Selling Yourself to a Prospective Employer
By Rick Flores
The job market environment for desirable positions can be very competitive. Make it a goal to positively impact all prospective employers you come in contact with. Take the initiative and promote the essential items in your work history and personal activities that make you stand out in the minds of a hiring decision maker.
Most of us are not natural salespeople. But, many of the top positions in all fields of work are won by candidates that are able to sell their strengths and abilities to prospective employers even though they may not be the absolute best applicant for the position. From the employer’s point of view, filing a position is about creating a good “fit” for the organization with a new employee. Here are some suggestions in the job hunting process that are within your control and you can use to land that new position.
Do your homework.
This is essential in going after positions you really want. Research the company and create notes on things like new products and services they will be offering, their mission statement, new directions, divisions, ventures and partners, latest news and management. While it is not always possible to get all the information suggested here, you want to be able to articulate in some form:
– The reasons why you want to work for this company – What you find exciting about the company or division – Why you agree with the company goals and mission statement – How you are a great fit because of what you know about the organization.
Hit the Hot Buttons with your resume
It is important to view the hiring process from the employer’s standpoint. They are looking at a dozen resumes, maybe even a hundred resumes, and often they have to narrow their search for appropriate candidates from this single document. Often times we assume the prospective employer will make the connection from our past employers and duties with their needs for their open position. Do not count on it. Make every sentence support your ability to perform duties, execute projects, and demonstrate successful outcomes. You will have to be specific and resist simply stating a job title and responsibilities. Think hard about what work you have done in the past and highlight accomplishments and get specific about what you actually did. It may seem obvious to you but you might just connect with some key duties and skills that the employer is looking for. Cite details of sales goals met, department cost savings realized, award winning designs, and any other special skills you utilized that produced a desirable result. Be sure to mention any key relationships you developed between customers and within the company departments or team of people you work with.
Follow up like a closer.
After going through the application and interview process, be aware that how you follow up with the hiring decision maker may be the determining factor in getting a job offer. You want to proactively follow up with enthusiasm coupled with professionalism. If they do not have a timetable for next steps, suggest a time when you will check back with them. Be clear on what day and the exact time you will call or visit for the follow up.
Immediately after the interview, send the person you met with a card or letter thanking them for their time and for considering you as a candidate. Make sure you include a positive statement referencing a pertinent item you discussed and reiterate, succinctly, how interested you are in being part of their team.
Depending on the time line for your next contact with the interviewer, use the information you gathered from the interview regarding the position, the company and/or the people you will work with to provide a positive statement tying your interest in becoming part of a winning team. If you cannot find anything that excites you about the position – you may want to move on. Either way, a positive note along with an expressed appreciation for their time is a must.
Watch for upcoming articles for more help in your job seeking efforts. These are just a few tips that will help you sell yourself for that next great position.
The author, Rick Flores, specializes in small and medium size business strategy and has worked in the publishing, e-commerce marketplace, online travel, advertising, and outsource call center industries. He has been founder, president, and key partner for various start-ups and venture backed businesses with special focus on B to B marketing and building business relationships between large corporations and institutions with small and diversity owned small businesses.
His current venture FarmOutUSA is a call center service provider that focuses on flexible live call agent customer service for companies doing business with or entering the United States and other english speaking markets. The website can be found at http://www.farmoutusa.com
looking for job….
Great article. Obvious stuff you should do but don’t really think about when you need to.
very good article… and very true… you have to sell yourself… I’ve gotten into some great jobs doing a bit of homework and outselling others bidding for the job who had a lot more experience than I did.