Getting the Interview (Part 1)
A gentleman sat across from me sharing his professional history, skills, and strengths. As he related the steps he’d taken to find a job over the past 4 months, I watched the sun glint on the little streaks of gray in his hair and realized his head was bent from the weight of the job-search as he spoke. So often, I thought, a fruitless job-search leads to lack of dignity, shame and a sense of isolation. How hard this is… cue the music.
Suddenly, he looked up and said with incredible ferocity, “If I can just speak with someone, I know they will hire me. I just need to get the interview!” Wow, okay.
If you’ve looked for a job recently, you may have experienced this same frustration whether you have grey streaks in your hair or sport the shiny locks of youth. Perhaps you’ve searched and read everything you can on self-branding, resume writing and networking. Maybe you changed your resume for each job, can deliver your 30-second brand statement perfectly and applied online to positions more times than you can count. Still, after months, you have not landed THE INTERVIEW.
You are not alone. So many clients come to Christian HELP with the same issue.
May I suggest something different?
Change your thinking before you change your brand, your resume, your networking strategy or even your hair color.
If you want to get the interview, THINK like a Marketer, then COMMUNICATE like one.
The best Marketers clearly define the value of their product and they define who is most likely to buy it. They know their product and their target market. They communicate with the right audience in ways that engage and entice the target market to buy.
My apologies if this offends, but you (your gifting, skills, education and experience) are a unique product for which the need or want must be communicated to the right audience in a way they can understand so an exchange may take place.
Perhaps you don’t like being called a product. Let me ask you this…
What would you call something that is uniquely designed to have value, changes the environment it’s in, contributes to the health and growth of its environment and costs money to have and use?
Well, most people would call that a product. You can also call it a potential Employee. For now, let’s call this product YOU
YOU have a specific set of skills, education, attitude, aptitude, character and experience that, along with the desired salary, defines the value of YOU in the marketplace.
Put everything on the table. All your Skills, Aptitude, Values (beliefs), Education, Attitude, Character and Experience. This should be categorized and somewhat lengthy but not tied to a specific job posting.
Read it through. What words come to mind? If you need help thinking of the main words, copy and paste your list into Word Art Program. This will show what you offer an organization and should define the position you are most likely to fill.
This is product YOU.
Specific types of companies want what you have to offer and align with what you stand for. Those are the ones that will offer you the interview.
Think of and list descriptors that enable/empower you to contribute at your highest level. I don’t mean salary, benefits or time off right now. Is it Innovation? Solutions? Virtual work? Precision? Faith? Social Responsibility? Integrity? Autonomy? Growth/Support? Learning? Team projects? Diversity? Millennial or Intergenerational workforce? Fun?
Use that list to define the types of companies most likely to “buy” product YOU. Research to develop a list of specific companies that align with these. You can find information under “About us” or “Company Culture” on the company website, and on Glassdoor or LinkedIn, sites that give information about company culture and working environment. Examine each company’s open positions. You should come away with a list of companies likely to “buy” you for open positions in your field.
That list is your Target Market and represents the companies you will communicate with to market Product YOU.
Before you send your resume to your target market, let’s make sure you are prepared to communicate like a Marketer so you have the best chance of getting the interview. We’ll cover that in our next blog.
For now, go out and think like a Marketer!
If you want more information or Career Advice, visit our CFEC.org website.
Read part 2 of Getting the Interview HERE.