The Suck Less JOB SEARCH BLOG
You are a great talent. You can do the job. But, nobody makes you an offer. You feel like you are taking crazy pills.
I have the prescription to cure your ills. No more crazy pills. Instead, let's focus on laser targeted value.
The Standard Job Seeker's Math Equation...
I am a great candidate that can do the job + you are an employer looking for a great candidate to do the job = job offer.
Employer Math Equation...
We are a great company with a current business mandate + we are looking for solutions to fulfill this mandate = job offer.
Very few companies feel that positions are mission critical until the position is the missing piece to solve or soothe the current business mandate. Job seekers assume when they see a role open that there is a massive push to fill the role. Anybody that's been looking for a job for more than a few weeks knows this isn't true.
Reject the Job Seeker's Math Equation. Don't wait to find open roles because if they are posted online they are either not open or not critical. Instead, identify companies with pain you can solve and craft a value that will make them ask you how you it.
You should be focusing on UNIQUE VALUES for COMPANIES/EMPLOYERS with SPECIFIC PAIN.
You would think that Sr. Executives would be great at this. They tend to be the worst at offering a relevant, targeted or discernible value. A typical conversation started with an executive job seeker starts with, "I have over 20 years of experience leading...". You lost me at "over 20 years". That's not a UNIQUE VALUE. It is a Value but not one that is going to get a Chairman of a Board of Directors to lean in and inquire. This is easy to talk about and harder to do. But, once you have figured out your UNIQUE VALUE and WHO WANTS IT this job search stuff gets way less crazy.
Sample Unique C-Suite Values:
Turnaround expert in congested or constricting markets.
Product innovation leader for new channels.
Customer-centric finance guru that drives revenue.
Technology expert that uses IT as a business driver.
Operations juggernaut that ID's process improvements for profitability.
Sales leader that develops teams that sell the uniqueness of the product/service.
There are thousands of values out there but you have to ID the one that fits you best and start testing it with the companies that your target value can really help. This isn't an exercise for Sr. Executives, only. This should be an exercise for everyone that is serious about their career progression.
Here are some more values that I like based on Job Categories (there are dozens of Unique and Powerful Values for each of these roles).
Typical value: Cost cutting, Audit proficient, process improver.
Unique value: Financial leader able to win buy-in from stakeholders and identify and seize internal and external client-solutions to get the company on mission and drive revenue growth.
Typical value: Work with vendors to cut costs, implement new systems or software to keep up with company growth.
Unique value: Change leader able to ignite an expert team of technology professionals, leverage existing assets to drive company growth and implement a collaborative team environment enterprise-wide.
Typical value: Build stronger brand online and offline and help sales achieve sales goals.
Unique value: Idenitfy untapped internal resources to gain more market share while reducing the marketing budget and create a customer lifecycle that predictable yields year-over-year sales increases and and skyrocketing retention rates.
Typical value: Create consultative sales teams that exceed their goals.
Unique value: Develop sales teams that become industry experts and leverage the unqiueness of the product and political savvy to create internal evangelists and obliterate the competition.
Typical value: Visual communications expert with diverse background in print and digital.
Unique value: Business driver leveraging considered design and customer data to communicate sticky and addictive messaging that drives cutomer loyalty and accelerates sales growth.
Chief Communications Officer:
Typical value: Communications leader with decades of experience in crisis management, internal and external communications and C-Suite media training.
Unique value: General Manager that uses the Communications Office to exploit market trends and business intelligence to own markets.
Typical value: Coporate counsel adept at IP law, corporate litigation, licensing and strategic partnerships.
Unique value: Business leader able to win C-Suite buy-in and work across all departments to execute business mission strategies and projects that create year-over-year growth for the company.
These UNIQUE VALUES turned into brands. The common themes were that they were designed for specific companies in specific pain and also represented what each candidate wanted to be known as. These Values turned Brands took protracted job searches and created immediate interest and offers. I know because each one of these values I helped craft with these talented pros and they were winners.
Let me rephrase...waiting is not a job search strategy for successful job seekers. But, it's still the number one job search strategy for 2016 and will be for 2017. That sounds a bit cynical but it's true. With the absence of a plan, technique and hope, waiting is all there is.
Every week a few dozen job seekers detail their plan of attack to crush their search and land the offers they really want.
A) I am applying for jobs online and waiting...
B) I reached out to my network and I am waiting...
C) A few headhunters asked for my resume for positions they are working on and now I am waiting...
D) I am waiting until...
The common denominator is WAITING.
That would make me so uncomfortable. To feel I had no cause over my search would drive me insane...then depressed...then paralyzed. And this happened to me, back during the dotcom bust. Here I was, this big staffing guy and I could not figure out how to conduct a meaningful job search. Shouldn't I be an expert? The staffing guy can't figure out how to get one interview?! Yes, that was me back in 2001.
Then this happened. I had seen a piece about Donny Deutsch on branding. He talked about story, value, difference. I applied these ideas to me. What was my story? I was a guy with a load of experience in staffing. When I said it outloud I realized that it didn't mean anything. More questions came.
What was my difference?
Why would a company FEEL a NEED for me?
What could I do to become business essential?
Once I drilled down on my story waiting was not an option. I wanted to let everyone know my value. But, that didn't work so well. Not everyone needed me. Ah, so it's not about just having a unique value. It's also about identifying who wants it.
Now, my target and my value were aligned. I was a product, a service, a unique business driver and I knew which companies to target. This exercise made me feel empowered, in control of my search and waiting was no longer an option.
Think about your unique value; say it out loud. Tell a colleague, a trusted advisor, a friend. See their reaction and ask them if it sounds interesting, unique? Is it a value that is nice? Or, is it a value that creates a need?
This exercise will allow you to quickly control your search, stop waiting and drive unique job offers. It worked for me and it has worked for thousands of hungry and talented pros just like you.
I am just a guy standing in front of a job seeker asking them to let me help them get hired.