There is a basic principle of business success that we can apply, or should I say, we MUST apply if we’re going to be ‘guerrilla’ job hunters (that is – job hunters who are smart, streetwise, and who use unconventional methods to get what they want).
A business is founded on the basis that it provides something that someone wants and is willing to pay for. The product or service must address a need, satisfy a desire, solve a problem, or provide value in some way.
The role of an employee is exactly the same – so when looking for a job you must provide something that an employer wants and is willing to pay you for.
It follows that if you are the affordable solution to someone’s problem they would be happy to hear from you – right? Then why is this often NOT the case when job searchers approach employers for employment? Because job hunters often don’t APPLY this, the simplest of business principles, very well.
Read and Think About This Carefully
Let’s illustrate. As someone who currently is either without a job or is looking for a better one how would YOU react if you received in the mail a letter saying the following:
Attached is my CV for your perusal. I was retrenched 6 months ago and wonder if you could help me find a job or provide a job for me. I am available immediately and have a lot of good experience.
My guess is that you wouldn’t be particularly moved by it. You probably wouldn’t respond to it, and if you did, you’d probably say “Sorry mate, but I’ve got employment problems of my own!”. The letter writer offers you, a job hunter yourself, nothing of value. He doesn’t, in any way, either acknowledge YOUR situation or offer to help YOU solve your problem.
But wait! John Doe isn’t necessarily just a USELESS beggar. He may WELL have contacts or other information that you could use very profitably in your search for a job. And you may very well have contacts and information that could help HIM!
How differently things could have worked out had John sent you this letter instead:
I understand from a mutual friend that you are looking for a job. I think I know some people who it may be worthwhile you talking to . And I have some knowledge of your industry that you may find helpful. Can we get together? I’m also looking for a position – perhaps you know some people who can help me.
What a difference! When John Doe starts acknowledging YOUR position and offering you something of value, he’ll most definitely get a positive response from you – won’t he? Yes – in fact you’ll probably pick up the phone right away to call him.
So what’s the lesson?
This: When looking for a job always focus attention on the needs of the employer.
- Offer to solve a problem.
- Offer to provide value in some way and communicate it clearly!
- Think carefully about how your skills/assets can benefit the employer.
If you can’t think of anything then should you be sending him your CV? Employers aren’t in business for philanthropy. They hire people to get some benefit. In every element of your job search (CV, covering letter, the interview, the follow up etc.) you should look for ways to apply this principle.
Come on – apply your mind! You’ll find many ways to.