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Job Seeker have to practice their pitch

There are a many things that job seekers can do to find a new job. The most important part of that job seeking process is the actual job interview. Recently, I wrote about showing enthusiasm on the interview and how that can help you stand out amongst other job applicants. I am also one who believes in the old cliché, “practice makes perfect”. Common sense as well as my years of recruiting experience have repeatedly shown that if a job seeker is going to land a new job , they better prepare for the interview process.

Think of it this way. A sales executive may only really have 30 seconds to make a pitch to a customer. It is in the first 30 seconds, in many cases, that a this customer will make a decision. Likewise for hiring managers. They too will often “size up” a job candidate in the first 30 seconds of the job interview.

The sales person who has repeatedly practiced their pitch, and focuses on the positive delivery of their message (pitch) will in most cases do better. A good sales person realizes that they have to play a numbers game and deal with a tremendous amount of rejection. Sound like job searching? What gets me is that this “pitch” is the most important part of this process (and likewise the job seeking process) and yet it is being practiced DURING the game.

Now I know most of my readers aren’t in sales and can’t picture themselves selling anything let alone making a phone call to sell themselves, but you need to strongly consider this somewhat simple advice. Especially with the condition of our economy right now.

Job seekers need to understand how to sell themselves. Job seekers - did you grit your teeth on that one or roll your eyes? I know how you feel, but the fact is I still continue to hear strong feedback from our clients (hiring managers) about how job applicants can stand out . The job applicant’s balanced confidence, enthusiasm and fluidness of their pitch delivery during an interview seems to continue to be a strong motivating and decision making factor for hiring managers.

According to the latest statistics, only about 2-5% of all resumes posted via the Internet even get a click let alone an interview. How many people today spend too much time on career sites posting their resume and searching for jobs? How many job candidates spend far too little time practicing and rehearsing their interview? Read through my previous blog postings to better understand why this may not be the best time being spent for job seekers.

For over 18 years now I have trained sales people to be sales people. I have seen more people terrified of role playing than you can imagine. Grown adults terrified to role play. The trouble is that they don’t believe they need to practice and prepare, or they are too embarrassed to practice OUT LOUD. Again, it is this practicing, and doing so out loud in fact, that can be a deciding factor for you in your job interview!

Like they say, you only get one chance to make a good first impression. I have said for years that a resume may get you in the door but what matters more will be the connection or lack of connection a job applicant makes with the individual conducting the interview. I cannot stress that reality enough.

Plain and simple, hiring managers, in many cases, hire people they like and people who appear to be a good fit within an organization. Though qualifications are essential, they typically don’t come first on the list during the interview process. I’m not stating that qualifications aren’t important. Remember these qualifications and/or a recruiter with a relationship with a hiring manger can be what gets you in the door. Once you get in the door though, you have to sell yourself.

To sell yourself the best you can, you need to practice and prepare. When it comes to your big game (interview) understand one thing, your resume will NOT be the problem if you do not get the job. Again, it helped get you in the door! If you were fortunate enough to get the interview and not the job, then there is a good probability it was due to your pitch. Practice!

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Comment by Vincent Granville on February 17, 2009 at 1:44pm
I could not agree more with what Jeff said. Getting a job is pure sale -if you acquire sales skills you will improve your odds of getting the job, but also your odds to move on the fast track, career-wise, once you've been hired.

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