Why You Must Develop a Target Market of Employers for Your Job Search

As a job seeker, you are probably tempted to cast a wide net and apply for as many diverse positions as possible. But you’ll be wasting your time if you do. You will be much better off if you can identify and narrow your target market.

The idea of pinpointing and then refining your target market of employers is a scary prospect for most job seekers. A bigger universe intuitively seems more likely to result in employer interest. “If I send out my resume to as many employers as I can,” the mentality goes, “surely some of them will be interested in me.” But the opposite is true: The more you funnel the universe of employers into a laser-focused, precise, narrow segment of those who would love to hire you, the more successful you’ll be.

To understand the importance of target marketing in your job search, let’s first define a target market:

“A specific group of consumers at which a company aims its products and services,” says Entrepreneur.com.

Adapted for a job seeker, that would be: “A specific group of employers at which a job- seeker aims his or her talents and services.”

Here’s what a target market is not (even though some marketers of products and services mistakenly define their target markets this way): “Anyone interested in my products or services.”

Here’s how the marketing process works for those marketers who define their target market as “anyone interested in my products or services:” The marketer creates advertising or promotional material and then disseminates it to those perceived as “anyone interested in my products or services.”

This process may have a familiar ring to job seekers because it is essentially the way most of them conduct their job searches. The job-seeker creates advertising or promotional material – in the form of a resume and usually a cover letter – and disseminates it to those perceived as “anyone interested in ‘me as a product and the services I offer,’” typically employers who have posted vacancies on job boards or advertised openings in other media.

Smart marketers know that both of these approaches are backward. Here’s how consultant Vicki Brackett characterizes this backwards approach in Meridith Levinson’s article on CIO.com:

“If we were going to sell an energy drink, we wouldn’t create the energy drink and then go to stores hoping they’ll buy it. We’d first do research. We’d find out who would drink the energy drink, what they’re looking for in an energy drink, how it would help them, how we’d get it to market, and what the packaging looks like. Once we understand that, we perfect the beverage and go to market.”

Just as no universal product appeals to all consumers, no universal job seeker appeals to all employers.

Neither jobs nor employers are one-size-fits-all. Savvy job seekers survey the universe of employers to determine how to break the market down into a more manageable subset of employers who will be keenly attracted to what the job seeker has to offer.

The proven strategy of target marketing enables the marketer or job seeker to reach the customers/employers whose needs are most likely to be filled by the entity being marketed. That’s a big reason to use target marketing in the job search – but just a few of the other reasons include:

  • It’s more efficient. Yes, target marketing requires a big investment in front-end research. But that investment pays off when the job seeker is productively going on interviews instead of sitting on his or her posterior by the computer uploading resumes to employers who might be interested – and then waiting for hiring managers to call.
  • It targets the portion of the job market most likely to hire. Huge numbers of jobs aren’t advertised. Employers hold back on publicizing vacancies for all kinds of reasons, but if you can get in on the pipeline of an unpublicized opening, you’ll have a huge advantage over the vast hordes responding to job postings and want ads.
  • Through target marketing, you’ll be a better fit and happier with the employer at which you land than if you took your chances with answering ads. Since you’ve carefully vetted each employer in your target market, you know you’re a good match, and you fit the organizational culture. The outplacement firm Lee Hecht Harrison notes that 70 percent of its clients get new jobs through target-market methods, a figure consistent with other studies.

A targeted job search is clearly the way to go.

If you need help in developing a target market of potential employers, schedule a call using this link http://www.harveycareers.com/discussion,
or email beverly@harveycareers.com or call 386-749-3111.

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When the Employer Invites You to Sell Yourself

Employers often ask questions early in the interview process that opens the door to a selling opportunity.

The interviewer’s motivation in many cases is to decide whether to move you forward in the interview process; some of these questions are designed to screen you out if you don’t fit the criteria for the responses the employer seeks.

Another motivation is to break the ice, put you at ease (that’s the theory, though questions like “Tell me about yourself” can be nerve-wracking), and help the interviewer learn more about you. These questions also challenge you to explain why you are here – why are you interviewing for this job. That challenge is an opportunity to sell yourself.

Strategy for response

Because questions in the sell-yourself category can cover a wide territory. Here’s a strategy that fits virtually all of these questions:

  • Identify one to three top selling points that you would like to communicate to the interviewer with each response. Be sure these selling points are relevant to the position you’re interviewing for (you’ll know because of the research you’ve done).
  • Relate each response specifically to the organization at which you’re interviewing and the position you’re interviewing for. For example, the desired response to the request “describe your ideal job” is that your ideal job is the job you’re interviewing for. Describe the elements of the organization and position that perfectly fit your qualifications and attributes. Similarly, the best way to answer the question “What are your strengths?” is to list strengths relevant to the employer and the position.
  • Quantify whenever possible. In your “tell me about yourself” response, for example, use metrics such as percentage by which you’ve increased revenue or reduced costs, number of projects you’ve brought in on time and under budget,

Sample questions in this subject area:

  • Tell me about yourself/How would you describe yourself?
  • Describe your ideal job.
  • What do you want in your next job?
  • Why should we hire you?
  • What separates you from your colleagues?
  • Why do you believe you are the best candidate for this position?
  • How will we know we’ve made the right decision by hiring you?
  • What personal weakness has caused you the greatest difficulty on the job?
  • Why shouldn’t we hire you?
  • What one area do you really need to work on in your career to become more effective on a day-to-day basis?
  • If you could change something about your [life] [career], what would it be?
  • Do you have a geographic preference?
  • Would it be a problem for you to relocate?
  • How much travel are you willing to do for the job?
  • What two or three things are most important to you in your job?
  • What are your strengths?
  • Tell me about your greatest strength, and why it will benefit our company.

Sample response for this subject area:

Question: Why should we hire you?

Response: My abilities in so many areas – sales, marketing, promotions, and management – will be invaluable for your company, including my experience working with people with diverse backgrounds and at different levels, my background working with various clients, my work overseeing sales teams, my eye for detail, the fact that I strive to do the best job possible at all times. I’m also reliable, loyal, and trustworthy … and if you hire me, you will have a team player who will add to the integrity and quality of your sales force for years to come. As an example of the kind of results I get that would justify your hiring me: Sales were down in the electronics department of the retail store at which I worked as an assistant manager. The perception was that our products were inferior to a competitor. I took the initiative to create excitement at the store level to increase sales. I attained buy-in from my manager so that I could run a contest. I collected sales data from the store on our products and used that information to back the need for this contest. My manager loved the idea. He thought it was exciting and loved the fact that I provided him with details on how I planned to track the sales process. In the end, I increased sales for that month by 110 percent, which was phenomenal.

If you need help in responding to these questions, schedule a call using this link http://www.harveycareers.com/discussion to discuss our coaching programs or give us a call at 386-749-3111.

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Does Your Resume Lack Focus? How to Tailor it to Your Dream Job

⇒ Can the readers of your resume discern – by glancing at it for just a few seconds – what you want to do in your next job and the most important selling point(s) you bring to that job?  If not, you’ve committed the blunder of an unfocused resume.

To ensure a sharp focus, you will likely need to create a couple of versions of your resume, building one or more boilerplate versions that you then customize to each specific position. That doesn’t mean you have to rewrite your resume for each opening, but you do need to tweak it and focus it toward the specific opportunity to show that you are a fit for any vacancy to which you send your resume. You’ll be moving things around, adjusting words and phrases, and adding a focus and dimension to your resume that will make both hiring managers and applicant-screening software programs take notice.

By tailoring your resume to each job, each employer, you’ll appear better qualified – and a better fit – than those job seekers who do not tailor their resumes.

Your resume must be a collection of accomplishments and achievements from your previous work experiences. If your resume is simply a rehash of job duties and responsibilities, no amount of tailoring will help. Presenting your value proposition, skills, accomplishments, qualifications, and other selling points in the best light possible will all come more easily if you have in mind an overall focus for your resume.

The result should be a resume that illustrates your accomplishments in terms that the employer understands, showing how your achievements and qualifications match directly to the requirements and job description of the job you seek.

A broad overview of the steps to a focused, tailored resume follows:

Step 1: Search online for job listings for the job you seek. Once you’ve gathered at least five of these job postings, analyze the common qualifications each employer seeks. Modify your basic resume with this new information, especially keeping note of keywords and phrases and industry jargon/ buzzwords.

Step 2: Once you are ready to apply to job postings, review the job descriptions and required qualifications and make edits to your resume – especially the executive summary. Next, to portray your accomplishments, draw from the wording the employer uses to describe the ideal candidate. Your result should be a resume that mirrors the requirements the employer seeks. Another effective method for branding yourself is with the filename of your resume. Save your resume with the employer’s name in the file name, such JackGreeneResume-Apple. Or include your name and a brief branding label – such as “JackGreene–SupplyChainExecutive.”

Step 3: Nothing resonates more with a hiring manager than reading a resume that uses phrasing that mirrors language used by the employer. A very simple way to add an extra level of effectiveness to your resume is judiciously modifying some of the ways you describe yourself and your experiences using some of the same words and phrases the organization uses to describe itself. (Don’t go overboard here; employers are turned off if you copy and paste huge hunks of job descriptions into your resume).

For example, a job seeker applying for a position with the Walt Disney Company might include words such as “magic,” “dreams,” “innovation,” “excellence” in describing himself or herself.

Spend some time on each prospective employer’s website – and/or review any organizational literature. You’ll want to seek out common words the employer uses to describe its culture, organizational philosophy, and employees. Some employers have amazingly rich career/job sections on their corporate websites that go into great detail about organizational values, culture… and some even include quotes and testimonials from current employees. Take some of the words each employer uses to describe itself and its employees and use those words on your tailored resume.

Step 4: Turn to your network and find leads to people who work in the field – and, ideally, people who work for your targeted employers. If possible, schedule informal discussions or informational interviews so that you can glean even more insider information – and ideally additional insights and keywords that you can use to again modify and sharpen your tailored resume.

There is no excuse to EVER send a generic, untailored resume to a recruiter or employer. Not only will it be a great waste of your time, but you’ll continue to be frustrated with your lack of results. Tailoring your resume is as simple as outlined in this post – and the time and effort to conduct the research you need to dramatically improve your resume is minimal when compared to the better results you’ll get.


If tailoring your resume makes you uncomfortable, or you simply don’t have time,
consider working with us to manage the process for you.

Give us a call at 386-749-3111
Send us an email at beverly@harveycareers.com
Schedule a call with Beverly at www.harveycareers.com/schedule


*This article may be republished with written permission.  If you are interested in posting this article on your blog, please email me at Beverly@HarveyCareers.com.  I will respond within 2 business days with my required signature and credits.

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Pre-Employment Screenings and Assessments are Ubiquitous but Need Not be Stress-Inducing

Employers are increasingly using pre-screening and assessment techniques early in the interviewing process, typically after one or more initial phone screenings and before the first face-to-face interview or between the first and second interview. Sometimes they are used only when the field is narrowed down to just a few candidates. Surveys indicate more than 80 percent of Fortune 500s use assessments for executive positions and that small businesses also use them. The use of assessments is growing.

According to those employers who use them, pre-screens and assessments assure the organization of hiring a reliable, qualified manager or executive. Because decision-makers hiring for the C-suite are essentially placing the future of their organizations in candidates’ hands with limited evidence of executives’ ability to perform, testing prospective hires is good business. Assessments can provide information about how well a candidate can handle the position’s required tasks and interact with people within the hiring organization.

Companies that produce pre-hire assessments call the tests accurate predictors of future success or derailment in a new job and work culture.

Experts also point to the objectivity of these methods and the notion that they prevent hiring decision-makers from being influenced by candidate charisma or tendency to say what the employer wants to hear.

Many employers see the use of pre-employment screenings and assessments as the first line of defense against candidates who manipulate their personal information in resumes and other employment communications. Stretching the truth about education and employment on a resume is all too common.

Third-party assessments claim to objectively identify and describe the executive’s job-relevant characteristics, as well as capacity to lead and manage others effectively.

General reasoning or cognitive tests may be used to evaluate how quickly candidates can process new information and evaluate complex scenarios.

A few tips for taking assessments:

  • Candidates should be aware of what they’re getting into before undergoing pre-screens and assessments. Don’t be afraid to request information on the purpose of the assessment, as well as its validity and reliability. Inquire about how your privacy will be safeguarded for retention of the assessment results, along with the test-taking environment.
  • The degree to which you can prepare for pre-screens and assessment varies with the method used. In fact, many assessments are designed so that the user cannot prepare for them. You can, however, ensure that you are well-rested and that you take the assessment in quiet, private surroundings. If the employer requires multiple assessments, avoid assessment burn-out by taking time in between to stretch, get something to drink, and mentally unwind before proceeding to the next assessment.
  • Try to skim the assessment so you have an idea of how much time to devote to each question or section. During the assessment, apply the techniques you normally summon to subdue stress and keep yourself relaxed.
  • In preparation for the questionnaire and essay-style methods, keep a detailed journal of successes and past work accomplishments. Many employers will later check this information with your references.
  • While undergoing the assessment or prescreen, give truthful and detailed responses, rather than trying to “game the test” by making statements you think the employer wants to hear or listing characteristics you wish you had. The employer wants to know how well you will fit in with the organization. You do both yourself and the prospective employer a disservice by presenting yourself inaccurately. You may get hired, but you risk your success and satisfaction by hiding your true self.

Because candidates are matched against benchmarks that demonstrate patterns of successful executives, as well as evaluated for job, team, and culture fit, personality, behavior, values, and attitude, assessments aren’t looking for “right or wrong” answers. This matching process can save both employer and candidate from a bad fit that fails to meet expectations on both sides.

Typically, employers don’t rely on the assessments alone but affirm in interviews whether the candidate might not to be a good fit for the job, team and/or culture. In fact legally, an assessment can’t be the only reason for exclusion; a background check, references, work history, industry fit, communication skills, intelligence, the interview, and chemistry enhance the information gained in the assessment. Some experts have said assessments make up about a third of a hiring decision in organizations that use them.

Among the types of pre-screens and assessments that employers may require are:
Predictive Index, which its Web site describes says “predicts primary personality characteristics and cognitive ability [employers] can predict workplace behaviors and on-the-job performance.”
Kolbe A™ Index, which measures a person’s instinctive method of operation, and identifies the ways he or she will be most productive.
Hogan Development Survey, identifies personality-based performance risks and derailers of interpersonal behavior that affect an individual’s leadership style and actions.
• Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, is a well-known personality assessment, the use of which in hiring is controversial at best. The Myers-Briggs Web site notes “there are ethical concerns in using it for hiring purposes.”
Simmons Personal Survey, which measures job-related emotional and behavioral tendencies, such as energy, stress, optimism, self-esteem, commitment to work, attention to detail, desire for change, physical courage, self-direction, assertiveness, tolerance, consideration for others, and sociability.
The Executive Achiever, which looks at intelligence, knowledge of leadership skills, and a variety of leadership personality traits.
PXT Select, which gauges cognitive, behavioral, and connative (occupational interests) attributes.
Caliper Profile, which measures more than 25 personality traits that relate to job performance.
Five-factor personality assessments, a variety of assessments that measure the “Big Five” personality traits: openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism (sometimes known as emotional stability).
DiSC, which profiles four primary behavioral styles (dominance, influence, steadiness, and conscientiousness) each with a distinct and predictable pattern of observable behavior.
Key Management Dynamics Assessment from Objective Management Group, designed specifically for the executive team and candidates for executive leadership positions. It measures nine styles and 16 qualities.

If you find that you are getting screened out of the interview process after undergoing pre-screens or assessments, consider coaching with us. 

Give us a call at 386-749-3111
Send us an email at beverly@harveycareers.com
Schedule a call with Beverly at www.harveycareers.com/schedule


*This article may be republished with written permission.  If you are interested in posting this article on your blog, please email me at Beverly@HarveyCareers.com.  I will respond within 2 business days with my required signature and credits.

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Developing a Targeted Mailing List

Focus bullseyeThere are two basic schools of thought on direct mail aimed at locating a new position, commonly referred to as mass mailings and targeted direct mailings. The former relies on the premise that if enough letters and résumés are mailed, something will inevitably get attention, and that will result in an interview, or hopefully, multiple interviews, at different companies. Targeted mailings, on the other hand, are smaller mailings focused on a select audience, the market most likely to be seeking a candidate with your qualifications. The numbers may be smaller, but the results have proven to be more effective.

Opting to use this strategy requires research and strategy. The last thing you want to do is spend a lot of time, money, and effort on a campaign that lacks focus – and results. This is why it is vital that your targeted search involves the following:

  • Defining your ideal company
  • Creating a list of potential target companies
  • Prioritizing your list of target companies
  • Researching the companies thoroughly using Hoover’s database or other business resources
  • Networking with the decision makers
  • Presenting yourself as a solution to a major problem the interviewing company is having

Finding the right database targeted to companies and industries of your choosing will help you create your target company list. On average, direct mail campaigns get better results if the database mailing list is carefully selected using NAICS, SIC, or Hoovers codes, company size (revenues, employees), and geographic location.

Should you choose to conduct your own direct mail campaign, there are many sources aimed at locating recruiters and companies.

Putting Together Your Mailing List

There are a number of resources available to help you build a personalized list based on your target job search such as Hoovers, ReferenceUSA.com, and InfoUSA. These fee-based services are quite popular among executive job seekers. However, if you are on a tight budget, you may want to consider free options. Visiting websites like www.forbes.com/lists and Inc. Magazine provide insight into Fortune 500 companies, top performing companies, and the most profitable companies in all industries. Job seekers willing to take the time to dig a little deeper and conduct thorough research will find that creating a mailing list isn’t as daunting a task as it may seem.

This brief article is an excerpt from, Landing An Executive Position.

For further help:
Give Beverly Harvey a call at 386-749-3111
Send us an email at beverly@harveycareers.com
Schedule a call with Beverly at www.harveycareers.com/schedule

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Land a Rewarding Executive Position with a Dynamic Portfolio

sunset_man silhoutteLong gone are the days of sending out resumes cut and pasted from Internet resume templates. For executives going through the career transition process this manner of applying for positions will simply not cut it. While boilerplate cover letters and generic resumes littered with a few keywords here and there may work for entry level jobs, it simply will not help you land a rewarding executive position. To attract the top decision makers, you need to develop a branded self-marketing portfolio that sets you apart from your competition.

Putting together a portfolio of self-marketing materials is vital to securing an interview or meeting with the key players in the company. The following are the types of documents that should be part of your executive marketing campaign:

  • Résumé & Cover Letter
  • Focused One-Sheet
  • Career Biography
  • Leadership Brief
  • Achievement Summary
  • Positioning Statement
  • Executive Style Reference Dossier
  • Networking Résumé & Introduction
  • Thank You Letters

These documents should amplify the information in your executive résumé, which is the core document from which all other marketing materials flow. Your resume must contain essential information to attract the eyes of decision makers, human resources managers, recruiters, and executive search consultants.

In today’s tough job market, focus is paramount! Corporations are looking for a perfect fit. Be sure to optimize your résumé with key words and phrases relevant to the type of position you are pursuing. Once your résumé is entered in a recruiter’s database or applicant tracking system (ATS), these keywords are critical for ranking your résumé in the top search results. While this might not seem critical to the executive-level candidate, it’s important to consider that the big five search firms (Korn Ferry, Spencer Stuart, Russell Reynolds, Heidrick & Struggles, and Egon Zehnder) use applicant tracking systems based on keywords.

All of the marketing materials you provide a hiring manager or other key decision maker, should adequately demonstrate your qualifications and position you as the ideal candidate for the job.

This brief article is an excerpt from, Landing An Executive Position.

*This article may be republished with written permission. If you are interested in posting this article on your blog, please email me at Beverly@HarveyCareers.com. I will respond within 2 business days with my required signature and credits.

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How to Leverage Blogs in Your Job Search

Image converted using ifftoany

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One of the more productive tools to make high-level executive contacts has turned out to be blogging. Many savvy job seekers are now including blogs as part of their research and networking strategy to find executive positions. Likewise, recruiters are using blogs to network with candidates and build a talent pipeline, while executive search firms are using blogs to identify and research candidates. Blogging has many useful applications that enable executive job seekers to:

  • Research a company and determine the corporate culture.
  • Network and make contact with a blogger in your target company.
  • Research a company’s services and products and technological developments to assess how solid your target company is in the marketplace and how well positioned it is for growth.
  • Increase your visibility on headhunters’ radar screens by keeping your credentials fresh in the minds of search professionals who are searching for talented executives.
  • Build a personal online brand and become a high-profile performer in your industry.
  • Position yourself as a valuable resource with a record of solid, provable accomplishments that attract career-building opportunities.

Blogging is particularly attractive to executive job seekers who have few top-level contacts with whom they can network, affording them an opportunity to open conversations with decision makers in target companies.

Establishing a blog is a relatively straightforward process that even non-technical professionals will find manageable. As a job seeker, you can approach blogging from one of the following two perspectives:

  1. Post comments on established blogs.
  2. Create your own blog that offers valuable information to your target audience, thereby establishing you as a thought leader.

Either approach will promote your brand and position you as a thought leader in your field.

This brief article is an excerpt from, Landing An Executive Position.

*This article may be republished with written permission. If you are interested in posting this article on your blog, please email me at Beverly@HarveyCareers.com. I will respond within 2 business days with my required signature and credits.

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Targeted Research Gives Executive Job Seekers an Advantage over their Competition

iStock_000005614684XSmallWhat is the most effective executive job hunting strategy in today’s demanding market? The answer may surprise you. With so many job seekers searching for the proverbial needle in the haystack when it comes to finding the perfect position, targeted research offers a direct path to landing that attractive executive position at a company that offers the opportunity for professional growth and development. Just as employers need to screen potential employees, executive job seekers need to screen prospective employers to make sure the goals of the company match the goals of the executive. This is best done through targeted research.

When you research target companies, consider the following characteristics of the company:

  • Is the company private or public? Is it for-profit or a not-for-profit?
  • What is the company’s industry classification?
  • What is the company’s vision, strategy, and mission?
  • What is the company’s culture? Is it a fast-paced environment or does it operate at a leisurely pace?
  • What is the stage of growth? Is the company a start-up, a sustaining business, or is it in decline?
  • Does the company grow through expansion of the current service or product lines, through acquisition, or by developing partnerships with other companies?
  • Is it in hyper growth or steady year-after-year growth?
  • Is it business-to-business, business-to-consumer, or business-to-government?
  • Is the company an industry leader, an emerging company, a pioneering company, or a traditional company?
  • It a green company, a socially conscious company, or does it ignore such considerations?
  • Does the pay scale and available benefits meet your needs?
  • What is the commuting distance?

As you can see there is much to consider about targeted companies. Directed research is the hallmark of an effective targeted marketing campaign. Above all, it’s an opportunity to learn about target companies and discover major problems that you can solve. Although this is the nitty-gritty of the executive job search, it is important to take your time with the research process as it will give you an advantage over your competitors. A candidate who knows the interviewing company’s problems and how to resolve them is the job candidate who lands the job. It’s that simple.

So, how do you find these answers? Check out Landing an Executive Position – Proven Job Search Strategies that Win Offers for a list of websites that offer valuable company information as well as a list of strategies that include purchasing company mailing lists, using Google news alerts, and corresponding with industry recruiters to gather as much targeted research as possible about companies you are interested in pursuing.

This brief article is an excerpt from Landing An Executive Position.

*This article may be republished with written permission.  If you are interested in posting this article on your blog, please email me at Beverly@HarveyCareers.com.  I will respond within 2 business days with my required signature and credits.



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Elevator Pitch

iStock_000007269826XSmallYour elevator pitch is a twenty-to thirty-second statement that tells networking contacts and company decision makers that you have what it takes to resolve their outstanding problem(s). It’s centered on your branded value proposition, what you offer, what you bring to the table. As such, it’s an extraordinarily valuable networking and selling tool.

It acquired its name from the concept of accidentally meeting a decision maker or valuable networking contact in an elevator, recognizing it as a golden opportunity, introducing yourself, and in about thirty seconds telling him who you are and describing your value proposition. The assumption is that if you have captured the interest of the decision maker or contact, the conversation will continue after you both have left the elevator.

Your elevator pitch will need to be tailored to the individual networking contact or decision maker, recognizing that they all have different needs and varying agendas. If you’re networking socially, you can use your elevator pitch when you hear this request: So, what do you do? Your elevator pitch is a great way to immediately let your contact know what you’re passionate about (your brand), what you do for companies, and how that combination will add to his luster by suggesting a great job candidate (you) for a job opening.

You can also use your elevator pitch when you hear this request: Tell me about yourself.

If you’ve networked your way into your target company, you can use your elevator pitch to expand on your value proposition in detail. And that’s exactly what you want. You want to demonstrate that you have a thorough grasp of the problem(s) facing the company by describing in enough detail how you’ve handled similar problems before and how you’re ready to handle those same kinds of problems starting on day one of a new job.

Here’s an example of an elevator pitch a job candidate made to a contact within his target company who said, “Tell me about yourself.”

“John, thanks for your interest. I’ve had twenty- five years in pivotal roles reducing costs for the three companies I’ve worked for. With my current employer, as vice president of manufacturing, I’ve trimmed the labor force by 23 percent, reduced warranty costs 18 percent, and cut finished goods inventory by a third. I would like to show you specifically how I achieved every one of those cost reductions. Is this a good time?” (That last question in an interview shows you’re ready to close the sale. Don’t leave it up to chance. Try to move directly into describing exactly how you accomplished those cost reductions.)

Of course, that pitch assumes the contact’s or decision maker’s biggest problem is excess costs. If your contact is an experienced quality professional you’ll want to emphasize how you reduced warranty costs, and if the contact is an inventory professional, you’ll want to emphasize inventory control along with measures you installed that resulted in an inventory reduction, and so on. The point is to be ready to tailor your elevator pitch to the individual networking contact or decision maker, recognizing that each may have different needs and varying agendas.

This brief article is an excerpt from, Landing An Executive Position.

*This article may be republished with written permission.  If you are interested in posting this article on your blog, please email me at Beverly@HarveyCareers.com.  I will respond within 2 business days with my required signature and credits.

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Seven Ways to Keep in Touch with Your Contacts

bigstockphoto_Global_Community_4404997Keith Ferrazzi, author of Never Eat Alone recommends that you build your network before you need it and keep in touch with your network on an ongoing basis. He also recommends that you periodically connect with each of your contacts to keep abreast of their initiatives and to share yours.

To do this efficiently and effortlessly, you want to enter or import your contacts into an electronic database. You’ll need the capability to enter contact information, miscellaneous notes and dates that are important to you, and the names, addresses, phone numbers (including Skype or FaceTime), and email addresses of your contacts.

What follows are a few ideas that may help you stay in touch with your network:

1. Email a newsletter that tells your contacts about your most recent activities. If your contacts don’t hear from you on a regular basis they’ll assume you no longer need their help, or that you’re no longer interested in helping them. Of course, if you have hundreds in your network you might want to consider using an e-news service provider such as Aweber, ConstantContact, MyEmma, or use a similar newsletter distribution program.

2. Invite your contacts to join you on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. Between newsletters, use these sites to broadcast a brief, 140-character message regarding your status. Your newsletter will allow you to communicate your thoughts and status in detail and the 140-character postings will allow you to keep people up to date on a more frequent basis – but only if they approve. Get their permission first.

3. Send a link to your contacts when you see their names mentioned on the Internet. This may be an article or press release that quotes or features them. It might be an announcement for awards they received, speaking engagements, tournaments they won, or charitable contributions they made. Whatever the case, show them that you’re genuinely interested in them.

4. Send links to your contacts containing information they would enjoy reading about or information that would be valuable to them. To help you effortlessly find this type of information, set up RSS feeds using a news aggregator application such as Feedly. Then all you need to do is copy and paste the link into an email and send it to your contacts.

5. Send greeting cards for important business and personal dates in their lives. These might be employment anniversaries, graduation dates, special awards, certification achievements, birthdays, wedding anniversaries, children’s birthdays, and so on. For this initiative you can use SendOutCards (US) or JacquieLawson

6. For your contacts who publish blogs, post a few comments on their blogs occasionally. While blogs are a public forum (meaning don’t post personal information), they allow you to show your contacts that you’re thinking of them.

7. Pick up the phone and call your contacts at least every three to four months.

This brief article is an excerpt from, Landing An Executive Position.

 *This article may be republished with written permission.  If you are interested in posting this article on your blog, please email me at Beverly@HarveyCareers.com.  I will respond within 2 business days with my required signature and credits.


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