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, which is 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 very successful because both parties are thinking “what’s in it for me?” They’re neglecting to take into consideration the other side of the equation. That’s okay for the company to do, but it’s not okay for you.
Failing to consider the other person’s side extends to following up on resumes. “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.
The reason is that she was expecting the person to remember her. Failing that, she expected the person to invest their time in finding the answer. The odds are very 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 an answer.
The reason this method is more successful is because first, she clued the person in as to the position to which she was connected. Secondly 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.
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 very few resumes listed spending any time in Italy. And lastly, she hasn’t assumed anything. She’s made helping her convenient for the person with whom she’s speaking by giving that person a clue as to who she is.
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