The Perfect Job Search?

  • Article by: KEVIN DONLIN , Star Tribune Sales and Marketing
  • Updated: January 25, 2009 - 5:58 PM

Your next job is out there waiting for you. Where?

In somebody’s skull.

More specifically, your next job exists -- right now -- in the mind of your next boss.

That job may be murky and formless, a nagging problem that will eventually require a new employee to solve, for example.

Or it may be defined and open right now, perhaps advertised in the newspaper.

In either case, the job you seek must first exist in the mind of a hiring manager before it can be filled by a person.

So, the more hiring managers’ heads you can get into, the more jobs you can be considered for.

Here’s the story of one very smart job seeker who did just that. He met more hiring managers and got hired for a great job -- one that was created just for him …

1) Start with clarity
When J.L. Zoeckler, from Milwaukee, Wisconsin found himself in the job market in January 2009, his first step was to decide exactly what he wanted to do next.

“I knew I was looking for a director of communications or a public relations position where I could use my skills in public speaking, writing, and sales,” said Zoeckler.

A trivial point? Hardly.

Most job seekers I encounter have only the faintest idea of what they want to do.

2) Choose your targets
Zoeckler then spent a Sunday researching potential employers and made a list of 24 companies he wanted to work for.

“I hunted online for people who could actually hire me, like a VP of marketing or corporate communications, along with their mailing addresses and phone numbers,” he said.

Zoeckler was smart to create a “job shopping list” and target people with the authority to hire him.

3) Send a sales letter
Not a cover letter. A sales letter, one that “sells” employers on the following points:

  • you know who they are,
  • you understand their problems, and
  • you can help, with promises backed by specific results.

“I worked from my list of skills, then figured out what my work meant in terms of saving money or creating money. And I was amazed when I thought about, for example, the time I took that extra responsibility and revenues went up almost $400,000,” said Zoeckler.

Now. You might think you can’t come up with specific numbers or dollars. And you would be wrong.

In any job you’ve held for more than 90 days, you either made more money or saved more money than you were paid in salary. The dollars are there, if only you’ll look long and hard enough.

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