Our Program Begins
My coaching sessions often start by me asking the candidate a question (for those that are currently unemployed)
Do you consider yourself currently unemployed?
The common answer is “Yes, of course.”
My reply sets the tone for the rest of the discussion. I reply, ” Well, that is the very first misconception we need to eliminate. The truth is you have a job, it just does not pay very well at the moment. You are the Sales and Marketing Manager of yourself.”
I can hear the “little voices” already WAIT A MINUTE! I am NOT a salesman! What are you talking about?
No matter what your personal situation is, you must put it behind you. You are about to begin an intensive workshop, requiring your full attention when you work at it. My hope is that you are motivated to win. First you are going to eliminate some misconceptions about what this job of finding a job is. In the simplest terms, it is a “Sales Job” and you are the Sales and Marketing Manager of yourself. Your Resume and cover letters are your Brochure, and they have to contain the right kinds of things. Then you will build a marketing plan, and work it with energy.
This is why you are doing so poorly at the task. Most people don’t even know what they are supposed to do much less how to do it. So, how are “we” going to train you? Well, that is simple, it just may not be easy. Weare going to walk you through each step and you are going to do that one step very well, and then move on to the next step and do that one well too. Before you know it you will be doing the right things and doing them all very well.
Oh, and for those who said they you’re not salesmen, we just laugh. The truth is – we are all Salesmen. You are selling all the time. When you get your spouse to do something your way, you are selling, when you get cooperation out of children you are selling, when you go where you want to go for lunch, you have sold us on the idea. You just never talk in those terms. You will hear them a lot here though, because they are the best natural example of what you have to do to be successful, and that is Sell Yourself.
In order to sell something, what is the first thing that you need to know?
You need to know about what it is you are selling, what are the features and benefits of your “Product” what advantages do you have? what work will you do others will not, how flexible are you it, do you come pre trained? You see, it can all be related to sales or the sales model.
The good news is this: In order to get out of this job, called Sales and Marketing Management of yourself, you only have to make ONE sale, and then you can go back to being whatever it is you do on a regular basis.
Let’s imagine for a minute that you want to sell your car. What is the first thing you should do? Clean it up! Of Course!
If you don’t clean it up, you could take longer to sell it and probably get less money for it. Just like a car though, if it is shinny and clean and looks good all around, even under the hood and in the trunk, it will likely sell faster and you may you get some more money for it, maybe even a lot more. This program is how you are going to clean up your product….YOU.
Also I will teach you some tricks about selling. It may seem obvious to you, but let’s look at this example. Imagine you “think” the transmission on your car is going to go soon. It is not gone yet, but you feel it could go in the next few months. You have to decide how to deal with this perceived weakness. Do you tell the buyers that the transmission is probably going to go soon? Maybe, maybe not, but how you tell them is really important.
You say, “Good car, but the transmission will probably go soon, you can’t tell” What would you think if you were told that? You would think, “Don’t buy it. This guy is only selling it because he thinks it’s going to go any minute”
You might say, “It’s been a really good car, but you have decided to move up to a newer model. You have had it serviced regularly, and the only comment you have had back was to “keep an eye” on the transmission. You took that into account when you set the price you were asking for it, and that’s why it might seem very reasonably priced to you. You want to be fair. Do you want to take it for a test drive?
Review: The above example oversimplifies a more complex problem. It does, however, illustrate nicely the subtle differences and major impact good changes in our presentation could have on the outcome. Would you agree that someone hearing the second story has been told the Truth, but in such a way that it helps the process NOT hinders it
Many job seekers suffer from a disease I call “Terminal Honesty” By the time they are finished being honest about themselves, their previous jobs, their old boss or the reasons they left companies, THEY ARE DEAD. But they want to “Be Honest” So do you, but in a way that won’t kill you! We will never coach you to lie or purposefully misrepresent the truth to get a job. This is fraudulent and grounds for immediate dismissal NO MATTER when the lie is discovered.
I will show you how to use language to minimize the negative impact as much as possible, thereby increasing your chances of success.
Let us also look at what scares you, because you CANNOT let anyone know you are afraid of anything. Some call this your “Game Face”. When you have your Game Face on, no one can tell that not quite everything in your life is perfect right now. Some might call it a Poker face.
You all have situations, problems, challenges, worries and a whole list of elements in your life that give you concern. It may be good news to you that those on the other side of the table have them also. However, here in the interview process is no place for them to come up and get in our way. The interviewer is looking for problems. Let us not contribute to their concern about us as an employee, rather, be ready to put their mind at ease about any concerns by our behavior and actions and answers. Here is a small list of some of the things you cannot afford to bring into an interview situation. See if you recognize any of them, and let’s agree to leave them in the car when you go into an interview situation:
I am afraid I am:
Not well trained enough
Had too many jobs
Had only one job for a very long time
Not a computer wizard
Going to run out of money
Not going to be loved anymore because I failed
Going to have to change industries
Too chicken to start my own business
Going to have to “Consult”
No good at interviewing
Good on a team but lousy on my own
Never going to earn as much money
Going to loose my retirement money
and on and on and on…….
Let’s face it, you all have problems of one kind or another. You are going to have to make plans, make sacrifices reduce expenses for a while, maybe sell the big house, or things like that. The truth is I cannot help you in those areas at all. I am telling you that you have to keep it separate or it will kill this job hunt. I am not saying don’t worry. I am saying don’t let the client know, that’s all.
While you are doing the job hunt work, you must try to think of nothing else. You want to be single minded. Our program will keep you busy, don’t worry about that.
Another analogy I like is that of a garden. Each human being has been given the same gift. The gift is that “whatever we focus on – grows“.
We all have a garden area and can plant whatever you want. In this case, we want a crop of corn. If we both have an acre of land, and only our own two hands to use, the amount of work you do will directly affect the results. Perhaps my plan is to plant two or three seeds a day, talk to the other farmers about how bad things are, go to the seed store and buy another small package, and chat with them. They then go and ask the local expert how the crop will do and then go back and plant three more seeds the next day.
Meanwhile, you went to town once, bought a whole big bag of seeds and got busy planting and you were planting 30-40 seeds a day. Then you discovered if you worked two extra nights a week, you could average 50 per day. Then the days go by, and the story repeats, I plant six, you plant fifty. In a week I have planted 30 seeds, and you have planted 250. In a month I have planted 120 and you have planted 1000. Is anyone having trouble seeing the moral of the story? You will have a crop, feed the family and I will look like I am working, asking good questions, seem like I am busy, I am just not productive.
The purpose of this course is to make you productive in your job hunt efforts, and the level of commitment and effort required is not much different than the garden story. There is a need for speed. People are counting on you. It does not matter to them how hard this is for you, they just want you to get it done so you can all relax and go back to your normal life.
I tell people that this is a full time job working 40 hours a week minimum. For currently employed people it is 15 hours a week. I know that is a lot of time, but few things in your life are as important as this. Our program has you run your job Sendouts like campaigns in a military maneuver. You get fully ready for one, launch it and while it is out working for you, get ready to start another one. This keeps the tasks rolling and once you have launched two or three you have some intense follow up to do to drive the opportunity level to its maximum.
“The longest journey starts with the first step” So, let us begin shall we?
You will start by planning how you want to be organized. Will you use a manual system or a computer based system? Either way, it is your job to keep it accurate.
Lets Get Organized BEFORE you get busy!!
This is a very key moment in our job search. It becomes very important now to be absolutely committed to a follow-up plan. Even if you are a slob at heart, this is the time to promise yourself, you will NOT FAIL at this part. Let me tell you why.
You are about to start contacting and talking to a large number of different people. If you know what you said last and when you should talk again you give the appearance of being organized and serious in your effort. On the other hand, if you have forgotten when you spoke last or what was said or what you promised, you could give the impression of being unorganized and not professional or serious at all. Given that your whole purpose here is to impress those you speak to sufficiently that they want to hire you for their company, you cannot afford the risk of not being fully informed and in control of the process.
Things you have to keep track of follow up and know: who, where, what, when and why:
Jobs you find you applied to
Which version of the resume you sent
Who you sent it to and when: Name address, title, company
When you will be calling back
Interviews you have scheduled
Interviews you have attended, outcome and follow-up date
Who has said NO and there is no point in calling back
What you have to do today, this week and this month
Where you have ongoing activity that could lead to a job, and what stage it’s at.
Your research is going to create long lists of companies that you will want to keep track of. These are the lists you discovered at the library that could be Target Company’s for you either locally or nationally.
Create a 3×5″ Card (click link to Download) for each company (including Recruiters). On this you will list Company, Location, Phone, Email, Website, Creation Date, Contact, Title and Comments in the spaces provided. You could use the form you provide or simply use 3×5 cardboard cards and make these titles. These cards will be superior, as they are more durable and easy to sort.
Sort Alphabetically by Company
Any time you take ANY action, whether by phone, in person, by mail or email you record it on these cards AND select a follow up time and date and note it.
Post the action to your daily follow up and reminder sheets (click here). These will form our day to day list of activities.
Update the Interview Summary Form (click here) so you know what you have on the go. Everything you do MUST be included in this system. The results will give you peace of mind that you are on top of the work, you know what to do and when, you feed our daily activity and you know what stage you are at in any interview process you have won the right to compete.
We are going to suggest a system that uses Microsoft Outlook. We are also assuming you know how to use the program and how to set up normally used features. If you are not this advanced, it may be a good time to learn AS LONG AS it doesn’t distract you from the main task. Perhaps you will reconsider the manual system?
We will also assume you have a core of contacts etc. that you do not want to loose. In principle, you have the same things to manage as the manual system, but you have the advantages present in a computer.
In the main folders list, you should see an icon called “Contacts”. Using the mouse, right click on it and add a new folder call JobHunt Companies.
This will come up as an empty folder. This is where you will create the records for each company. So, click New and start adding them. Each one will need a contact name. If it is not known, use Human Resources when asked for the contact name. That way you will be able to track activities.
Once the companies are all entered, you can simply drag the entry to the Inbox and create a new email. In our version, you are able to create Stationary that are like form letters or standard letters that you use a lot. See outlook instructions on how to do this in your version.
If you create stationary, when you are replying, you may then click Insert; Signature and a list will appear. Select the appropriate one. You may want to create one for each of the job title you think you might apply for, then it says specifically in each letter why you are sending this application, and there is nothing to change.
This may sound quite confusing to someone who is not familiar with the Outlook program. What we are attempting to do is illustrate there are ways to automate a lot of the work. With this properly developed in ANY similiar program, you simply drag a contact name, automatically create an email form and then enter very professional text that appears directed to the individual you need to contact. This can be done in a few seconds. However, we are certainly not computer training experts and we hope you forgive our attempt to explain this. We do want to illustrate there are many different ways to make the work easier.
Using the Calendar feature, you can set your follow-ups in several ways, as a direct entry or as a task that won’t go away until you do it! You can attach Word Versions of your resume to the emails, a history and the follow up systems are now ready to be worked.