What’s the best way to get hired, even in this economy? Prove you’re the best one for the position, and a great way to do that is to start working – even before you’re hired.
Let me explain with three mini-case studies that won jobs:
1) Start work BEFORE the interview:
“Six candidates were interviewing for a sales position in Atlanta with an exclusive company that had just received about $83 million in funding,” says Ron McManmon, a former recruiter and Executive VP of Careeradex.com. Five candidates were “top gun” sales people who all came from industry leaders – and then there was Tony. He was young, with about five years of experience. But Tony was highly motivated and willing to go the extra mile.
In his job interview, Tony not only mapped his accomplishments out on a PowerPoint presentation, he also demonstrated that he had already started working for the company. He did this by researching, assembling, and bringing with him a list of sales leads and contacts. His presentation consisted of past, present AND future. The other candidates did nothing like this.
Did it work?
“Tony was hired over five more-experienced candidates,” says McManmon.
2) Start work BEFORE the interview – Part 2:
This example is near and dear to my heart – it’s how I landed a job with a marketing communications firm back in the 1990s, when I worked for other people.
After mailing in my resume, I was called by a receptionist to schedule an interview. During our conversation, I asked if she could send me back issues of their corporate publications. I explained that I wanted to research the writing styles of the magazines and newsletters I would be editing if I got the job.
She immediately agreed, and had a nice package of materials couriered over to me the same day.
It turned out to be a gold mine.
I found three typos in one back issue of a magazine I would be proofreading in the position I was interviewing for. Here was proof I could do the job. Two days later at the interview, the subject of proofreading skills came up. I pulled out the magazine (with post-it notes marking the typos) and said: “I’ve been researching your publications and found these three errors. I can improve your image by preventing this kind of thing from happening again.”
They hired me.
3) Start work AFTER the interview:
This lesson in perseverance is a variation on the first story, about the candidate who brought a list of sales leads to his job interview.
“Robin, a woman from Los Angeles, had been interviewing with the same company for three months. She felt she was a perfect for the position, but the hiring manager was not responsive — he wouldn’t tell her yes or no about a decision to hire her,” says Ron McManmon.
So Robin called McManmon to discuss her dilemma. His advice?
“I suggested that she REALLY demonstrate her skills to the hiring manager.
I encouraged her to call 100 potential customers and ask them, ‘Would you be interested in looking at a technology that would solve your problem with X and save you XX amount of dollars??? says McManmon.
The next day, Robin walked into the manager’s office, put her contact list on his desk and said, “I’ve already started working for you. In fact, I have 100 customers who are interested in your technology.”
What happened next?
“Robin was hired on the spot,” says McManmon.
Your lesson: these three examples illustrate a common point.
Do whatever you can to research your target company and “start working” for them before you’re hired. It’s one thing to claim you can do the job. It’s quite another — and much more powerful — to prove it.
Now, go out and create your own luck!
Author: Kevin Donlin owns Minnesota-based Guaranteed Resumes and writes a bi-weekly column providing job search and resume writing advice. Reach him at the Guaranteed Resume web site: www.gresumes.com