Regardless of the favorable numbers that were just released a few days ago concerning the slight drop in the unemployment rate and the slow but steady growth of the economy, as a job seeker you continue to face incredible competition for each and every position you apply for, especially for the higher-paying jobs that are scarce these days.
I believe the biggest challenge you face in your job search is differentiation. In other words, how do you separate yourself from the competition? It’s important to distinguish yourself during every step of your search: to get to the interview process, during the interview process, and after the interview process has concluded.
Here’s a great way to distinguish yourself from your competition even before your scheduled interview:
Several days before your first face-to-face interview with the hiring manager, send a one page modified biography which summarizes the value you bring to the table with respect to the key requirements of the job (as outlined in the job description). Send your modified biography, along with a cover letter, directly to the hiring manager, NOT Human Resources, and use Priority Mail through the post office to create a sense of urgency. Don’t use email! Busy managers get a hundred emails a day and with the click of a mouse you’re gone.
Remember that when you’re invited in for an interview the hiring manager’s decision to hire is based on three key criteria: CAN, WILL, and FIT.
1. CAN you do the job? In other words do you have the skills, experience and expertise to perform the basic functions of the job?
2. WILL you do the job based on the requirements of the position, the nature of the work to be done, and other factors such as the company environment, commute, travel, etc.?
3. Are you the best FIT for the job? Will you get along with your new boss, your peers, subordinates, etc., and blend in well with the culture of the company?
Of these three criteria, FIT is the most important. Regardless of what you have on paper, how skilled you are, or how willing you are to do the job, if the hiring manager decides that you’re not the best fit for the job… it’s over.
In order to be the best fit you must establish mutual attraction between you and the hiring manager. That interpersonal chemistry is essential in being selected as the candidate of choice. Even before your initial interview with the hiring manager you can begin to create that connection, that chemistry, by sending your modified biography and cover letter. While your competition will just show up for their interview at the scheduled time, I guarantee you will be acknowledged in a positive way the moment you walk into the hiring manager’s office.
By all means email me if you would like a sample of a modified biography and suggested cover letter.
Let the chemistry begin….