Irrespective of the country’s economic circumstances, the process of getting a job, while never easy, isn’t impossible. It’s really a matter of knowing how the system operates and the ground rules, and working within them to make it work for you.
What most people don’t fully understand is that finding a job is an exercise in marketing psychology and communication. That is, as a job hunter, you have to target your “consumer” – the company in which the job opening of interest exists.
You have to determine what they need and want. You then have to tailor your “product,” your presentation of yourself, to them to meet that need. In other words, you have to define their opening as a “problem” then sell them that you’re the “solution” to it. This is irrespective of job level.
Bob Wallace,* a multi-faceted laser engineer, found himself looking for a new position when downsizing eliminated his research job. Because of his level of expertise, he expected to be re-employed almost immediately. Months later he was immobilized by frustration and confusion.
“I read the ads, sent out my two-page resume which includes a listing of some of my patents and technical articles. I know my experience matches what they want, but most of the time I don’t get an interview. Worse yet,” added Bob, “I don’t even get a form-letter rejection. It just doesn’t make any sense.”
Of course, being an “expert” (experienced and skilled) at what you do is important. It’s necessary but not sufficient. To get a job you have to think of yourself as a commodity then figure out how to promote and sell it. The fact is that you can’t be hired unless you’re interviewed, and you can’t be interviewed unless you’ve gotten your foot in the door by convincing the potential employer that you are someone worth meeting.
You do that by effectively marketing the benefits you offer to them: Position-relevant skills, abilities, knowledge, and results-producing experience. Everything you do has to shout to them, “I can increase your bottom line!”
Getting a job is hard work. Don’t be fooled into thinking that if you can throw together a resume and check out relevant want ads, the world will come rushing to your door, waving opportunities in your face. Au contraire. Job hunting for all but the very powerful requires considerable time, on average twelve weeks of full-time organized effort, and saintly patience.
It’s the Olympics and your competition for nearly any type of job is many, varied, and strong. But there are strategies available which can put you in the faster lane. These strategies require your knowing the following:
- What specifically and concretely you want in a job
- What is available at the time which most closely fits your requirements
- What specific and concrete benefits you have to offer
- What you have done already to get desired work/company results, increase sales, productivity, or profits, or decrease waste or costs
- What you are willing to do to get it – how much research, effort, time, and reconstructing your image to match the job profile
- How you will work to influence decision makers to see the goodness-of-fit between you and your job.