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How to Get Hired Faster by Borrowing Sales and Marketing Ideas

Written by Kevin Donlin contributing co-author of "Guerrilla Marketing for Job Hunters 2"

Your job search is a sales and marketing campaign.

To get hired, you must identify, qualify and contact prospects (decision makers who can hire you) and sell to them (convince them to offer you a job).

Because most folks looking for a job have only a limited exposure to sales and marketing, here are four techniques you can use to get hired faster ...

  1. Treat Voicemails as Radio Spots

    Here's an idea: Think of your voicemail messages as 30-second radio commercials. That means you should script and rehearse the voicemails you leave for employers. Don't adopt a fake baritone, but you should sound upbeat and professional.

    While other job seekers leave dull, rambling messages, you can give employers one more reason to hire you, by leaving tantalizing voicemails that practically force them to call you back.

    Example: "Hi, this is Steve Jones. I wanted to make sure you got the resume I mailed you on Monday for the position of accountant. I had something to add to the part where I saved $27,000 last year for a firm just like yours. If you'd like to know the missing piece, please call me at 702-555-1212. Thank you!"

  2. Send Sales Letters, Not Cover Letters

    It's been said (by me) that you can't bore employers into hiring you. So why send out the same dull-as-a-tax-form cover letters as other job seekers?

    To sell an employer on the idea of hiring you, it helps to send them a ... sales letter.

    To learn the basics, Google "writing sales letters" or start reading and analyzing the junk mail you get each day. Meanwhile, here's a crash course to get you started:

    • Personalize your opening. Example: "Dear Mr. Jackson." Never, ever write: "Dear Sir or Madam." Can't find the name of the hiring manager? Pick up the phone and call. Timid job seekers have skinny kids.

    • Focused on the reader. All good sales letters are written about "you," the reader, and not, "I," the author. If you change all instances of "I" to "you" in your cover letter, you'll instantly make it more effective.

    • Make specific claims, then prove them with facts. Look at your last letter. How many numbers, percentages, and dollar signs do you see? Add more.

    • Ask for the sale. Example: "Please call me today to learn how I can save you money as a customer service manager." Or, better: "I will call your office at 10 a.m. Wed. to answer any questions and tell you how I saved $15,000 in my last role as a customer service manager."
  3. Sell to Past "Customers"

    Ask most ordinary sales reps to get more revenue and they'll reply, "That's going to take time. I need to find new customers."

    By contrast, a smart sales rep will reply, "I can start today by selling to past customers."

    Similarly, most job seekers get so caught up in looking for new jobs at new employers that they neglect the co-workers and managers who already know and trust them.

    Make a list of every co-worker and manager you have ever had, going back to high school. Cross off the ones you can't stand. Then, call or email the remaining people to let them know about your job search.

    And don't let the fact that your old boss left the company stop you from calling. In fact, you should rejoice. You can not only call them at their new employer, you can also introduce yourself to their replacement at the old employer -- turning one contact into two.

  4. Get More Sales and Marketing Ideas for Free

    Want more ideas to adapt and adopt for your job search? Visit Amazon.com and browse the best-selling sales and marketing books. Search by title or the phrases "sales books" and "marketing books."

    Key: Most new books have the "Look Inside" feature, which lets you read selected parts for free online. Spend an hour at this and you'll find at least three ways to get on an employer's radar.

Why not start now?

- Kevin Donlin

Kevin Donlin is contributing co-author of "Guerrilla Marketing for Job Hunters 2.0." Since 1996, he has provided job-search help to more than 20,000 people. For a free glimpse, visit Guerrilla Job Search System DVD.