The best way to introduce yourself to a company that doesn’t appear to be actively looking is to know the “What, where, and how you can help the company.” I can give you a better-than-even chance to get the door to open to be able ...
The best way to introduce yourself to a company that doesn’t appear to be actively looking is to know the “What, where, and how you can help the company.” I can give you a better-than-even chance to get the door to open to be able to introduce yourself, perhaps even create a job that is just right for you. It will take time and careful preparation, but it will pay a dividend. Here are seven steps for opening a career door:
Step 1 – Functional Strengths
Begin by listing all your functional strengths across the top of a sheet of paper. Some examples of ‘functional strengths’ are marketing, financial operations, research and development, information technology, engineering, strategic planning, recruiting, training and development, and so on. Some people have several; some only one. List as many as you can.
Step 2 – Core Competencies
Next, under each functional strength you listed, write down anything and everything it qualifies you to do: Qualifies you to do for any organization, not just those you may be considering today. Of course, not every organization needs help in every area but it is good for you to know in any event what you have in your armory. To do this, you need to think in terms of employers’ needs, not just in terms of your strengths.
Step 3 – Think Like An Employer
In order to think like an employer, you need to think in terms of solving problems and recognizing opportunities. For example, if “Marketing” is your functional strength, under it you might list Uncovering new markets; Identifying markets for new products; Finding new usage for old products; Improving internal/corporate communications; Stimulating client communications; Evaluating expansion opportunities; Stimulating sales; Writing brochures; Coordinating events, Community outreach, and so on. as ‘competencies’ tied to your that strength and where problems and/or opportunities may be found. Hence, you are thinking like an employer.
Step 4 – The “Big Picture”
You will need to develop a big picture perspective for targeting employers. First, carefully review your experience and interests, giving equal consideration to both. There may be experiences you have where you performed well but didn’t enjoy yourself. No sense focusing where job satisfaction will be lacking.
Next, with an open mind, review all of your experiences – trying not to lock yourself in to traditional position or industry boundaries. Take the “blinders” off… broaden the scope. For instance, your experience may be in the Pet Supply Industry, but your “Marketing” prowess extends throughout “supply chain.”
Or, maybe it lies more in the program management and strategic planning side and ties less to a specific product category. Or, perhaps you may enjoy service-oriented environments, organizing people, and moving them forward smoothly and well. This may suggest other organizations. Maybe your perspective turns to the client-side suggesting a very different set of organizations such as ad agencies or associations, councils… or consulting firms, for example.
Step 5 – Targets
Once your have completed Step 4, you are ready to identify the types of companies most appropriate for your strengths, experiences, skill-sets, and competencies. Then, you can begin to find the names and decision-makers of such companies with the confidence that those you uncover are also those most likely to have need for someone like you. (This part can be accomplished with a minimum amount of Internet savvy).
Once you have identified companies’ names that are likely to need you, and the decision-makers, you are ready to prepare your approach strategy. (If you already had a company or companies in mind, take the time to complete steps 1-4. The exercise is still invaluable for developing your personal introduction as an “individual solutions provider”).
Step 6 – Ready… Aim… MARKET
As you may already know from job searching experience, your initial approach should be a letter targeted to a decision-maker a