Posted in LinkedIn. https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/3-things-you-should-do-today-become-irresistible-haja-sheriff
Recently, A close friend spoke to me about a job that he was pitching for. This was a fantastic opportunity for him – and I got excited with the possibility of what he could do. To get this “once in a lifetime opportunity”, he was working on a pitch that could help him “blow the CEO away”. To be fair, I did nothing more that give him some tips, but the activity opened up some interesting thoughts in my mind.
Do you realize how many people actually do things that could help them differentiate themselves from other potential candidates applying for the same job?
This applies to people who have many years of experience. Also Senior Executives making a move to other bigger opportunities in their career. For the majority, a pitch for a new role is printing out a resume (in many cases, not required anymore because of email) and reading up on the company (briefly) before getting to the interview.
Does that make you any different from the others?
Here are 3 things that are required to make your brand IRRESISTABLE.
This is simple of course. Right?
In today’s world, where information is available on the click of a key, it is easy to collect information on the company you are pitching for.
Which you should. No doubt.
Also research the manager you are going to meet. Find out their background. LinkedIn is a great place to do that.
But think for a minute.
How does that make you irresistible to the hiring manager?
You are now, at best, on par with some of the other candidates who would have done exactly this.
Here are some tips that make your Research on the company relevant-
o Think about what the hiring manager is actually looking for. Look through the Job Description to see what the role really requires.
o Understand the problems they face. Most probably, you cannot know the issues internally- but you can look at the problem as a customer of theirs. For example- if you are pitching for a sales job, find out how they are selling the product today. If through partners, ask for a quote, talk to a few partners and get an understanding how it is done. Find out about the experience- and share that feedback with the hiring manager- as a pitch document.
o Speak to some ex-employees (and in today’s world you are all connected to each other through LinkedIn and other social media) and understand the challenges they face. See how you could solve the problems. Think about what you would do to solve their problem.
· Create a killer Pitch
Why should a pitch be made only by Startups to VC’s?
Think of this as an opportunity to showcase your strategic thinking, your ideas, and your approach to the business opportunity. An opportunity to change the discussion from being a dull “tell me about yourself” to a discussion between equals. Talk about the challenges and opportunities you see for the business. Share candid feedback with the hiring manager on what you have heard with details of whom you spoke to. You rapidly evolve from a “potential employee” to a Consultant, a partner, who gives precious insights while explaining why you would help them in the role.
This, if done well, could differentiate you from every other person who pitches for the role.
Why? Because this is hard work- and most people don’t do it.
Remember, the pitch document need not be very accurate, because you don’t know the real story on the inside. But it showcases your enthusiasm, your strategic thinking ability & your drive to make a difference.
Key ingredients to get any job.
In an instance a few years ago, I was approached by a headhunter for a role in Apple India. Considering I had no background in Consumer Sales, I went ahead and did my research including walking into a number of Apple Stores, where I asked questions to them like a customer. I consolidated that and gave the feedback to the Apple team when I went for the interview.
Did I get the job?
No. But I went right to the end of the line and met their entire leadership team before losing out to someone from Cupertino. For someone with no consumer background- it was great- and the learning has stuck since then.
Ask for feedback after the discussion. It is a great closure to the interview. Most of the times, the hiring manager, would respond with some thinking on what your pitch was. It will give you some insight into his thinking, and gauge where you were right and where you could do better. Also, more importantly, it will give you an insight into the Manager’s thinking and his willingness to listen to new ideas. It also gives you the control to then decide if you want to work with that manager or not.
By doing these three steps, you assure yourself of a discussion where you are seen as being different, a great prospect, and if your pitch is perfect, the best candidate for the job.
All it takes is to spend the time & take the effort.
Do I think my friend will get his job?
Why- because he has a story that is brilliant -and an attitude, that is not easy to find. He will get it because he leaves behind his pitch document with the CEO, which will remind them, just what difference he could bring. If he does not get the job, it is not from want of trying. He has learnt so much more about the company, and the business they are in- and an opportunity to perfect his approach in his next discussion.
Make an effort to make a difference. It could be all that you need to get the job you have been dreaming of.
I am happy to help if you need any inputs on this.