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Your Job Search is a Bare Knuckle Fight Ch 3: This is a sales job whether you like it or not


Everything until now has been designed to get you ready to accept the prescription that follows.

The hardest pill for most job searchers to swallow is that the bare knuckle job search is a sales job! You are the product. Unless you are a salesperson, those looking for other roles will likely find the idea of selling terribly uncomfortable. Well think about this: What’s more uncomfortable, being in sales for a few months or being out of work for years?

The good news is that those who follow our process find that it gets easier with practice – and it gets results. Plus, we’re going to give you a specific plan to follow.

As we mentioned in the last chapter, back in the not so distant days when the only place you could find out about jobs was in a newspaper or trade journal, job searches were done on the phone and in person.

Guess what? On the phone and in person is still the way top recruiters work to sell our services and to market candidates. Remember that we’re sharing our process so that you can do it for yourself. Sure, we’ll send some emails, but
person-to-person is the formula for success. That’s why we’re telling you to ignore that ‘no calling’ rule.

To give you another way to think about calling, here are some words of wisdom from our FPC owners:
“It’s easy to get people to open up when you’re genuinely interested in what they’re doing. At FPC we’re learning recruiting, but we’re already specialists in our clients’ industries so we can offer good advice. Much of recruiting is done over the phone. I’m not the most extroverted person and someone asked if I could call people and sell. Well, I can call people and talk to them, and so far that’s working just fine.”

You have to call. Just don’t call HR. They’ll send you online. We’re going to teach you:

• Who to call
• When to call
• What to say
• How to feel good about it

Okay. Here’s your recruiter sales training manual.

Be enthusiastic about the product: You!

At FPC we do what we call Quality Candidate Marketing. When we’re working with a quality candidate, we help them identify companies they want to work for. Then we go in and market them. We write a script, CALL the hiring managers and sell the candidate. You have to do this for yourself.

For example I would say, “Hi, this is Jeff Herzog with FPC. I know you weren’t expecting my call, but do you have two quick minutes? I just got the opportunity to represent an individual with 12 years of overall experience, an MBA from University of Virginia who started his career going through the Financial Leadership Development Program at GE. He’s been with several
divisions of J&J for the past five years and is currently a senior manager of commercial finance, considering new opportunities. Who do you know who might be interested in speaking with him further?”

Think of yourself as a hot candidate and market yourself accordingly. Because here is another tough reality: If you’re reading this and you’re unemployed – especially if you’ve been employed for a while – we recruiters can’t always help you. We get paid by most companies to find passive candidates — talent that is already employed and not necessarily looking for
a new job. That’s why it’s critically important that you learn to become your own recruiter advocate in your job search.

Yes, you should still connect with us, because nothing is carved in stone. We’ll tell you later how to connect productively with recruiters, but you shouldn’t rely on anyone but yourself in the final analysis. You have great experience and great value to the right company. Now we’re going to tell you how to find that company and get hired.

Bare Knuckle Job Search

Blueprint the company

You’ve probably been spending your time looking for posted positions that you think you’re qualified for. That’s a very reactive approach to the marketplace. What we recommend is far more proactive. Identify companies that you want to work for based on your personal needs and realistic desires — and then figure out how to get hired by them.

That’s right. Start with the desired outcome and work backward from there. We know it sounds harder than applying for an open position. Maybe a bit. But it’s a lot more effective.

To begin blueprinting, ask yourself some basic questions:

  1. What are my strengths and weaknesses? You need to be honest and realistic in answering this. Unfortunately, I’ve seen many job hunters over-value their qualifications to their own detriment. You have to calibrate yourself to market
  2. Where do I want to work, geographically speaking? If you don’t want to relocate, then you’re going to look at companies in your local market. If you don’t mind relocating or have a good reason to move – like getting closer to family, or wanting a different climate – you’ll need to research towns and cities to learn the opportunities for both work and lifestyle.
  3. Do I want to stay in my industry, or a tangential one where my skills and experience will translate? Can you turn your portfolio management experience into a corporate treasury role? How about sales experience into customer
    service? Or take your engineering background and become a recruiter like so many of our FPC consultants.
  4. Do I want to consider a complete career change? Based on this self-Q&A process, start building a list of target companies for further research. Start narrow and go deep. Get to know each company and as many people as possible who work or worked there.

Once you’ve identified a solid list of 25 or 30 companies that you’re interested in, you’re going to create a blueprint that will help you find your way in through the most effective doors. Click here to download the FPC Blue Print Form


Missed Chapter 2?  No worries, we have you covered Your Job Search is a Bare Knuckle Fight, Ch 2: Outplacement is out of place in a bare knuckle job search

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