Another Job Success Story

  • Article by: KEVIN DONLIN , Star Tribune Sales And Marketing
  • Updated: October 22, 2007 - 9:50 AM

Persistently focusing on ideal potential employers can help you land your dream job before the position is even posted.

Kevin Donlin

Photo: Jamie Hutt, StarTribune.com

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Another Job Search Success Story

Everybody loves a story with a happy ending, right?

Well, here's one about an Ontario man who got the job he wanted in exactly 31 days, with lessons that can help you do the same.

Rod Sider, from Waterloo, Ontario, sent me an email describing the success he had after reading my ebook, "Guerrilla Resumes." We later spoke by phone and I asked Rod what the most important change was that he made in his job search. His answer: "Focus. I narrowed my search to one type of job, sales, in two industries: home remodeling and new cars."

Your Lesson: Start your job search by thinking clearly of what you want. Rod aimed at one specific position -- sales -- and two industries. As a result, he was able to produce results quickly, like sunlight focused through a magnifying glass.

In the words of Robert Collier: "The time you put in aimlessly dreaming and wishing would accomplish marvels if it were concentrated on one definite subject."

Next, I asked Rod about his resume.

"Among the changes I made to my resume was to put in comments from past clients," said Rod. Including testimonials like this helped prove the claims he made in his resume, because praise about you is more believable when it comes from somebody else.

Your Lesson: Watch any TV infomercial and you'll find that at least 30-50% of the program is made up of testimonials from happy customers. That's no accident. Testimonials are incredibly powerful. In your resume, including two or three testimonials -- brief quotes from clients or managers -- can be just as powerful.

Now. How many employers did Rod contact, and how did he find them?

"I faxed, emailed and mailed my resume to 19 companies that I wanted to work for. I found 16 of them just by driving around near my home and looking. I located more than 50 potential employers this way. Then, I researched them on Google, narrowing the list and finding contact information for executives I wanted to meet. The interesting part was, only one of the 19 companies I contacted was hiring, but I got a total of 5 job interviews."

Your Lesson: When most folks look for work, they look for a job. Why not look for an employer instead? That's what Rod did. He created his own job market by targeting companies within 20 minutes of his home. Rod didn't wait for his ideal employers to advertise an opening -- he simply went after them. You can, too.

What happened after he sent out his resumes and cover letters?

"For the first few days, there were no calls. I got a bit discouraged. But, I called all 19 employers to see if they got my resume and cover letter. Then things started to snowball. I received a total of 12 responses, resulting in four in-person interviews and one phone interview. On day 30, I was called back for a second interview and offered a position 5 minutes from home. On day 31, I accepted the job, selling new cars."

Your Lesson: This one has two parts.

First, you must follow up. Rod called each of his 19 target employers to make sure they got his resume. If a company is worth identifying, researching, and applying to, it's worth a phone call to make sure your materials were read.

Second, if you persist, you will succeed. If you don't, you won't. While Rod felt dejected after not hearing back from employers, he never quit. Instead, he got busy calling employers to follow up. One good thing led to another, until he had the job he wanted within 31 days.

If you never give up, you'll never fail. It's just that simple.

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Kevin Donlin