I have a secret to tell you. My hair is not actually naturally straight the way it looks in my photo. In fact, it is pretty wavy and not usually very coifed. Why am I telling you this? I had an experience at the mall a few weeks ago that I have been meaning to blog about. I think it offers a good lesson for job seekers. So, you know my secret. My hair needs some help to look like it does in my online image!
I was walking through the mall past several of those kiosks that seem to fill the middle of the walkways at this time of year. A woman with hair products noticed me (with my un-coifed hair – hey I was on my way the Apple store – I don’t dress up for them!) Maria easily identified me as a potential customer and called me over. Of course, a skeptical consumer that I am, I resisted. “No, thanks,” I replied. “Come, let me show you something, it will only take a minute.” Maybe it was a weak moment. Maybe I was not in a hurry for the first time in my life. I gave in and went to see what she had.
She was selling hair straighteners. Ah…Now, I was interested. She took a piece of my hair and demonstrated how her product worked. Impressed, I still resisted. I wasn’t really shopping for a hair product. She persisted. She illustrated a few more great tricks her hair straightener could do. Explained how the ceramic tongs wouldn’t damage my hair. Showed me that even her nifty hair curler couldn’t undo my newly straightened hair. Very impressive.
Long story short, she connected with me on every important point. Answered every single question and hesitation I had. I bought the hair straightener and I’ll tell you I have NOT been sorry. I love it and I really like the way I can make my hair look (and behave) when I use it.
What does this have to do with you? Think about it – looking for a job is nothing more than selling what you have to offer to someone who needs what you have. Did Maria stop the short-haired man who walked by ahead of me? Of course not – she targeted me as an obvious potential customer. (Okay, so my hair was a mess.) I was clearly someone with a problem she could solve. That is what you need to do – identify problems you can solve. Target organizations that have those problems.
Did she show me the lovely box and EXPLAIN how the hair straightener worked. No – she SHOWED me how quickly and totally straight I could get my hair in 10 seconds. You’ve heard “show, don’t tell.” So, do that. Don’t tell the employer you have great communication skills and that you are a creative person – SHOW them by writing a knock-out resume and having an amazing online profile that leaves nothing to doubt.
Once you have someone interested – don’t let them go until you have shown your stuff! There were several points when I was ready to walk away without a new hair straightener. But Maria knew just what to say to keep me interested. You need to be able to have enough to say to keep people interested, too. Do you know how to sell your skills? If you can’t keep someone from (literally or figuratively) walking away, you need to do a better job. Practice! Maria was obviously a very skilled salesperson. She didn’t get there by sitting around and hoping people would stop to see her.
Maria MADE that sale happen. You need to do the same thing. It is tough, but it is not rocket science. I don’t remember EVER buying anything at a mall kiosk. But, I couldn’t walk away from that straightener. And I’m not sorry. You need to make sure someone knows better than to walk away from you. SHOW them that you are the perfect match for the job.
What do you need to do before you make the sale of your life? Share your ideas!
I can help with every part of your job hunt! Need a great resume? Tips to use social networking? Interview coaching? Ã‚Â If you need help mobilizing your networks and your job search plans,Ã‚Â learn more about how I can help you! While you’re at it, don’t forget those social networks! Be sure to become aÃ‚Â fan of Keppie Careers on Facebook…I’d be thrilled to have you as part of the community! Since we’re on the subject of doing something new…Are you on Twitter? Jump on and touch base with meÃ‚Â @keppie_careers