Are you ready to get serious about your job search? Jobs don’t grow on trees, but there are plenty of job openings on the market, around the world. To find the right job for you, follow these five steps to looking for a job like a sales pro. Why? Because there are companies out there hiring, but they’re not sitting around waiting for you to apply.
Much like with sales you can prospect, research, utilize marketing materials, make a compelling presentation and then follow up to help persuade the prospective company to hire you. The sales process is tried and true. Further you are going to need to convince someone in the company you ultimately want to work for why you are the best choice for their opening. Selling is not a bad thing, when done right, for the proper motives.
Ready to begin? Great! Before you can begin making a strong sales pitch on why anyone should hire you the first thing you’ll need to do is prospect.
All sales professionals worth our salt prospect for clients. As a job seeker, your prospecting for your future employer. The process is similar. We are looking for companies that fit our client profile and you should look for companies who are hiring in your desired field. Not all sales prospects are valued the same, neither will your prospective employers be. In sales, we rank sales prospects, based on our criteria. You should do something similar with companies in your field. You might prefer larger companies, or family owned companies or even ones with multiple locations. Whatever criteria you decide to rank them by, create a list and then work to research the ones highest on your list.
In your job search there’s a few types of research that should be done. Here are some of the main things that should be considered. Your specific research might include other things too. Each job seeker has a specific set of needs and preferences that can shape what should be researched. Regardless of what you dig into, you’ll primarily use the internet to search. Don’t forget to utilize social media to ask questions from those you have connected to. You can put out poll questions, send DM’s, get on company pages and utilize search engines. A sales professional learns how to find information because of the value it offers. In your job hunt, information can help you make more money, increase your quality of life and avoid pitfalls. Be thorough. The preparation time will pay dividends later.
If you’re not looking to move, you can skip this, however if you’re open to relocation, find out all you can. Before you begin looking into different companies, you should know about the area. If you find a great company but end up working in a place you don’t like, you can still be miserable in the long run. Check out the cost of living, the demographics of the area, what is there to do for fun? Most people tend to gloss over this important step. Don’t! From the weather to culture, the community in where you would live to work at a new job should be studied. Don’t jump head first into a job and then find out you hate your surroundings. Job satisfaction is affected by your overall quality of life.
Seems obvious but far too many job seekers seem to skip out on looking up the company they are interviewing for. You want to know what the company says about itself on their website. Look and see what Glass Door and others have to say about working for the company. Are you looking for a traditional buttoned up atmosphere or are you looking for common spaces and a gym?
The culture of a company is just as important as what they do and how well they pay. Finding a job is hard. Being happy in the job after you get hired should not be left to chance. Do your homework. The research will help you in the interview process and give you peace of mind to accept a pending job offer. Another good tip is to look up the competitors to the company you’re interviewing for. What makes them different, relative size, how are they doing comparatively in the market place? These answers can help you. The more you know and the better you prepare, the more likely you will ace your interviews.
You should research what others in this line of work make. What if the company makes you a low-ball offer, but because you didn’t do the research, you accept it? How are you supposed to weigh the option of working for a company in an area, once you know the cost of living, if you don’t also get an idea of the rate of pay? Perhaps you are looking at switching industries and one of your options pays significantly more than another option.
You also want to look at if the jobs you’re considering are traditionally full time with benefits or contract positions without benefits. If the position normally comes with benefits, what is standard? Being prepared will help you make decisions on what jobs to pursue, where to pursue them and later what offers to accept. The research can also help you in the event the interviewer asks you for the compensation you are seeking. You want to be able to speak intelligently, without leaving money on the table, so you’re compensated fairly.
Your resume is the primary marketing piece in a job search however it isn’t the only one. You will likely also use social media, emails, thank you cards and voice mails too. Every word and image are important. Videos are also becoming more and more common. The bottom line with all these items is they need to demonstrate why someone should hire you. Each piece needs to be well written, following professional etiquette, utilizing good grammar and avoiding platitudes. You want to build a case of what sets you apart and makes you the ideal candidate to solve their issue. Companies are hiring to fill a need or set of needs.
One of the most common mistakes on resume and social media profiles is with the description of past jobs. The number one thing a potential employer wants to see is the transferable skills that you learned from or developed in your former position, that you will bring with you moving forward. They don’t need a play by play of how you spent your time. Think of your resume like a sales brochure. You are the product. Your previous job experience helped you develop certain skills. List out the skills and or how you improved pre-existing skills.
Another common mistake is with the formatting of the information. Far too many resumes have a hodge podge of mismatched themes, fonts and styles. The resume needs to be pleasing to the eye, easy to read and inviting. Take the time to format your marketing material like your job depends on it. Make sure the most important material is up at the top too. The average resume is scanned with a first glance that lasts only 6 seconds on average. Make sure your resume is compelling, with the highlights easy to read. The format can make or break your chance to get an interview.
The presentation in sales is where all the preparation pays off. Want to win a conversation? Being able to speak intelligently and be interesting to the other people in the conversation helps. Remember at the end of the day, they’re looking to hire someone who will fit in their culture and resolve their specific issues.
The job opening can be won or lost in the interview. You will greatly increase your odds of winning if you ask relevant questions and highlight how your skills and experience fit their needs. You want to be friendly, maintain good eye contact, use good posture and dress to impress.
Other musts are showing up 5 minutes early, come prepared with extra copies of your resume, bring a pen, make sure you don’t smell bad. The little details can make a big difference in an interview. From well-groomed hair to clean shoes, make sure you are buttoned up and presentable. Not everyone cares about all these things, but odds are, the interviewer will care about one or more of them. Don’t blow it by gambling on missing what one would offend.
Be friendly. You might be nervous. Coming off as unfriendly because you’re trying to be overly professional or you’ve clammed up isn’t good. The single biggest thing you can do is to consciously smile. Whenever you’re not talking, make it a point to smile. When the interview is done, thank them for the opportunity as well. A smile and a thank you goes a very long way in today’s world.
Before the interview ends, ask for the email and phone number of the interviewer. To be successful in sales, you must follow up and the same goes for landing a good job. If you really want the job you interviewed for, then don’t leave it to chance. You should send a thank you email to the person who interviewed you. Beyond the thank you, you’ll want to reach back out to check in on the status of the opening. In the interview, you should ask about the timing, to know when to follow up. Simply following up will show them that you are serious.
We live in an instant society, but we also live in an out of sight, out of mind society. If they don’t hire you on the spot, the best way to get the job is to stay on the top of their mind. You can aid in that effort by following up.
Successfully landing a job is like selling something to a prospect. The strategy you use, your preparation, and the proper execution of your technique all make an impact. Remember that companies are not in business to buy from salespeople, nor did they set out to hire you. With sales and a job search, to win, you must convince the prospect that the solution you offer addresses their needs, fits their budget and