Many people think that they need to “sell themselves” in a job interview when the entire process should be viewed and executed as a sales process. Here are the reasons why.
- The Competition is Intense
Everyone who is making a buying decision has a significant number of choices – there are hundreds of pairs of sunglasses, jeans and virtually any item you can think of from which to choose. In 2016, over 300,000 people graduated from Canadian universities more than double the number of graduates in the mid-1980s. Organizations have broader and deeper pools of candidates from which to choose. Many jobs posted on the internet attract hundreds of candidates.
2. Product Knowledge is Key
Any sales person must know the features and benefits of the products or services they are selling – there must be a compelling value proposition. Similarly, you must have a clearly articulated Personal Value Proposition (PVP) that clearly articulates your skills, knowledge, attributes and goals to present to prospective buyers (employers). Your PVP must be consistently echoed in your resume, LinkedIn profile and anywhere else a prospective employer can find you.
3. Targeting Potential Employers is Imperative
Like a salesperson, you have finite resources and you need to focus those resources on a limited number of organizations. Trying to target a large number of companies will spread you too thin and be ineffective. Use your PVP to identify organizations that are of interest to you and who will likely be interested in you.
4. Collateral Materials are Important
Collateral materials, your resume and LinkedIn profile, are your print and digital ads respectively. Make sure they are professional, create the desired impression and communicate the correct information.
5. Asking Questions and Listening is Critical
Research demonstrates that good sales people ask lots of questions and listen well in meetings. Do the same in informational meetings – have a list of thoughtful questions written down in a notebook. Read the questions and take notes.
6. Perseverance is Mandatory
Extensive studies of sales processes indicate that it usually takes a number of meetings to close a sale. Do not be discouraged when your first meetings do not lead to a job. Expect that it will take numerous meetings before you are ultimately successful. All you need is one “yes” even if it is after a lot of “nos”.
Contact LAUNCHED if you are having difficulty getting your career launched.