To galvanize your job search and lead you to your new dream job, your communications with any prospective employer — whether via phone, email or during a job interview — must incorporate these three messages:
- Here’s what I’ve got.
- Here’s what I will do for you.
- Here’s what I want you to do next for me.
Yes, it sounds extremely simple, but there’s an art and a science to effectively offering your time for money and getting that job. So let’s discuss what each of these bullet points mean.
1. Here’s what I’ve got
You’ll notice this isn’t “Here’s what I know.” Your employer doesn’t care about what you know. In fact, what you know has little relevance to your employer.
It’s what you can do with what you know that really counts. (Click here to Tweet this thought.) Nothing else matters, but this is where the majority of people go wrong.
Just because you have specialized knowledge doesn’t mean you should be employed. You might think having a certain degree, qualifications or number of years of experience is sufficient enough to get you the job. Others believe the severity of their need will lead to someone taking pity on them and giving them a job.
This, again, is one main reason why many people have a hard time getting a job. In the midst of all these ideas about why they need a job, job seekers omit the specific reasons they’re valuable to prospective employers.
2. Here’s what I will do for you
This is the step where you demonstrate your enthusiasm for the position. You can do this in a variety of ways: during your meeting or phone conversation or in your well-crafted cover letter and resume.
Your attitude will come through in your interactions, so being positive is important. A negative attitude can be poisonous in this step.
If you’re not positive, why would an employer hire you? Maintain a positive attitude at all times, even if you’re fearful or nervous. Recruiters tend to avoid negative candidates who complain about the difficulties of the job market.
Keep in mind that many candidates have experienced the same hardships, but they bring positivity to their interviews. That positivity is not just contagious; it makes people want to work with you.
Save the pain and frustration of your job search for someone else. Don’t even bring it into the room. Of course, nervousness in an interview is natural. It’s OK to experience that as long as you have the right attitude.
And remember, the worst possible outcome is that you don’t get the job. Even if they don’t offer you a position, send the person who interviewed you a thank you note and wish them well. It will establish you as someone with impeccable manners and even confidence. You will put the idea in their mind that you’d be a good person to represent their company. The next time a job opens up, you’re more likely to be considered.
3. Here’s what I want you to do next for me
During your interview, make sure your interviewer knows you’re interested in the job. Ask questions about the position and ask about next steps.
Don’t ask about compensation and benefits. Instead, let the interviewer broach those topics. Interviewers will often ask applicants what compensation they’re seeking. This is an area where many job seekers make a crucial misstep.
When asked this question, a lot of interviewees will say they don’t know or cite a too-high or too-low figure based on guesswork. They erroneously believe that if they admit they’ll accept any type of offer, they’ll seem more appealing to the person with the hiring power.
Other people believe their hardship, mortgage or childcare responsibilities will earn the sympathy of prospective employers and lead to a job offer. But this desperation invariably has the opposite effect, especially if you’re willing to accept a very low salary. This red flag makes employers think you may be under-qualified.
Of course, the other pitfall job seekers step into is asking for too much money, which will make employers hire someone less expensive. Both extremes illustrate a lack of preparedness and a lack of awareness about the position. Research the industry standard for a realistic expectation of what the salary for this position should be.
In summary, employers are mostly interested in what you can do for them. They really don’t care about your background, except with respect to how you can use it for their benefit. They already have your resume and know enough about you to bring you in for an interview in the first place.
Employers are selfish. They’re looking out for their own interests. They don’t really care about you, your feelings or your current financial situation. All they care about is how you can help them achieve their objectives.
This information is not meant to be discouraging. In fact, it’s mentioned to simplify things and distill your interview performance into one clear message: what you can offer your new boss.
George Egbuonu (MBA) is the best-selling author of the book How To Get A Job In 30 Days Or Less. To attend a free webinar on How To Get A Job In 30 Days Or Less, visit: http://helpingfeet.com/webinar.