How To Increase Your Chances 1000% For Getting The Job You Want!
It happened again today. It happens quite a lot. It happens about three times a week.
It usually comes in the form of an innocent-looking letter. I reach into the post office box and quickly flick through the bundle of letters the postman has left. Then I see it! It's in a plain white envelope. It looks full of promise.
I tear open that letter with great hope. I'm thinking, "Is this the one? I so hope it is! It could be the one! Woooohooooo!"
As I read that letter my heart always sinks a little. I become disappointed. Then I usually get annoyed. And then it's back to being disappointed.
Here's what the letter usually says:
I would like to be considered for a position with your firm.
I have a marketing degree, I feel I would be well suited to a marketing position, and I'm a team player. I am looking for a challenging marketing role.
I am a young, motivated person who has remained patient in finding a role that will fulfill my desire of establishing a long term career where I can enjoy learning.
We receive plenty of letters from people who want to apply for marketing positions. If we place an ad for a new team member, we usually receive anywhere between 120-150 replies. Most weeks, we get 2-3 job applications even if we don't run an ad.
The people who approach us for jobs are supposedly intelligent people. They have marketing degrees. Law degrees. Business degrees. Formal qualifications galore. Some have experience, others don't.
Most have spent thousands and thousands and thousands of dollars to get their qualifications. It's probably in the hundreds of thousands for many applicants.
Yet every one of the candidates who has applied for a job with us has wasted his or her money. And time.
Now, you probably noticed that I wrote that these are "supposedly intelligent people". I wrote that on purpose. Why?
These people have to be the dumbest people ever! Degree, or no degree -- they're dumb. Here's why...
They spend years of study and thousands of dollars to get a qualification. Yet they have absolutely no idea how to get a job.
A job can be a great thing. A job can set a person up for life. A job can be the start of a beautiful future.
To spend four years at a university and then not even bother to develop knowledge about how to get a job is... well, it's just plain stupid. Really stupid!
And, given the fact that these people are supposed to have marketing skills... well, then it goes beyond really stupid to be absolutely, incredibly, without question STUPID!
Marketing is simply about identifying your target market, finding out what they want, and giving it to them. That's it. Nothing more, nothing less. It ain't rocket science.
Okay, I've been mouthing off about this for a while and I still haven't said what you need to do to get a job. But I'm about to. So read on.
If I wanted a marketing job with a marketing firm here's what I would do.
Step1: Identify my target market.
I would find out about all the marketing firms in my area. I would start to research them. I'd find out everything I could about them. Everything .
Most marketing firms brag about their clients and the work they do as a way to demonstrate their expertise to prospective clients. You can easily find out:
I'd even ring some of their clients and ask questions about each marketing firm.
- What types of marketing they do
- Who their clients are
- How they market themselves
- Who the key personnel are
With that research, I have gold! Gold, I say!
Step 2: Identify what my target market wants.
I'll use my own experience here. What do I want?
What I want in my business comes down to this:
I want to make more money!
Everyone wants to make more money. I have never, ever, ever met a businessperson who doesn't want more money! Never. And I doubt I ever will.
Step 3: Give your market what they want.
The last time I advertised a position that was vacant, I received 140 replies. Not one of those 140 replies identified what I wanted. So, none of them offered me a solution.
The Case of the GIGANTIC Folder
I'm sitting here with a gigantic folder beside me that holds the details of our previous job applicants.
I'll pick three at random:
"My career objective is to continually build upon my I.T skills ... I wish to work in my fields of interest in Multimedia."
"...I have a degree in marketing and am keen to gain employment in a fast paced and innovative environment that is both challenging and rewarding."
"...I would be very pleased to obtain a position in an organisation that will enable me to learn new skills."
But I couldn't care less about the applicant's objectives (unless they are to make me money!).
I couldn't care less about the applicant's qualifications (unless they can show me how those qualifications will make me money).
I couldn't care less that the applicant wants to learn new skills (unless those skills will make me money).
Keep that garbage for the university careers counselor!
Not quite as ineffective, but still poor, is to list your skills and qualifications.
Every day is a challenge for the person who runs a business. Things don't come easily. And they're not there to make life as easy as possible for you. They are there to make a profit. Because if they don't make a profit, they don't exist.
So now that we have identified our target market (the prospective employer), and identified his or her needs, we now provide a solution. And I've just told you the main problem every business faces.
So, to get the job, you say this:
Employ me because I will make you money.
Imagine you're an employer. You're struggling along trying to make a buck. You get the usual job applications, all about me, me, me.
And then someone rocks up, grabs hold of you, and says, "Employ me because I will make you money!"
If you want to list your qualifications, that's fine. But tell the employer why your qualifications are relevant.
A marketing degree? "I have the knowledge and training to give your clients the best in marketing. What this means for you is better results, happier clients, more referrals and bigger profits."
Ability to use Macromedia products? "I can edit and develop high quality Websites, giving this business extra skills in this fast growing area. That means you can offer your clients additional services which will, of course, result in greater profits."
Ability to write and present reports? "I write superb reports with minimal effort. What this means for you is a well informed client, and an informed client is a happy client. This will also reduce the non-profitable report writing that the more experienced and profitable team members have to do -- instead, they can be out there making you more money!"
You've got to be smart about it.
The copy for our last newspaper ad included this:
"For more information about our exciting and fast-growing company, visit our Website at www.tailored.com.au."
Applicants were invited to submit their applications to the Executive Director.
Out of the 140 applicants, only two addressed the application to "Brendon Sinclair, Executive Director." The rest were to "Whom it may concern", or "Dear Sir/Madam."
Naturally, those two applicants who addressed the letter personally got an interview. And it was simply because they showed initiative enough to figure out who the Executive Director was. It was right there on the Website -- that's pretty basic stuff.
In an interview, everyone says almost exactly the same thing. It's almost impossible, in my experience, to get a straight answer to any question in an interview.
The applicant is not going to say, "Actually, I don't think I'm the best person for this job. I'm quite lazy, frequently dishonest, and usually insolent."
It's to be expected -- after all, they've practiced the 'best' answer to every possible question.
"Do you have initiative?" you might ask an applicant.
The answer is going to be "Yes!"
But of our 140 applicants, only two actually demonstrated any initiative. And the best indicator of future performance is past performance.
Of course, the other 138 applicants insisted that they showed initiative.
I work hard!
I work hard. I'm out there in the trenches each and every day trying to make my clients a buck. I'm getting rejected here, getting rejected there, then going back and trying again. Every single day.
I fail at something every single day. But I never quit.
In my business, in any business, you have to be persistent. Persistence pays off.
That application letter I received today was from one of the previous job applicants who wrote to us a year ago. She was the first person who has contacted us again after being rejected the first time. 140 people trained in marketing. It's taken a year for any of them to follow up!
Either their marketing training is hopeless, or they're just plain stupid!
I've asked the person who followed up in for a chat. If she's half decent, we'll give her a go.
If someone is persistent, they're going to be more successful at whatever they do. The best indicator of future performance is past performance.
The person I employed last year didn't work out. I went through the applications and tried again. The next person didn't work out either. Neither did the next. I tried again.
If someone says "No", they aren't saying "No" to you. What they're really saying is, "No, what you are offering doesn't meet my needs."
So, come up with a better solution, a better offer, and try again.
Almost every employer I know puts new employees on for a trial period. And they do that for one very good reason. In many, many cases the first choice doesn't work out.
Here's what else you have to do to get that job!
Let's assume you have applied for the position, had an interview, but you didn't win the job. The firm tells you by phone or letter. What do you do?
Write a sincere "Thank You" letter.
Thank you so much for the opportunity to have a chat regarding the role with your company.
Your description of the company and its philosophy was unique and sounds highly motivating, positive, and a recipe for great success. I certainly aspire to work with such a client-focused organisation and to help grow such a business.
The importance of getting the right team member can't be understated and, while I'm disappointed at not winning the position, I understand what a difficult decision it must be to select a new team member.
Thanks again, Brendon. All the very best to the Tailored team.
P.S: I saw your ad in the newspaper for your sporting goods store. It really stood out and grabbed me with that great photo. It looked great!
Remember, chances are going to be good that the person they have employed won't be up to scratch. And in your letter, you have told the employer that "the importance of getting the right team member can't be understated."
You just very subtly mentioned that the new employee must be right for the role.
You've also told the employer that you have empathy with his or her situation. This is very important. The employer now starts to identify with you.
The other thing you've done is been overwhelmingly positive. If you're not positive, your value to a business is greatly reduced.
Okay then. You've done something that 99% of job seekers don't do. If the employee doesn't work out, you will be light years ahead of your competition.
Is that it? Yes, it is.
...If you want to be like all the other losers!
You're not a loser, are you? Okay then. Keep going -- send more letters several weeks apart. Just like marketing a product in an often over-crowded market, you have to stand out. Be unique. Be different. Be noticed.
The regular contact will make you stand out. There's no question about that.
And if you think that the above approach is too strong, consider this:
You would tailor your approach to the business. You should know what will work with your prospective employer because of all the research you did earlier (and that research can be done in about an hour).
This is real life. If you want that job, you have to go and get that job. Beat the competition. This could be the start of a big, big life.
Let's go over it again.
Do those things and you will get a job. Simple.
- Identify who you want to work with. There are plenty of companies out there -- find the exact one you want to work with. It's your life that you're dealing with here. Don't waste a minute!
- Tell the employer that you will make him money.
- Tell the employer how you will make him money.
- Build a relationship with potential employers.
- Keep in contact!
Copyright © 2003
About the Author -
Brendon Sinclair is Executive Director at the Tailored Consulting media center. If you like Brendon's unique ideas, and his "No BS" approach to dispensing advice, be sure to check his newest product, The Web Design Business Kit with over 700 pages of cutting edge content.
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