For a moment, forget you’re ‘you’. Also, forgive the multiple uses of ‘you’ that will be repeated in this article; it just comes with the subject matter. OK, so think of a salesperson trying to pitch you a product. I doubt their first line will be: “Look, this thing I’m selling isn’t new, it doesn’t offer anything more than the competitors’ products, I’m just trying to make commission here.” When most people apply for a job, they do pretty much that. They don’t distinguish themselves from the masses and don’t try to make an impression.
See Also: Personal Branding Tips
Rules of Marketing
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1. Relate to Your Audience
Do not under any circumstance have a default cover letter for all jobs that you are vying for. Add specifics as to why you want to work for the specific company, what business action you like and look forward to, and where you fit in their organisation.
2. Make Yourself Known
Don’t just quickly fire your résumé off in an email and sit on your hands. Follow up, get in touch with the person hiring, and make yourself visible. Do you think McDonald’s multi-story golden arches are there because the founder liked them? OK, well that too, but it also maximizes the brand’s visibility.
3. Take the Competition Seriously
In Sun Tzu’s The Art of War, he says never underestimate the enemy. Usually, enemies are people that are competing for the same resources, be it land, oil, wealth or a position. Don’t go in thinking you’ve got this in the bag, and that you don’t have anything else to do. You need to think creatively and differently than everyone else to get noticed.
4. Progress at the Speed of Your Audience
This is more or less the ability to balance. Knowing how much to push and promote so you don’t put the “customer” off. If you are too persistent, it could be to your detriment.
5. Make Your Customers Happy
Just imagine the person hiring you. They’re sitting there with hundreds, if not thousands, of résumés and cover letters to go through. What do you think will stand out to them; even better, what will make them smile?
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This is something marketers deal with on a daily basis. It comes in the form of an unseen competitor, an unexpected reception from their target market or even trying to promote a product that isn’t quite yet ready to be launched (I’m looking at you, Apple). Well, guess what? You might have to deal with that, too. What if I told you that there is such a thing as the receptionist test? Basically, the interviewer asked the receptionist how they found you pre-interview, and it has been shown to influence employer’s hiring decisions.
Not What, But Why
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Motivation is a significant attribute for any potential employee. When you are interviewed, you need to make sure to mention why and not what you will do for the company. ’What’ tends to be a generic descriptor for action; ’why’ on the other hand expresses passion, drive, and emotional investment. For example, “I will do any task you give me.” That is a ‘what’ you will do type of answer. “I will do every task given to me, because I want to become an asset to the company.” That’s an example of a ‘why’ you do it type of answer. I think you can discern which is more effective.
Are there any other techniques that you can use here? Please let us know in the comment section below.