Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Job Search sales

My last post was on “branding” and creating a consistent message or “brand” when talking about your work skills and talents. This post takes the concept of approaching job search as a sales job a bit further.

I distinguish between good sales and bad sales. “Good sales” is when we identify real problems and offer a solution that addresses it successfully. We’ve all experienced it, and we tend to remember the person or people that helped us with it. It’s amazing how many processes look like this, for example: In IT, a good job of analysis and development fits. It is also what we’re doing in job search.

A tool I use to organize this process is “OGOOALS”.

OGOOALS system for thinking about job search (and sales)
Orientation: “Hi, How are you” portion. Very short, especially the first time you meet. Standard pleasantries… you know the things, weather, Mariners, Seahawks, stuff like this. Meaningless, mostly used to initiate the conversation and cover the ourselves as we measure each other physically

Gather: Asking about the company, the job, the environment, the tools, etc. This is the meat of the time and the meat of your approach. Orientation only happens in person, Gather starts way before you meet. It’s reading the job description, the web page, etc. The purpose is to find out what problem is being solved. Are they expanding? Did they just fire someone? Are they changing direction? Why are they looking?

Offer a solution: Once you understand the problem, look at your history and provide a way to solve the problem based on your experience and your strengths. If they advertised for a Java developer, but the problem is a poorly designed web page, address the Java, but focus on the problem. What of your strengths will allow you to redesign this web page so that it solves whatever problem it was intended for.

Offer proof: You proposed a solution, now show them proof that you can implement the solution. What in your work history qualifies you to do this? How can they be certain that you are the one who really can implement this solution.

Ask for the sale: “I would love to work here, what’s the next step in that process?” or “I would love to be the person that tackles this problem for you. What needs to happen for that to occur?” Then listen. Let them tell you how to move forward. Wait. If they need to think their answer through, respect that silence.

Leave the premises. You know you have the job or you know the next step, so say “Thank you” , and leave. Don’t ask about the wife/husband or the Mariners or the weather. The interview is complete, Leave.

Send a thank you note. Hand written. Email works as an add-on, but the hand written is what counts. If you can walk it in, do so. It’s another touch. People are hired, not resume’s and not skill sets, so as you become more of a person, you are more likely to be hired.

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