Many people take the wrong approach to the job search and you may be one of them.
The resume is often where trouble begins. Leading with your “objective” is a waste of the few valuable seconds of attention your prospective employer gives you while zipping through resumes. Employers care little about what you want. They want to know how you can help them.
Get into the employer’s head. Good research is not so much about knowing when the company was founded. It’s about checking around to see if you know anyone who knows your interviewer and discovering the emotional buttons that will produce the best response.
Start with a summary that clearly describes what you bring to the table. What are the things in your background that make you valuable to the employer? Be plain spoken and avoid bureaucratic jargon.
List accomplishments, not titles or duties. If you were V-P of this or that for four years, show what you got accomplished while there. Employers want to see proof. Be prepared to produce it. Example:
Supervised a sales staff of four, offered strategic advice and provided input on various areas of operations. Blah, blah, blah.
Supervised a sales team that produce a 67% jump in sales in three years. Our staff turnover rate was cut in half under my supervision.
On salary, never tell them what you are making. If they ask, say ” I feel that is proprietary information I wouldn’t like to share.” If they ask, “What would you like to make, respond with, “What salary range do you have in mind?” Do your best to get them to put a figure up first. It may be more than you were hoping for. Career consultant Maggie Mistal recommends you don’t bring salary up until you have convinced them you’re a superstar. They may then be willing to go for a higher salary than they anticipated.
Remember, nothings sells like passion. Show enthusiasm for what you do and how you can help.
The best way to catch trout is to fish in a trout stream, so swim in the right streams. Network where you have the chance of making the contacts that will help you.
Don’t forget to follow up with a note if you are still interested in the job. A real letter beats an email every time.
There is something special about each of us. Don’t keep it a secret. Knock ’em dead!
The writer runs a communication consulting and coaching business. Do not hesitate to contact Mark for help.