Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Job Seekers Should Take a Lesson from Successful Businesses

In a recent Wall Street Journal, the title of an article written by Suzanne Barly grabbed my attention. Although Ms. Barly wrote this article for business owners, the concept can easily be applied to job seekers. The title of her article is New and Improved For Many Small Firms, the key to survival is this: Don’t just sell the same old product to the same old people.

Your New Job is Sales
Job seekers are sales people. They are selling their skills, abilities, and experience. A salesperson cannot do a good job of selling a product – for instance a TV - without knowing how it works and what makes it better than the competition’s TV. Job seekers must understand their competitive advantages.

Like a salesperson looking for customers, job seekers have to find a buyer (future employer), identifying target companies who are hiring and fit the criteria the job seeker has established based on prior experience of what for them are traits that make a good employer.

New and Improved

So what does Suzanne Barly’s concept mean to the job seeker, you may ask? In her article, Suzanne was reminding businesses that the key to survival is to stop doing the same old thing. For a job seeker, that means stop selling the same set of skills, for the same work you have always done, to the companies which are cookie cutters of the companies you have always worked for.

With the tighter job market, experts say the secret to success in finding that next job is to cast a wider net. The experts do not mean you should mass distribute your resume. Instead, casting a wider net means you should consider other jobs where your transferable skills and abilities can be used within other types of companies or industries than you are typically used to. Give consideration to other jobs you are qualified for and interested in. Take into account industries that you have not worked in before or companies you had not previously considered because they are different than you are used to.

Consult a job search coach if you want help finding new ways to sell your product to new companies. It may be the key of your survival.

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