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The Business of Getting Hired: A Report on Getting the Job You Want Not Need

04 May 2012

Our Career and Success editor Kae Bruney tells us how to get hired before we even interview for the job.

Let’s face it, when you’re looking for a job what you are really doing is selling. And what you are selling, is yourself.  Every time you respond to an open position you sell the talents, skills and qualifications of the Self Corporation.  That being said, every application is an opportunity to sell yourself to a prospective employer as the perfect fit for their need. You are the solution to their problem. You are the new asset that if invested in, will take their business to new heights.
Accepting that you are a salesman from the moment you hit send, is the difference between getting into the “review” pile, versus the “schedule” pile. It can also be the deciding factor that tips you from “interview” to “recommend for hire”.   And my goal is to teach you how to package and pitch the corporations most valuable commodity – you.
In the parts to follow, we will review the four key segments of the ‘selling’ process.
They are:

Research- Know your industry.  Learn your leaders, jargon and technology; be prepared.

Craft- Your resume is you. Tailoring is key.

Sparkle- You ARE the best candidate for this position. Give them a taste of why.

Shine-Polished.  Prepared.  Poised. You are ready for your close up and flawless upon inspection!
If you treat your job search like a business, and approach it with attention to each of these four steps, you are sure to see increased success in your process.
Now, let’s get started.

The Business of Getting Hired
Part I: In the beginning, we research


For every role there is an ideal fit. Regardless the position, in order to show the hiring manager or organization you are the fit, you have to demonstrate an understanding of the job function and the asset you bring to the company.  The best way to do that is through research.
  1. Google the job title:  You are selling yourself for this position. You need to know what it entails. Not just at this location but industry/market and nationwide.  Once you’ve found a job you are interested in, search the position title and find out more about the responsibilities involved, pay scale, opportunities, etc.
  2. Google the company: Who are you pitching to? Know your audience.  A good salesman does their research before making the pitch. When you submit your resume, take time to look over the company culture, personality and any issues in the ‘news’ or ‘event’ sections of their website.
  3. Know the industry: Want to be hired into a new industry? You should know the key players, latest developments,  etc. Similarly if you are looking to get into a new industry, knowing the key elements and players are to your advantage from Day 1.
  4. Know your value: This is where you determine your response (albeit a silent one) to the almighty “What type/rate of pay are you looking for” question. Always know what the industry average is for your role and include all the differentials that apply.

Part II: Time to present yourself


The interview begins long before you set foot in front of the interviewer.  When you submit your resume, you are pitting yourself to be evaluated against your competitors with the only difference being what’s on paper.  So this section is going to focus on how to craft a resume that stands out form the competition. 
So here are some tips on how to shine before you are ever seen.
1.     Your email:  An employer sees your email address BEFORE they open your resume.  A professionally registered email is a mark of your personality and that translates into your first impression at this prospective employer. ‘’ does not convey professionalism and presentation, and therefore may not convey the message you hope to when applying for a job.  Conversely  does.  Choose your email address with care.
2.     Your sell: To get the job, you have to sell what you can bring to the position. I always suggest 3-4 resume versions MINIMUM, each tailored to the industry/role of interest.  By tailoring your resume, you highlight the accomplishments and skills you developed that apply to that particular role/industry.  When applying for an administrative position in accounting firms, highlight your prior office and customer service experience, but leave the waitress gigs off.  Applying for a retail position, highlight your sales experience as a waitress, while downplaying your duties as a child care provider.   Every job you hold develops your skillset in multiple areas, but not every job is relevant to all positions.
3.     Your fit: An employer is looking for key words, phrases or activities that demonstrate you’re “fit” for the position. It’s key that your resume include these phrases or activities in order to stand out from the pack. When writing your resume, you should ALWAYS incorporate the phrases, key words and activities cited in the job description.  To be seen as a perfect fit for the position, you should have elements of the position in your job history.
4.     Your offer: The ‘objective’ line is no longer the key to a good resume. Employers today see objectives as fluff designed to impress the reader. What prospective employers are looking for today is your skill set. Your skill set is what you will bring to the company and what makes you an asset. In essence, it’s ‘your offer’. Make sure that you are listing a rich and relevant skill set on your resume, one that impresses the reader and reinforces what you bring to the table.

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