The real thing that is limiting you in your life, is how you decide to limit yourself. Great candidates for jobs and those top positions out there have often only found a way to sway their own doubt.
Become More "Appealing" to Potential Employers
Your Experience is More Marketable Than You Think
All the experts agree and they have been saying the same things for over 40 years. Motivational speakers, spiritual leaders, coaches and psychologists pretty much agree that the real thing that is limiting you in your life, is how you decide to limit yourself. Serious contenders for jobs and those glorious top positions have often in my opinion only found a way to sway their own doubts. They don't get bogged down by the limitations that most place on themselves throughout their whole career.
You too can be a much better candidate then you think you can be. The thousands and thousands of people that have beta tested the training program we have created have proven this time and time again. If you really want to have a chance at grabbing that new top position or creating a new career for yourself, then don't hold yourself back. It is important to face reality and understand the constraints of your current position, but not let yourself be hindered by your deficits. Focus on what you can bring to the table instead of what you can't deliver right now (but may be able to deliver in a few months time).
In the realm of job hunting, everyone thinks of their experience. They get focused on what they have achieved and accomplished in their life and somehow if ever seems to be enough. It is interesting to know that even Aristotle found this to be true several hundred years ago.
"The more you know, the more you know you don't know."
This statement is still true to this day in age. It is so easy to forget everything you know, when you know that there is so much you don't know. Knowledge is one thing we can all agree gets more difficult as we increase our understanding of any given topic. However, it is also true for what you have accomplished. Especially candidates that suddenly find themselves unemployed will struggle to even remember what they have done. Yet, still the most seasoned professional will struggle to grasp what they bring to the table. The next few pages in this series of job search advice for professionals will help you come to terms with your situation.
As you go through these pages you will see a number of ways that help you take a new view of your total experience level and more importantly understand how you describe it to hiring managers.
Understand Your Value
How are your skill levels? Do you know a job inside out? How well do you know a specific product or a process or perhaps even a market that companies are targeting with some type of product? It could come from hobbies, education, your professional life and really any other activities that you have spent time with over the last years. It can also be knowledge you have found working with suppliers, customers, friends or even your very private social life.
We remember the case of mid-life office manager who decided she wanted to sell printers. She had no sales experience in her past work life, but her understanding of why people buy a particular printer as oppose to another convinced an employer to hire her on the spot as a sales rep.
Another example would be an executive in the food industry that was offered the opportunity to head up a new real estate development. What was his previous connection to that industry? The firm appreciated his knowledge of their market. They also liked his ability to organize, which they perceived was the biggest concern with their previous employee.
The final decision to extend an actual offer of employment, however, was that the candidate could show that he had long been following their market and even though he was by no means an expert in their field, he was familiar with the trends in the industry. They also felt he would be able to learn the business quickly and cherished that he would also bring a lot of expertise from the other industry where he worked before.
Market Your Personality and Character
Personality, is a mysterious combination of traits that can either make us extremely excited about a specific candidate or leave us completely unimpressed. A lot of decisions have been based on personality and it can be extremely frustrating for a lot of people. Yet, even to this day, hiring decisions are still making hiring decisions based on a gut feeling or emotions. Companies have started to embrace the structured interviews, where every candidate is asked the exact same questions. Google have gone one step further and taken away the hiring decision from the hiring manager. They have a committee that evaluates the candidate instead. This hiring committee will decide what candidate gets hired if any. Google feels that this enables them to better remove the emotional aspects from the hiring process and hire based on performance, skill and expertise.
Still, there are plenty of employers that still base their hiring decisions on the personality of the candidate. They figure that he or she is probably a positive, quick-thinking person. I like her or him, and better yet, I trust her/him. The candidate will be able to get along with our kind of people and provide leadership within our community. I can already see him as a part of this company, and I am going to hurry and make him an offer right now."
If you are the kind of person that everybody likes the very second they meet you, then I can only say congratulations or maybe I should instead say beware. Chances are you will meet people that have the power to offer you a position in a completely unrelated field. They instantly feel that you are a perfect mix for their organizations and may on a whim offer you a position. Surely a lot of you reading this will say that this sounds great, but with power comes responsibility. It is after you who will suffer if you choose to take them up on that offer and fail.
For the socially gifted, a more targeted approach would still be recommended. Don't settle for a chance meeting or random offer. Consider your options and choose a strategy for your job search. One person we worked with was hired in a high-level position after aggressively pursuing that company for months. Why was the candidate hired? It is true that no one else kept trying as hard as that person did, but what really won them over was that everyone just started liking the personality and her tenacity. It certainly helped that the candidate tried as hard as possible to actually learn something about the company and to fully understand the products they sold.
If you are not a socially gifted person, this does not mean that you won't be hired for your personality. All you need is a manager that appreciates who you are and your personality. If they believe that the people you would interact with or lead would appreciated your style, then perhaps you are a shoe in for that position.
The main point here is to not forget that your personality is also something you can market in your job search. Some research actually suggest that when choosing between different people for a position, most decisions are decided by the personality of that particular candidate. Having qualities of integrity, thoughtfulness and loyalty go a long way. Your personal characteristics may mean that you are a better fit for a specific company, occupation or industry. It is extremely important to stay true to who you are, but also excel to do a little bit better. If you are talkative, try hard to listen. If you are shy and don't like to speak, then you may have to force yourself to come out of your shell.
Market Your Interests and Enthusiasm
How many employers do you suppose have hired people only because they showed a great deal of interest in their business? Our research shows us that it is a great way to get your foot in the door. Think of it this way. Have you ever gone to a party and met someone that was genuinely interested to find out more about you? Not someone that just stands around and nods and asks a few questions to fake interest, but when you get that feeling that someone really cares? It is kind of like that. If you really care about what the company does, it will shine through. No amount of faking it will get the same results. Instead of forcing yourself to ask questions, you will find yourself asking questions because you genuinely want to understand more about the company, position or the hiring manager.
An example that was submitted to us from a recruiter we worked with was when a successful salesman that had worked for a medical equipment company suddenly was hired at the C-level for a up and coming growth company in that industry. It started with an advertisement he saw in the newspaper and answered, just like the other six hundred candidates for that job. The only difference is that he didn't stop there. He talked to people he knew that were able to dig out the email address to the president of the company. He wrote that person five letters in the next couple of weeks. Each email contained his thoughts of why the company's products should be able to get a much higher market share. He made suggestions of what exactly he felt the company could do to tackle real world challenges that they were facing. In the very last email, he attached a suggestion for a new market that the company had not yet targeted with his reasoning why this might be an interesting growth market.
It is easy to believe that enthusiasm is a thing of the past, but in these modern times, we only have more opportunities to connect. Yet, we also face different challenges. This candidate wasn't the most knowledgeable in terms of concrete product knowledge. He had never sold any equipment like this, but he had followed the company in the trade press over the years. This combined with an extensive study of the company during those weeks when he was emailing the president, lead to a great career leap for him. The president ended up making him an offer and even though he admitted that he had seen a lot of candidates that were more experienced, he had not met anyone that was as enthusiastic.
Market The Opportunity You Represent
Just like the previous example, there are surely opportunities that you think a company could successfully sell their products to. Perhaps there is a problem that you can help them solve, which might actually end up creating a job for yourself. Of course in most cases the employer will be aware of the need or opportunity that you address, but all you need is to let him know that you are the right person to handle that expansion or new challenge.
Take a real hard look at your abilities. Are there certain areas where you're capable of helping almost any employer out there? What can you bring to the table that makes you better suited for this position than a lot of other candidates? Make sure that the employer knows of such an ability and then you can get hired in any industry, regardless of whether the position is closely related to your actual work experience or not.
Market Yourself by Broadening Your Appeal
Another very successful approach to increase the amount of jobs that you can become the perfect candidate for, is to expand your appeal. When you see all those previous accomplishments in front of you on the screen, your first thought might be that this is a fence that boxes you into a specific area, but what if it wasn't?
Could it be that your previous are just a starting point and that there are actually thousands of other opportunities out there? If you expand your appeal, you will quickly uncover more options. Our free training will help you with simple tasks that enable you to really uncover everything that you have done and how it can be relevant for a specific opportunity. You can start by making a list of any and all accomplishments and experiences that you can think of. Anything that helps a potential employer understand that your skills can be transferred to another profession or industry.
Attempting to understand who you are in the eyes of an employer can be much easier if you look at yourself from different angles. Don't just start with what you know, but look at the world we live in and base your decisions on what you think works in this market place. Then find a way to package what you have so that you are an interesting candidate.
If you want to increase the amount of opportunities at your disposal, the best way is to start with your own constrictions. Remember that quote from Aristotle? Stop limiting what you are and you are already heading in the right direction.