Looking for a new job?  The news out there is bleak these days as the Labor Department’s U-6 unemployment rate was 13.5% at the end of 2008.  That’s a lot of unemployed people!  On top of that, the newspaper is full of stories of companies who have or will soon downsize their workforce.  I wonder how equipped these unemployed people are to sell themselves for a new job.   With so many people are afraid of sales, what is scarier than selling yourself as you look for a new job?

Yet, some people ARE still getting hired – just last week I spoke with three people who just landed GREAT new jobs.  How did they do it?  They applied great sales skills to the job hunting contest.

Two sales secrets for job hunting:

1. Focus on What’s in it for Them!  Narrow the value you bring to a few specifics that help THIS company, this manager, this industry. Do not list or tell EVERYTHING you have ever done.  Make it relevant to them with information from the Internet on the company and possibly the contact.

Translate your experiences and skills into a benefit to them!  Assume that whatever you state, the screener is thinking “So what?”  And answer the “so what” in your statements.  Examples:

  • “I have developed marketing and graphics for my employer for 7 years.”  So what?  Try…  “I have developed marketing and graphics that allowed our sales force to close more sales.”
  • “My experience includes knoweldge of teh following software applications…..”  So what?   Try… “I hae worked with software applications such as _______ and that allowed me to increase efficiency by 15% and decrease the costs associated with getting the projects completed.”

2.  Make contacts every day!  Successful people do not let days go by without making connections.  I see job seekers take WEEKS to write and re-write their resume.  That is too long – most resume screeners only spend 30-60 seconds glancing at your resume.  Your resume will not get you a job, contacting potential hiring managers will.  But what do you say? Prepare a very short statement of what you can help them do.  And then ask for an appointment to discuss their company and a potential fit.

“Mr. Manager, I am Nancy Bleeke, a sales professional who has improved sales processes resulting in 12% sales increases the last three years.  I am in the job market and may be able to increase sales for your company.   Can we meet to discuss openings in sales with your company and how I might use my expertise to  increase sales for you?”

Want to get hired?  Do your homework to prepare a great contact and interview that differentiate yourself from the other seekers.  These two sales secrets will help you win that job!