During my recruitment and HR career, and now as an entrepreneur and career transition coach, I have talked to hundreds, probably thousands of people who were looking for a job.
Most of them, I don’t remember. Most of them did not impress me. Most of them communicated like everybody else. And then there were the exceptions.
This is the story of one of these exceptions.
The Young Business Development Executive
I remember, a few years ago, that I was recruiting for one of my teams while I was still employed in the corporate world. I was looking for an account manager and business developer to help me expand the business into new sectors.
Of course, I received plenty of applications with boring cover letters and emails along with standard CVs. Many of the CVs, I did not even open since the email bored me to death.
Then, some time during the morning, I received a phone call. A young man introduced himself and mentioned that he saw that I am looking to expand the business into new sectors. He asked me which sectors I had in mind and once I mentioned Biotech, he jumped right in and expressed his excitement about this area, since he was thinking for some time that there was a massive potential.
We had a vivid discussion about how he sees the Biotech sector in terms of recruitment and the potential opportunities.
Later in our discussion, he mentioned that he saw I was blogging and admired that kind of pro-active approach and asked me if it was difficult to do it next to a challenging job. I told him that it’s never too challenging to do something if you love it.
I felt very energized by the discussion we had and I asked him to come over to my office later in the week so we can get to know each other and discuss a potential work relationship.
I almost forgot to ask him to send me his CV and all the other documents so I have it all on file.
The first time I actually opened his CV was right before he entered my office because I wanted to have a printed copy of his track record at hand when we talked.
The CV Has Its Place… The HR File System
I hope that you can see how unimportant the CV itself was in the story I mentioned before.
There is no need for a CV anymore. If somebody wants to know what anybody has done in the past, we now have a massive public CV library called LinkedIn with over 200 million members.
The only reason I requested the CV was because I knew if I hired the guy, I had to send all the documents to my HR department so they can store it and never look at it again.
The Power of Calling the Hiring Manager
As you can see based on the story I just told you, the reason why he was invited for an interview was because he called me. However, he did not call me to ask how many days of vacation he would have in the job or how many people I have already interviewed.
He called me and provided massive value from the first minute we talked.
He basically did 3 things and so should you.
1. Identify Issues and Opportunities
The first thing he asked me in the phone call was in which sector I want to expand. He was clearly looking for opportunities here.
His goal was to find out what my plans are in as many details as possible to then present me a solution.
2. Providing a Solution
Once he heard Biotech, he jumped right into the conversation because he was passionate about the sector. I could feel his passion through the phone when he talked to me. We discussed the potential of the sector and he provided inputs on how he would tackle the challenges.
3. Making it Personal
At the end of our chat, he showed me that he did his homework. Obviously he Googled me, checked my LinkedIn profile and connected the dots. He mentioned that he read some of my blog posts and asked me how I can manage it all together.
It made a great ending of the conversation which almost made me forget to ask him to send me his documents.
It’s Uncomfortable to Call the Hiring Manager
Many times, when I suggest people to call the hiring manager, I get mixed feelings. Some people ask me “But what should I say?” (I think I covered that by now) and others ask me “Will I not annoy the hiring manager when I call?”.
The outcome of the call completely depends on you. 80% of the result is determined by your mindset.
If you think “I want to get a job there so I can pay my bills” or “I want to get a job there to have some stability in my life”, you are most probably going to annoy the hiring manager.
However, if you honestly think “I want to learn more about the plans and issue of this organization so I can present solutions” or “I want to help this organization grow because I truly believe in what they do”, you are most probably not going to annoy the hiring manager.
Depending on how you look at the situation, you will have a different outcome.
Calling HR Instead of the Hiring Manager
If people can’t easily find the contact details or the name of the hiring manager, they decide to call HR instead.
In some cases this can work out well but mostly it’s a waste of your time. HR is not the source of the job, they are the administrative gate keeper between you and the hiring manager.
If you were selling the most amazing product in the world that could cure cancer and initiate world peace (in this case yourself) to a CEO of a company and you really believed that the product (once again yourself) can help the CEO, his business and the world, would you call his assistant? Or would you do anything to get the CEO on the phone to meet with him and save the world?
This may be a little bit over the top but I like over the top.
How you act is determined by your burning desire or lack of it.
It’s Your Choice
Who you call, how you call them and what the outcome of the conversation will be is completely in your hands.
Stop wasting your time with looking for a job and start looking how you can solve issues and present solutions. The Communication Excellence Workbook will help you with this.
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