Landing a job isn't Rocket Science but more of an
interpersonal relationship building effort based on
an understanding that the applicant not only has
the "right stuff" but has shown the ability and risk
taking to bring about changes that benefit a team
and a company to be better prepared, positioned,
more competitive and/or more attractive in the
marketplace to stay or become an industry leader.
Cover letters are often stale, boring and dumped into shredders quickly.
So often they contend the applicant can fix the company's problems without a clue
to what those problems are ... no insight, no vision, just big bold but empty claims.
SO, how do you differentiate yourself from the masses?
NETWORKING is the first key to your success.
Find people who are either employed there or know the company from doing business
with them. Ask what's broke and what needs to get fixed and determine if you have
the skills to help fix this. Insight is also needed and this is what you just obtained!
DIFFERENTIATION is the second key to your success.
Remember, Corporate Recruiting is designed to keep you away from hiring managers.
You will need to find someone who is being feeling the pain from this problem as this
will get their attention. So what if it goes to a Sr. VP who then walks your letter to the
manager who "owns" this problem with the suggestion they contact you. It's going to
take a lot to ignore a personally directed suggestion to a subordinate.
In your Cover Letter be frank and direct: In my studies of your company I found a
repeated criticism in the way you __________. I was involved in an activity very
similar to what you appear to need to achieve to resolve this challenging matter.
The process I implemented brought a significant improvement in customer feedback
and revenues began to rise again. Please let me know if you are interested in how I
can bring this solution to you in a full-time position with your company.
You are showing that:
a) you have genuine interest in the company through your research
(which may be something they have yet to fully discover themselves)
b) you can see a problem to help the company move forward successfully
c) you have the vision and strength to take on the problem for resolution
d) you are someone who can map a plan then drive a group to success
One risk is they don't realize there is a problem or elect not to acknowledge it.
If this is the case you need to consider if this is where you want to spend your career
THE BRAG BOOK is the third key to your success.
A "Brag Book" can bring your skills to the top of their desired applicants list.
A "Brag Book" is a nicely done "scrap book" of things that you did in your life and
career that made an impact:
* You helped raise money for a cause that was underfunded or overlooked
* You started an organization to help those needing a hand up vs. a hand out
* You saw an opportunity to expand the knowledge of others and taught them
* You were recognized by civic, government, employers or customers for your work
* You won awards for achievement, excellence, innovation, etc., etc.
* You envisioned improvements for processes, standards, safety, education, etc.
Pack your "Brag Book" with newspaper or company announcements, copies of any
awards, plaques or trophies you receive ideally from when you were given these,
pictures with recognized leaders or organizations including elected officials who see
and acknowledge the value you brought.
The next step is to make this readily reproducible. Many ask why and the answer is
rather simple. Done well, this is a "knockout" to your competition and something an
interviewer will want time to explore thus will want to take your copy that you
brought with you. In lieu of leaving it, offer to create a copy and bring that to them.
Why you ask?
First, it builds anticipation and excitement. Second, it is another face-to-face
meeting to walk through the "Brag Book", to discuss entries and learn more about how
good you really are. You have someone who is excited to watch your commercials.
Face-to-face meetings help build relationships which increases your potential for
being hired, or "closing the deal".
Once the Brag Book presentation session completes, allow them to keep it for a few
days for examination at their leisure. This allows them the time to become further
"hooked" on what you can bring to their team and company but also the opportunity
for them to share your book and impress others. This foundation building may open
an opportunity to negotiate a better offer based on your proven record of success.
Recreating all these pages will be a considerable effort so you want to scan each page
in color so they can quickly be printed, tabs inserted as appropriate, and placed in a
binder or equivalent for the easy turning of pages and focus on your great skills and
contributions you have made. Remember, most job applicants struggle to think of
accomplishments or successes they have had in their career. You have a binder full.
And just like your Resume, keep both updated every 3 to 4 months so information is
fresh, documentation and supporting material are still readily available, and you don't
let something of value be forgotten that further supports your contention, they need
to hire you.
For those who feel this may be inappropriate or improper conduct in a job search,
discuss this with any successful sales representative. You may find they use the same
concepts to close business deals in a legal and ethical manner. Yes, when you are in a
job search, you are in sales!