How to treat your job hunt like a sales pro

 

Anytime you have a goal in life that requires someone else to help you fulfill it (i.e. getting a great job), it is called “sales”. And, it requires a sales mindset. 

With sales, it’s not just about having the best product. You have to ensure that you have enough potential buyers for that product to off-set their own biases and the market competition for that “sale”. This is called building a pipeline. 

You also have to ensure each potential opportunity is managed thoughtfully and strategically. This is called a sales process. 

In this case, the product is you, the buyer is the employer, and the sale is a great job. 

 

5 sales tips that can help you with your job search:

 

1. Know what problem the buyer is trying to solve, and gear your sales “touches” to understanding and solving that problem

Your Sales Touches: resumes, cover letters, phone/video/in-person interviews, 

If the employer is looking for an early career-stage person, they want “potential” more than “experience”. They are looking for someone who will be ambitious and confident enough to attack any challenge/task, while also being humble enough to do the “grunt work”. Each “touch” needs to clearly demonstrate that you will make their life easy as a boss: you’ll work hard, keep your ears open, and do whatever the job demands with energy and enthusiasm.

You can lose the sale here if… You come across as if you know it all and want to “teach” not “learn”.

 

2. Don’t just fill in an RFP… get noticed!

An “RFP” is a Request For Proposal. When a company is looking to source suppliers for a specific resource, they put up a Request For Proposal and companies apply to be considered. Great salespeople will not just respond to the RFP… they will ensure they get noticed. 

Here is how this relates to your job search: 

You see a job advertised and you hit “apply”. You write a nice cover letter and complete the application process. You sit and wait. Unfortunately, hiring managers are often overwhelmed by applications, and yours can get lost in the “noise”. Because your resume does not yet have years of highly relevant experience on it, hiring managers often overlook good candidates. You need to be noticed. The best way you can show your potential is to film a quick personalized video introducing yourself and send it to them through their email or social media channels. Don’t be afraid to follow up with a polite but eager phone call 24 hours after application to ensure you don’t get lost in the shuffle. Also, if you have someone in your shared networks, get a referral.

You can lose the sale here if… You rely on the system. Big follow-ups may sound aggressive, but you can’t get a job you are not considered for.

 

3. Don’t rely on any one opportunity, build a whole pipeline

If you are a great candidate and manage each opportunity well, you should expect to get at least 1 offer for every 5 jobs you are interviewed for. The best practice is to push yourself to get 5+ interviews to ensure the math works in your favor.

You can lose the sale here if… You get too discouraged by early rejections. The hiring manager’s decision should not impact your mood and energy level.

 

4. Do your research, but don’t puke it on them

It is critical before any interview that you dig into the research of the role, company, industry, and people you are meeting with. Spending a few hours getting prepared shows you are intelligent and eager to learn. It also shows you want them, not just a job. It can be really tempting to make sure your interviewer knows how much time and effort you have put into your research by oversharing early in the interview instead of waiting for more organic opportunities to show your work. In an interview, you should be looking for a conversation where you both talk and listen. The research you have done can also be extremely useful in designing a thought-provoking and intelligent question when they ask for one.

You can lose the sale here if… You come out of the interview having done 99% of the talking.

 

5. Follow-up on closed opportunities… they may reopen sooner than you think

So you get rejected from a role… what next? Just because they made the hire does not mean it will definitely work out for them. Make sure you are their first call if something does not go well (candidate they offer to rejects, resigns quickly, or does not work out). To do this you must handle your initial rejection with poise and empathy. Be disappointed but not deflated. Tell them you are still interested and would love another shot if anything changes on their end. Then follow up 4 weeks after the new hire is made to “check in” and show continued interest.

You can lose the sale here if… You get frustrated with their decision and burn a bridge.

 

As with sales, job searches can be pretty frustrating at times. You get a “no” that should have been a “yes”. You have buyers who don’t always tell you why you lost the sale. Any good salesperson stays focused and resilient throughout. They know that they will meet their goals if they stay focused and prolific.

Want to learn more about how we can help with your job search? STA Next™ is Sales Talent Agency’s proactive candidate sourcing program that is designed to help company’s build, maintain and grow their sales teams with high-potential candidates that have 0-3 years of experience. Contact our STA NEXT™ team below to see if you’re a fit for the program. Happy hunting!