A formula? Really? …every time?
Yes, this blog is about the formula that will win you a job offer.
After jobseekers get hired they sometimes say something like, “Yep, the stars were aligned and everything fell into place.” But how do we get the stars aligned? That sounds more like a chance happening. And the synonym for this….a fluke.
…hmmm…doesn’t sound like there’s much control over that. And I bet there are many jobseekers out there that feel that they have little or no control as they try to manage their job search as well.
Good news: You do have control over the key essentials in your job search.
Hiring professionals only need one thing…
…a clear, consistent, comprehensive story.
That’s it. Please keep reading because this works—every time.
The information about you has to be easy to understand.
This is an important point. This point is NOT about putting everything on your résumé.
I think of “comprehensive” in two ways. The first is that your “story” needs to be complete. If there are unexplained inconsistencies that raises a flag and out you go. An example of an unexplained inconsistency would be a senior operations leader who spent three years selling real estate. There’s probably a clear explanation and that information needs to be immediately available to the reader.
The second way that I think of comprehensive is about the details. There are at least five different audiences that look at your stuff. They all have different needs. HR professionals don’t need to slog through industry jargon and acronyms but the hiring manager sure does! S/he needs to know you are fluent in the industry.
The balance between general and detailed information is a critical component when you present information during your job search.
Your “story” has to be consistent…if you have information on LinkedIn that differs from what you have on your résumé—that raises a flag…and it knocks you out.
These three points are the first part of the formula: Information about you has to be clear, consistent, and comprehensive.
Are you still with me?
Here’s the second part of the formula:
So far I’ve discussed what hiring professionals need as they learn about you.
This next section should help a lot because most jobseekers can control most of it.
This is all they know about you:
Most jobseekers carry a fair amount of baggage as they make their way through the job search. This is reasonable given their situation. However it is a BIG mistake to think that other people know or care about that. Grieving the loss of a career or job is a difficult undertaking. But it’s private and has to be dealt with outside of the job search or it will cripple your efforts. So here’s my point:
They only know what you tell them, what others tell them, and what they read about you. That’s it!
Where do they find their information:
There are only a few places where hiring professionals get information and you can control most of it. Here’s the list:
- Your cover letter
- Your résumé
- Your LinkedIn profile
- What you say during the interview process
- What recommenders say
- Information on the Internet
You have complete control over the first four parts of this list.
Keep your messages clear, comprehensive and consistent in your cover letter and résumé and LinkedIn profile. Be concise in your interviews and follow-up your comments with a question to make sure you’ve satisfied their inquiry. (My point to people I’m preparing for interviews includes:
Keep talking and you’ll give them a reason NOT to hire you.
This is one way to avoid sending an inconsistent message and getting knocked out because what you said destroyed your credibility. Your answers should be relatively brief in your interview. They already know you can do the job. Now it’s about “fit”. It’s about making them comfortable.
This leaves only two areas that are not under your direct control:
- What other people say about you
- Information on the Internet
Preparing your references
I recommend that you talk to your references and make sure they aren’t just winging it when they are called. Think through your references and make a list of how each person knows you. One reference might be the only person who knows about a particular skill.
Then contact them and ask them to be sure to discuss that particular point. Follow-up with an email with the information you hope they will include and a copy of your resume so they know how you are presenting yourself. That way they have your information when they are called to speak on your behalf.
Managing your Digital Dirt
This has to be done. As I’ve stated in other blogs: YOU may not have done anything of concern, but someone with the same name may have. Whether you are employed or not, you should check the Internet regularly to ensure there is nothing there that damages the clear, consistent, comprehensive message that you are sending a potential employer. If there is something of concern, then it needs to be managed and that may include a heads-up on your résumé as well.
If you have digital dirt concerns, here are a few articles that may help.
How to Handle Resume Challenges
There is an underlying assumption about the positions that you are applying to. They should match the careful communications that you have meticulously put together.
Do you have it already?
A clear, comprehensive, consistent message + a matching job = a job offer.
We have it down to a science and we teach jobseekers the process. It shortens their job search and cuts down on cost.
You can read about it here.