It’s been a while since we’ve posted career related tips here on michaelkmoore.com.
So in today’s blog post, let’s do just that!
Whether you’re presently unemployed and looking, or if you’re just working day to day on your “bridge job” (i.e., the job that holds you over until you land your dream job), here are a few tips to keep in mind as you pursue your next big gig:
TIP #1: Be the purple cow. The concept of the “purple cow” was introduced by marketer and blogger Seth Godin. Here’s the concept explained in a nutshell:
Let’s say you go for a drive one day and come up on a group of cows standing in a field. All things being equal, you’d probably pass them by and continue driving. Why? Because cows are cows and they all look the same—black and white.
However, what if you passed by that same field and saw a PURPLE cow standing amongst the group. What would you do then? You’d probably slow down the car and pay closer attention. Why? Because a purple cow is remarkable—it’s something that grabs your attention and forces you to make remarks about it.
This first tip outlines the mindset that you must have as you begin pursuing your dream job. What is it about you that makes you remarkable? Out of the dozens of job candidates who will all undoubtedly say things like—“I’m such a hard worker”, or “I’m definitely the right person for the job!”—what’s going to force the hiring company to make remarks about you?
It’s critical that you begin your journey knowing the answer to this question. You have a purple cow inside of you!! But if you can’t see it, neither will those who may potentially hire you.
TIP #2: Realize that companies BUY paper; they don’t HIRE it.
Some job seekers believe that their responsibility ends once they’ve emailed their resume off to HR. The truth, however, is their responsibility at that point has only just begun.
A resume is simply a piece of paper. That’s it. It’s no different than the thousands of other sheets of paper a company buys and prints information on every single day.
Now don’t get me wrong. It’s true that a resume is often the first impression a company has of you; and it does have some weight since if a resume is done incorrectly, it could cost you the job. However, it’s important that you never forget that companies never hire resumes! COMPANIES HIRE PEOPLE!!
The primary reason that resumes simply fall short is this: They’ll never be able to sell your abilities and skills quite like you can in face-to-face conversation. So with that said, lets move on to the next tip.
TIP #3: Get in front of the decision makers.
In a number of companies, although there are some exceptions, HR isn’t the final hiring decision maker. Oftentimes, they help to serve as a strategic partner to the hiring decision makers (i.e., the managers, presidents, owners, etc.).
For sure, as an outside applicant, HR will be the company’s face and representative to you and everyone else trying to get on the inside. But remember, you’re the purple cow so you’re not going to do what everyone else is doing. You’re going to get in front of the decision makers within that company!
Do you know someone who’s already on the inside that can get you a face-to-face conversation? Do you know what interests the decision makers have? Could you possibly strike up a conversation with them at the gym or maybe on the golf course?
Whatever you do and however you do it, remember this: Everyone sends in resumes…and you’re not everyone! Be remarkable! Speak to the decision makers face to face.
TIP #4: Speak to the future, not the past.
Here’s another limitation that your paper resume has: it’s designed to only highlight the past!
Sure, it’s true that the past is often a good indicator of the future. But again, the past is not as good of an indicator as you could be selling yourself in person.
For instance, if you’re pursuing a career in the music industry, you may have had 14+ years experience helping to assemble the first series of Walkman cassette players (THE PAST), but how are you going to help the company you’re applying for to be better positioned for the upcoming industry shift towards streaming music (THE FUTURE).
Companies love people who are able speak to their future. As you talk to a decision maker, be sure you’re selling yourself as the best solution to a future problem the company will soon have down the road!! Doing so will put you on the fast track to get on the insiders’ list.
TIP #5: Create your own opportunity.
Sometimes, the dream job that you want just isn’t out there. If not, that’s ok. Create it yourself. Many people today are discovering entrepreneurship as a path to gain the freedom and flexibility that they desire. For more tips on entrepreneurial success, check out a past post I wrote on that topic by clicking here.
While all of the above tips focused on what you SHOULD do, this bonus tip is about what NOT to do. The number one way to make sure you never get your dream gig is to talk negatively in an interview about your last boss or employer.
You should never, ever talk negatively about your last boss or employer when trying to interview with a new one. The moment you do, that potential employer begins to think about what you’d say about them if you ever were to leave their company.
Even if you worked for the meanest dictator in a small communist sweatshop in the middle of nowhere, do NOT talk about how bad your experience was. Instead, highlight your ability to overcome any challenges or obstacles you faced. Discuss your tenacity and perseverance despite the odds.
If you want to kill an interview quickly, simply talk negatively about those you left in your past!
Do you have any tips you’d like to share about landing that next dream job? We’d love to hear them. Be sure to leave a comment below and share your insights with others!