You're selling a product and the product is you. So much of what I teach involves advanced sales techniques, as they apply to job hunting. That's because job seekers are too "me" focused when the buyer (the hiring company) wants to know what's in it for them. When the buyer is about "me" and the job seeker is about "me," the interview won't be successful. They're neglecting to take into consideration the other side of the equation.
Getting Answers When Calling
Failing to consider the other person's side extends to following up on resumes. For example, if you call and say: "Hi my name is Mary Johnson. I sent you my resume last week, and I was wondering if you received it." The response, invariably, is "If you sent it, we have it." And Mary hangs up the phone frustrated, no wiser than before she called.
Mary was expecting the person to remember her. Failing that, she expected the person to invest their time in finding the answer. The odds are low on both. Had she said, "Hi my name is Mary Johnson. I have 10 years' experience in marketing, specialize in product rollouts and spent last summer in Italy. I sent in my resume for the director of marketing position and was wondering if you'd received it?" She'd have had better luck receiving a helpful answer.
Why is this method more successful? First, she clued the person in to the position in question (director of marketing). Second, assuming product rollout experience was a requirement in the ad, she indicated she had relevant experience. And third, she's mentioned something that probably has made her stand out among the others who sent in a resume (spent last summer in Italy).
The memorable fact doesn't need to be related to the position, but it does need to be something unique so it's likely to cause a bell to go off. Odds are that very few resumes listed spending any time in Italy. Lastly, she hasn't assumed anything. She's made it convenient for the person with whom she's speaking to help her by giving that person a clue as to who she is.
Help Recipient Identify You
With emails, most people automatically click "reply, neglecting to change the subject line. If you're emailing with a hiring authority, this can cost you in multiple ways. In the message, people commit the same violation they do in the phone example above. They fail to fill in the circumstances or tag themselves to facilitate identification. They behave as if the person they're emailing doesn't email with anyone else or has been sitting at their desk, waiting for this particular email.
Pay attention and give hints. Wouldn't you rather your name be connected to appreciation rather than annoyance?
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