Hearing Strange Things

contributed by Dr. Stephen E Bangert, PhD

Recently when coaching a client on his job search I did a double take as I heard him say: “I hope in the end I don’t get a job from this.” Foolish me, here all along I thought he was wanting to land another executive level position. Of course I questioned him to learn that he had been doing some consulting work and felt this was the direction he wanted to take in his career. He was in his mid 50’s, was financially comfortable and liked the challenge and the flexibility that consulting promised.

With this goal identified, our conversation took a different slant, and together we developed a step by step approach to realizing his goal. We discussed how his resume, like any well written resume, needed to support his defined target or goal. His resume needed to clearly highlight the projects and/or consulting assignments he has led, and whenever possible quantify his work. I coached him to make bold statements using action verbs. Further suggestions included pointing out the size of the project by budget, number of people involved, number of people impacted, cost savings, dollars generated and efficiencies gained. Some of his consulting assignments had been for or involved companies whose names are readily recognized. He needed to capitalize on this and further highlight it on his resume.

Next, he needed to develop a cover letter that capsulized his talents and success as an executive. In addition he needed to include three or four bullet points detailing specific projects, and close with statement of confidence and intent to follow up.

At this point the conversation turned to marketing strategy. With plans to use a direct mail campaign, companies were identified and prioritized by industry, product, size and location. This research yielded over 8,000 companies. Further adjustments were made to his criteria paring the total count to 5,700 companies. Then with his home city as the center, he use ZIP codes to divide the group into eight sections, with the intent of mailing to one section at a time over a sixteen week period.

Now it was time to work on his phone marketing presentation, and later working on the face to face presentation.

These are some of the steps you must consider when approaching a job search. A well thought out plan, discipline in implementation and persistence should spell a winning formula.

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