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Job Search Strategy 4/6: Market Yourself to Target Companies

This is the 4th article in the 6 Strategies for Job Search series (look for the Job Search category in the right column to see the first 3 articles/posts).

The 4th strategy is to Sell Yourself / Talk Your Way In. The classic “get your foot in the door.”

In some ways, this is the hardest of the 6 to do. However, talk about targeting your job search!

I am not recommending that you go from door-to-door in an office complex, park yourself in the lobby, and demand that someone talk to you (sounds like an idea for a reality show).

I AM recommending that once you have pinpointed your value proposition - that is…

  • who you are

  • what your sellable skills and talents are,

  • what you know,

  • who you know,

  • where this package of talent is suited to, etc.

And then you have identified the specific organizations you think would be the most exciting and best fits with your offering and after you have researched your target a bit, then….yes, go for it.

Figure out who to talk to. Ideally, get referred in. If not, call or email. Let them know who you are, why they should care, and request a meeting. If you are lucky, you will get an appointment, or a phone conversation.

Be polite. Be convincing. Be enthusiastic.

Be the kind of person an employer would love to have on their team. Ask questions and listen. Don’t expect to close the sale in one go. Thank them for their time. Send a hand-written thank-you note within 24-48 hours.

The advantage of this strategy is that it often uncovers hidden opportunities. For example, a project that needs a manager, but the company hasn’t gotten around to staffing it. The other advantage is that IF you are qualified, you are saving the company time and money. If they don’t have their own candidates, they will have to start a search or post the job. That takes time. That takes money.

As with all my career advice, the secret is to put the square peg in the square hole. If you really are qualified, and you happen to be passionate about that area, and there is a need, then this strategy is win / win.

Happy hunting!

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