By Jeff Beals
I normally don’t speak or write on career success but lately several readers have asked me how my personal branding philosophies apply to the world of job-searching. Well rest assured, they certainly do apply.
Job searching comes down to one basic idea: you need to move prospective employers from a point in time when they don’t even know you to another point in time when they believe they can’t live without you.
In a nutshell, that is the key to job searching – finding a way to move the would-be boss from “don’t-know-you” to “can’t-live-without you.” It may sound somewhat manipulative, but it’s really no different than any marketing effort that a company would undertake.
Although the process of moving an employer from don’t-know-you to can’t-live without-you is not easy per se, it’s not nearly as difficult as you might think.
A successful job searcher uses every part of the process – from the cover letter to the final interview – to convince the employer that he or she is the solution to the employer’s problem, whatever that may be. If you can show how you are the solution to the problem, you have taken the first major step in moving the employer from don’t-know-you to can’t-live-without-you.
Every hiring manager has a problem. A great employee could have resigned and defected to a direct competitor. Perhaps someone was fired, which has left psychological scars and social division in the department. The hiring manager could be under tremendous pressure from higher-ups to produce more while spending less. Whatever the particular problem may be, a hiring manager always has one.
Believe me, if the hiring manager didn’t have a problem, he or she wouldn’t be going through the search process. Finding new employees is an expensive, time-consuming pain in the backside. Successful people only spend time on tasks that further their goals and the organization’s goals. Therefore, they conduct candidate searches only because they have problems that need solutions.
The successful candidate, the one who moves the hiring manager from don’t-know-you to can’t-live-without-you, is the one who shows that he or she is the solution to the hiring manager’s problem.
The second requirement in moving the hiring manager from don’t-know-you to can’t-live-without-you is to build rapport with the manager. You want the prospective boss to like you. It is common for job searchers to overlook this. We all know that managers and subordinates aren’t supposed to be chummy buddies, but you still want to work with someone with whom you can get along.
Nobody hires people they don’t like!
Sure, a hiring manager may grow to dislike an employee over the course of time (and vice-versa), but in the beginning, nobody hires a person they dislike. It makes sense if you think about it. We spend more waking hours with our colleagues than we do with our families and friends. You might as well spend those hours with people who are pleasant to be around.
Successful candidates build rapport with the hiring manager in addition to proving that they are the solution to the problem. Assuming you are technically competent or have the transferable skills necessary to do a job, you just have to do two things to convince the hiring manager that they can’t live without you: build rapport and prove you are the solution to his problem.
Candidates who accomplish this can simply wait for the process to play itself out.
Once the hiring manager realizes how valuable you would be to him or her, the rest of the process kind of takes care of itself. Hiring managers go through a mental and emotional roller coaster from the time a job comes open to the time they make decisions. At most large organizations, they must also go through several layers of bureaucratic red tape: requisition a job, redesign the job description any time there is a vacancy, deal with the human resources department, sort through resumés and so on.
After jumping through all the bureaucratic hoops, a hiring manager comes to a point where he or she psychologically commits to the one top candidate. When this happens, the tables turn and the candidate has all the power.
Jeff Beals is a professional speaker and award-winning author, who helps professionals enjoy greater success through effective sales, marketing and personal branding techniques. He delivers energetic and humorous keynote speeches and workshops to audiences worldwide. To discuss booking a presentation, go to JeffBeals.com or email at email@example.com or call us at (402) 637-9300.
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