve probably heard someone tell you to make sure you bring a resume, plus an extra copy for anyone else who will be interviewing you. That couldn’t be any more true, because at your interview you will be undoubtedly presenting your resume.
You’ll be answering questions that should align with the content you’ve written about in your resume and you’ll even be answering direct questions about your resume.
Your resume is follow up sales literature—during an interview or post-interview is the perfect time to let it shine.
Always Send a Thank You
The first thing after your interview should be a thank you letter. Handwritten or typed, make sure you get it in the mail next day. Every time I’ve sent a thank you letter after an interview, I got the job. You should do the same.
Was this helpful to you? Are there any critical steps that you would add? Let me know in the comments below.
Content inspired by Jeffrey J. Fox’s How to Land Your Dream Job: No Resume! And Other Secrets to Get You in the Door.
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