Six Ps of job search
Job hunting has striking similarities to marketing a product. Like the four Ps of branding, the “P”-words for a successful campaign are positioning, process, and persistence followed closely by performance, personality, and pricing. The product is the candidate.
In order for a candidate to have the opportunity to sell his value to the targeted buyer/employer, the strategy driving the search has to be effective which means choosing the correct focus and developing the right approach.
Your job search project may be one of the most demanding, and rewarding campaigns you will ever manage. Let’s look at the ways you can improve odds in your favour through savvy job hunting and best practices in job search implementation skills.
The first step to launching a successful campaign and propelling it forward is to identify what makes you a unique candidate. With such stiff competition, it is imperative that candidates distinguish themselves. This means creating a message or an identity that is remarkable and memorable, one that will separate you from the pack of resumes hitting recruiters’ desks.
It is sometimes difficult to develop this for yourself especially if your career has depended on doing this for others. You may want to seek advice and counsel to establish your value objectively. What is it that you do better than others? What is it about you that enables you to succeed where others don’t? Is there something in your background that others easily remember? This bit of specialised, personal data is your tagline.
If you get the positioning targeted correctly, your campaign will be focused on the right employer market with a message that the buyer will value generating more employer interest. Once you have captured an employer’s attention, then you have created a chance to demonstrate your abilities that eventually may produce a job offer, the goal of your job search campaign project.
The swiftest route to a new opportunity is to identify your target employers and then address their needs in terms of how you can meet them better than anyone else. Don’t wait around for a company to advertise for a job that is perfect for you. Rather, go out there and seek out a company where you are confident you can make a positive impact, especially one measurable in dollars saved or made.
Double back to ensure that your positioning vis a vis your target employers is consistent with your most outstanding ability or characteristic that an employer will instantly value. In other words, the better the match, the greater the likelihood of capturing the employer’s interest immediately to actually satisfy their needs and exceed their expectations.
If you understand the dynamics between meeting employers’ needs first and then promoting your skills against these requirements, your chances of making a connection are much greater than if you concentrate only on your achievements and accomplishments without customising them for an individual company in a way that unmistakably proves your value.
Cite ways you can save money, save time, retain customers, reduce costs, increase sales or profits, etc.- this will offset their expenses of adding you to headcount.
The early bird, the first candidate to impress the decision maker, has a competitive advantage. So be the one to create a new job just for you by introducing yourself to employers you want to work for. This also means staying in contact with individuals with whom you “clicked” but didn’t reach an employment agreement for whatever reason. That positive interpersonal chemistry can make or break a situation in your favor so don’t let a good relationship slip away because the timing was off for hiring you.
Sticking with your job search goals also means doing a whole lot more than simply submitting a resume or an online application—go and find out who is the hiring manager and speak with them directly. This will get you name recognition and hopefully allow you to pitch them on the phone or in person with your credentials; a much better method than a written marketing document/resume by itself.
A word about focus and establishing priorities: concentrate your resources on activities with the largest potential return on your investment. While all search methods have their place, most executive jobs are filled through one avenue: personal referrals. Keep track of your contacts and refresh them periodically.
Use different methods to stay in touch varying phone, email, snail-mail, an article or clipping, invitations, face to face, etc. according to the recipient preferences. Remember that in networking, maintaining contact is key to results—out of touch can mean out of mind. Ask your contacts for advice, introductions and information—not directly for a job. Rely on your professional network and return favours generously.
Persistence in personal interactions is guaranteed to be the very best way to identify a new opportunity. Recommendations carry tremendous weight over cold calls and unsolicited inquiries. If you can get a colleague to make a direct referral to a prospective employer, your chances of being given serious consideration are much higher.
If one colleague asks another to meet with a third person, this usually happens and once you are face to face, this is the best possible circumstance to create good interpersonal chemistry and share ideas. Interactions like these often lead to creating a new opportunity specifically in response to a candidate being available; in other words an unadvertised position in the hidden job market is created just for a particular candidate. Let this be you!
Good luck and see you next week for the concluding part.
This article relied heavily on a presentation by Debra Feldman of Job-whiz.com
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