Change is good, my friends! Is it time for you to find a new opportunity? Or do you know someone who needs some help? I had a bunch of people come to me lately for job search advice, so I figured I would drop some knowledge bombs on ya’ll!
Here’s the scoop. For more than a decade, I have helped thousands of people make career change decisions and I know it can be tough. Probably the hardest part is going through the application process and especially the interview!
Why do we get so scared? Well, it’s all about fear of rejection. So, I have compiled some pretty solid pieces of advice for you to combat that fear of rejection and put the control back in YOUR hands.
1) Know thyself
Before you start prospecting for jobs, take some time understanding yourself! What do you believe in? What skills are you most proud of? How would other people describe you or introduce you? What SUPERPOWER do you possess that you do so uniquely well? Now try to explain that with confidence. I would suggest you practice saying it into a mirror to get comfortable and test it on your friends and family. Ask them if it sounds like you. This will help you prepare mentally to talk about yourself in a positive way. Think of it like an elevator pitch.
BUT NEVER WING IT.[Tweet “What SUPERPOWER do you possess?”]
2) Know your audience
Before you start applying for jobs, RESEARCH who you will be talking to! There is so much information online these days that you are crazy not to tap into it. Look up the potential employers and see what they say on their website. What language or descriptive words do they use to describe their business? Their vision, values, beliefs, customer strategy, etc?
Use that info in your application and in your language when speaking to them. They will feel as though you are speaking their language and already part of the team!
Go check them out on Linked In, Google the hiring manager’s name, find out if you are connected to the company in some way with a shared connection. Get to know who they are and what they believe in.
And think about how your values and their values are similar. What do you both believe in tha tcan be a source of a great connection and long term relationship?
3) Be interesting
Okay, this sounds like a simple concept, but here is my number one piece of advice:
“It’s not that they’re not interested, it’s that you are uninteresting. Get interesting.”
How often do we all receive messages from marketing, sales, or even friends that are just BORING? Well, if you want to stand out, be interesting. In your resume, cover letter, and interview ask yourself what you are doing to stand out. You can be humorous, thought-provoking, create curiosity, or even be solutions-oriented. But the trick to selling ANYTHING (and you are in sales when you are job searching) is to find a way to break your audiences normal pattern and stand out. You have to create some sort of agitation in the mind of the other person to create awareness that you exist.
What if you came up with an idea on how they could market their product or service and put that in your cover letter? Or did a survey of ten of your friends on what they thought of that company and put the results in your cover letter, along with your solutions to improve the responses? Even if you are applying for a job at the bottom of the ladder, thinking in those terms will skyrocket your success.
So what will you do that makes you interesting?
Also, read my post and watch the video on surrounding yourself with success and giving your total energy to people. That is a BIG tip.[Tweet ““It’s not that they’re not interested, it’s that you are uninteresting. Get interesting.””]
4) Talk results, not responsibilities
Here is a huge step people miss. Have a look at most Linked In profiles. What do they say? Something like, “I did this and this and this and this. My role was this, and then I did this.” Most resumes only show roles and responsibilities and leave it up to the company to determine if your background matches their needs. Switch it up!
Make your resume read like a story and show what results you accomplished. Even better, write it in a way that they will think you could do the same thing for them.
For example, if you are applying for a job that asks for customer service experience, most people write on their resume, “customer service experience.” BORING and who cares?
Instead, write something like, “Increased customer satisfaction rates by introducing myself and asking first names of every customer. This lead to a decrease in customer complaints over a six month period.” Just an idea.
What did YOU do in your last role that made an impact and made a difference? Tell your story.
5) Use the YOU/BECA– USE method
This is my favorite technique to use with anyone. I previously wrote about it here. It is very simple. People LOVE to hear the word “you” when you speak with them. If you combine it with the word “because,” it drives engagement into the high 90%.
So my advice is to take the research you found in step two, and use it with this technique. Here are some examples:
- “I am so excited to meet YOU today BECA– USE I have heard that you are one of the best companies in terms of employee engagement.”
- “I would be so happy to be able to visit YOU BECA– USE when I was reviewing your website, words like vision, compassion, love, all resonate with me and my own values. Let’s set up an interview!”
- “I was so pumped to meet with YOU today BECA– USE I know how well respected you are in our community and heard what a great office environment you have.”
- “Thank YOU for taking time to see me today, my friend ____ told me about how your office is so involved in the community and I was excited BECA– USE I do quite a bit of volunteer work myself.”
Do you see how powerful that language is? If you master this, you will be unstoppable! Remember that if you get the job, this is the beginning of a long-term relationship, so get good at connecting!
6) Follow up like a champ
If someone has taken the time to see you, send them a very simple follow up thank you card the next day. Hand write it, make it interesting, use, YOU/BECA– USE, and restate your personal brand statement.
If you don’t get the job, that’s fine.
And if you don’t get the job after all that, guess what? It may not be a good fit, but you will be remembered and they may still find a way to help you. I have seen this happen so many times that a GREAT interview and application process led to referrals to other companies. So what will you do to be memorable and someone others will want to help?
So take the time to make an impact in your search! And post comments below with any ideas you have.