1) Have you branded it for the job you are applying for?
I used to do it to. Does this sound familiar?
Q: How do you feel about invoicing, billing & doing up Purchase Orders for the Project Managers here
A: Oh great I used to do this at my previous job all the time, I reconciled the credit card statements and so I’m very familiar with these types of processes and how they have to be organized.
Q: A lot of times we’ll have to answer the phone and talk to customers about their bills and sort out pro-ratio issues. Sometimes we’ll have to call them and ask them why they haven’t paid yet, are you ok with doing that?
A: Yes of course, no problem at all! I love to talk to new people.
Yuck!!! I’d rather take a rusty fork and stick it in my eye. (No offense to those of you who love the sound of these tasks) That’s just not me, not my strength, not my love. Truth be told I hate numbers, or anything that has to do with accounting, & I hate hassling people for money.
A lot of us are trying to fit into a box because we think we have to in order to get hired. This approach is backwards and it doesn’t really work for anyone, yet for some reason we keep forcing it.
That’s also why it can be so scary to apply for the jobs out there because they have such a long laundry list of ‘requirements’ that aren’t realistic for one original person to fit into.
Everyone is unique, yet these job descriptions are asking for multi-talented geniuses (at quite frankly pretty low pay sometimes!) This isn’t common that the people who can do all of what they want would accept their low ball offers anyway. So don’t sweat it. You don’t have to (nor should you) be trying to fit into a box. That’s where your personal brand comes in.
When you go out looking for a job and you haven’t thought about your personal brand, you’re basically walking around holding a sign, saying I’ll do anything. So you need to start somewhere right? You need to come up with a few specific jobs that look like they would be a good fit for you.
Your resume and anything you communicate will be more compelling when you’ve put some thought into what you want and why. You’ll be more confident when you know why some things will work for you and some things won’t work.
You’re homework is to brainstorm what your personal branding statement might look like for each of the jobs you think would be a good fit for you:
For example: Office Manager looking for a crazy office to keep organized.
2) Have you taken a good look at yourself and what makes you different?
The resume mistake most people makes is they list their skills & then they say something like “and this is why I think I’d be a great fit for this position”
It’s not new, everything has skills and everyone “thinks they’d be a great fit for the position” Literally everyone.
It is much more exciting to tell snippets of why you love to do the job you’re applying for. When it started, when you realized you liked it, and snippets of work you’ve done in the past that someone cared about and made you successful in your career. If you think you don’t have any stories like this, stop that right now and check out my blog on job story questions. This will prompt you and prove you wrong.
For example: My love of analytics started when I started compiling my team’s sales numbers and running them through multiple different pivot tables in order to see where we needed improvement.
(This is totally a made up example, but one of my clients did have a very similar one)
3) Have you researched who to send it to? (Hint, it doesn’t go into the black hole)
You can find pretty well anyone on linkedin, or sometimes even on the company website itself. With the black hole in our wake we need to continue with a new method that will help smart job seekers. Linkedin, company websites & even snail mail are all ways we can start saying no to the black hole.
Step one is you need to find the hiring manager on Linkedin. IF you know the hiring manager’s last name you can try to email the hiring manager directly.
You can try one of these:
Firstname.firstname.lastname@example.org (often on their website they will show you the last part of the email, if you can find any email that says info, or email@example.com that will tip you off right there)
firstname.lastname@example.org (Rarely, but sometimes if they’re a smaller company)
If that doesn’t work, you can find the address of the company and mail it to them directly with a real live stamp and envelope.
That’s how you’re going to reach someone. Not through the black hole.
Start checking out how easy this is to do. Start trying it with a few companies you area already familiar with.
You might be saying to yourself “Well they won’t like me not following their rules, and applying through other means, they might not want to hire me based on that alone”
To this my answer would be, why would you want to work at a company that doesn’t agree with trying something new, or doing something a bit differently? Especially if it’s proven to work better. Don’t be like Every other job seeker out there. Make some small changes and join me in changing the world of hiring to be human like it was originally intended to be.
Have you ever had a situation where you’ve sent a resume through a different way than the black hole and it worked a whole lot better? Please share in the comments below. Info like this will help millions.