How to Sell Employers on Hiring You

  • Article by: KEVIN DONLIN , Star Tribune Sales and Marketing
  • Updated: July 8, 2008 - 3:19 PM

If you are looking for a job right now you are in sales. That's because, to get hired for your next job -- any job -- you must first convince an employer to say "yes" to the idea of hiring you.

Kevin Donlin

Photo: Jamie Hutt, StarTribune.com

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Pop quiz: If you're looking for a job right now, what line of work are you in?

Answer: You're in sales.

You may think you're an accountant, a bus driver, an engineer or something else. But right now, you're in sales.

That's because, to get hired for your next job -- any job -- you must first convince an employer to say "yes" to the idea of hiring you.

And that's one definition of sales, isn't it? Getting people to say "yes."

With that in mind, here are three classic sales techniques you can adapt and use to improve your job search, starting today …

1) Become a Matchmaker

Here's a great way to network more effectively and uncover more job leads.

In "The Little Black Book of Connections," author Jeffrey Gitomer says that the key to making successful networking connections is to start with your own. "Your lawyer knows other lawyers. Your accountant knows other accountants. And they both know all of their clients and can potentially leverage your position with a third-party introduction."

What does this mean for you? If you introduce the professionals in your network to each other, you can take advantage of the resulting good will.

Example: Introduce your banker to your lawyer, or your accountant to a friend who owns a business. They will all thank you and be more likely to introduce you to decision makers who can hire you.

Why not get on the phone today and set up one lunch or coffee meeting for later this week? Matchmaking like this can increase the value of your network exponentially -- and get you hired.

2) Use Words That Sell

In his classic, "Zig Ziglar's Secrets of Closing the Sale," Zig includes a list of 24 specific words that sell. Do you think these 24 words might help you get hired faster? I do!

Here's the list: understand, proven, health, easy, guarantee, money, safety, save, new, love, discovery, right, results, truth, comfort, proud, profit, deserve, happy, trust, value, fun, and vital.

How can you use these words to get a job? For a start, you could choose 5 or 10 and try to work them into your cover letters and resumes.

But don't stop there. Try to use "words that sell" in your next job interview, too.

Example: "Mr. Employer, I think I understand how to save money and increase profits for your business, based on the results I've produced before. I would love to produce similar results for you, too. If this feels right for you, when do you think I could start?"

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Kevin Donlin