You may have all the qualifications needed for a job. You may have all the credentials and even hands-on work experience that make you confident that you are going to be hired immediately. Yet, these are not absolute guarantees that you are going to get accepted for that position.
Applying for a job is like being in the sales profession. While a salesman should be aware of his customer’s needs and wants, a person applying for a job should also have a clear awareness of what the employer needs from him. This is what almost everyone seems to be missing out on. They apply for jobs that they want and believe they can do without stepping into the employer’s shoes.
This is very obvious with the so many Résumés and Cover Letters I review on a daily basis. Most of my clients don’t have a clue as to the corporate culture of the company they want to be a part of. They don’t even care to know about it. They just look at the job post, see that it is something they want to do and can do, and then submit a Résumé and Cover Letter.
Let me go back for a while on the comparison I did earlier between a salesperson and a person applying for a job. How many salespeople have you met who were sincerely concerned about you? Some of them ask a little about you and your life but you and I know very well that it is just part of their sales pitch. A true, genuine salesperson for me is someone who researches first about a customer and tailor-fits his sales pitch to the specific needs and wants of the customer. He is also more concerned about how he can help the customer meet his needs and wants through the product or service that he, the salesperson, is offering. He is there to help, not to sell. This concept applies perfectly well to a person applying for a job. He must do his research first about the company: its vision, mission, history, philosophy, beliefs, core values, people behind, etc. He must understand the corporate culture and see how he will fit into the environment, how he can contribute to the achievement of the corporate goals and objectives, and how he can make a difference within and outside of the organization. Once he gets a pretty good grasp of all these, he should start tailor-fitting his Résumé and Cover Letter to suit the specific needs and requirements not only of the job but the company he wants to be a part of.
It’s not about you and will never be about you. This is something you have to bear in mind and let it stick there forever. Even if you know that the employer needs someone like you, your attitude and mindset should be geared towards what you can do for them more than what they can do for you. This is what service orientation is all about, and what every good employer out there is looking for. There are very few people who have totally understood this, let alone apply the principle. Once you have it you will be a prized commodity.
Companies spend a lot of money instilling their values and philosophy into the hearts and minds of their employees. Can you imagine how valuable of an asset you will be if you already know their soul before you are interviewed? It’s no different from asking a woman out on a date and even before the first date you already did your preliminary research and know a lot of information about her. How do you think will that make her feel? As a woman I can say that I would feel special and will make me believe that the man is truly interested in me.
Remember, you can tweak your Résumé to look highly professional and very impressive. You can even look so convincing during your interview. However, there is something you can never fake, and that is your attitude, which is a reflection of your core values and beliefs. If you believe in serving others instead of being served … if you believe in being a blessing to whoever you come across with … if you believe that you have a deeper purpose to fulfill in every job you are privileged to have, then it will show in your demeanor and attitude.
Start today by changing the way you think and feel about applying for jobs. Get out of yourself and be more focused on how you can help others. Changing your mindset also changes the way you feel about people and situations, leading to more doors that will naturally open for you.
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