by Kevin Donlin,
Iâ€™ve written before that your job search is like an advertising campaign: to be successful, you must sell yourself to employers and convince them to â€œbuyâ€ by hiring you.
When it comes to advertising, you can learn a lot by emulating copywriters — the people who write words on paper that persuade other people to buy.
And among the best copywriters, itâ€™s a rule of thumb that 3 factors largely determine the success of any sales letter. They are, in order:
- The list (the people you mail to)
- The offer (what you want prospects to say Yes to; this includes the price, payment terms and perceived value of your goods/services)
- The creative (the actual sales letter, which includes the copy, graphics and packaging).
By adapting these 3 factors to your job search, you can gain new insights — and a new job.
Hereâ€™s how â€¦
This is paramount. The more people who know you and look upon you with favor — the bigger your â€œlistâ€ of qualified prospects — the faster you will get hired.
Think of it like this. If your daughter is a Girl Scout and asks you to buy a box of cookies, guess what? Youâ€™re going to buy. Why? You are #1 on her Prospective Customer List. More than anyone else, you know your daughter, you trust her and you want her to do well.
Letâ€™s switch to your job search. Whoâ€™s #1 on your Prospective Employer List? And how many people know you, trust you and want you to do well in your career?
You canâ€™t improve what you donâ€™t measure, so your first step is to write down the names of everyone in your network. If youâ€™re average, you should come up with 200-250 names.
Then make a plan to contact 10 people per day for the next 30 days. Let each of them know exactly what kind of job and employer youâ€™re looking for. At the end of each conversation, ask: â€œWho else do you know that I should be talking to?â€
Doing this will make positive impressions on the people you know, while systematically expanding the size of your network — your list — at the same time.
Repeat until hired.
The second job-search success factor is your â€œoffer.â€ What are you offering to do for employers and at what salary? The more attractive, the better.
In advertising, one of the best offers is, â€œSend no money now. Weâ€™ll bill you later.â€
Now, if you wrote in your cover letter, â€œPay me no salary now — Iâ€™ll bill you later,â€ youâ€™d get lots of calls. Yes, itâ€™s an attractive offer, but no, itâ€™s not in your best interests financially.
Still, letâ€™s run with this idea â€¦
What if you revised your cover letter to include examples of how much money you have made or saved for employers? What if your offer were this: â€œIâ€™m a bargain. I consistently make or save far more money than I get paid in salary.â€ What if you backed up your claims with specific dollars? Do you think that kind of offer might convince a few hiring managers to call you? You bet!
(For more on how to determine your specific value, Google my earlier article, â€œStop Being A Job Seeker.â€)
Your â€œcreativeâ€ includes your resumes and cover letters, of course. But it also includes every word you say while networking and in interviews, as well as your â€œpackagingâ€ — the clothes you wear, your grooming, how you interact with others, etc.
In other words, pretty much everything you write, say or do after getting out of bed each day can affect how quickly you get hired. It all adds up to form your employment â€œcreative.â€ Everything counts! Act accordingly.
Iâ€™ve given you 3 advertising success factors that you can adapt to your job search. Donâ€™t stop there, however. What other sales, marketing and advertising ideas could you â€œborrowâ€ today â€¦ and use to get hired tomorrow?
Kevin Donlin is contributing co-author of “Guerrilla Marketing for Job Hunters 2.0.” and “Guerilla Resumes“Â Â (Which I review here). Â Since 1996, he has provided job search assistance to more than 20,000 people. Author of “51 Ways to Find a Job Fast — Guaranteed,” Kevin has been interviewed by USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, CBS Radio and others.Since 1996, he has provided job-search help to more than 20,000 people. To learn about Guerrilla Resumes and how it could help you, visit his site atÂ www.GuerrillaResumes.com