2. The $30,000 Strategy
We all know the Traditional Job Hunting Strategy: write
your resume, read the want-ads, mail out resumes and spread the word that you're looking.
Go on as many interviews as you can, be able to explain where you see yourself in five
years and what your biggest weakness is, and wait by the phone. Somebody will call you.
In today's dollars that strategy is worth, oh, about
$0.50. That's the cost of the paper you printed your resume on, the envelope and the
stamp. Well, maybe it amortizes out to a buck-fifty or so. After all, you used Crane's
Bond and hired a resume writer. Had it printed on a 2,540 dpi Linotronic. Maybe you
stapled that baby to the top of a box of pizza and sent it to a prospective (and hopefully
hungry) employer using the Next Day Singing Gorilla Delivery Service. And oh, yeah, you
read the number one best-selling job hunting guide written by that famous human resources
expert who has a Ph.D. in Counseling Science, earns $125,000 filing resumes for Superfluous
Systems, Inc., and gets paid whether you win a new job or not. You know the guy -- his
grandfather invented the Traditional Job Hunting Strategy everyone uses.
Hey, it's a desperate market. You do what you've gotta
do. You spend what you've gotta spend. How about $30,000?
Thirty grand!? (And you thought you were
spending a lot on that Singing Gorilla!) Who could possibly know anything about matching people up
with jobs that's worth $30,000?
Headhunters get paid a lot to be right.
That's what companies routinely pay headhunters. If you
make $100,000, the headhunter earns around $30,000 to apply his methods and techniques to find you and match you up with a client who needs to hire a very talented new employee to take care of
some very important work. Even if your salary is $30,000, the headhunter's fee will be about
$10,000. Not peanuts.
If you're lucky enough to get a call from a
all this costs you nothing, obviously. The employer pays. But few people ever hear from a
headhunter. Why? For the same reason very few job hunters ever get a call back from an
employer with a job offer. Your work skills have to be right on the money, or a headhunter
will never bother with you.
Even when the headhunter calls, you're still competing
with other candidates he or she is presenting to the same client. The point is, you don't need
a headhunter. What you need is to understand and be able to use the headhunter's approach
and techniques -- that $30,000 strategy.
The headhunter's strategy is so powerful and worth so
much because the headhunter has a point of view that's radically different from
that of the typical job hunter. The headhunter is totally focused on making a perfect
match between the candidate and the work. There is nothing "shotgun" about his
approach. There is no luck. No reliance on any rules. What matters is what the client
needs to make her business wildly successful -- and the headhunter sets out to find and
deliver it in the form of the perfect worker.
This headhunter will tell you what distinguishes the
headhunter's approach -- and his point of view -- from that of the typical job hunter.
The following advice is free. It's still worth about
$30,000, though, because it will get you started on how to be your own headhunter.
Getting a job vs. doing the job.
First off, don't go looking for a job. You wouldn't know it
to look at the want ads and job boards, but companies aren't in business to give out jobs. When you send
your resume to someone you don't know who doesn't know you, you're looking for a handout.
You're wasting your time and the manager's.
Instead, start by understanding how your
skills can profit a particular business. If you can't explain this to a prospective
employer, why should he or she hire you?
Most job hunters project the attitude "I'm looking
for a job" rather than "I'm here to do the work you need to have done".
This can kill you in an interview. There is a big difference between looking to get
a job, and offering to do a job. A good headhunter has a tremendous edge because
he selects and prepares the candidate who can walk into the meeting with the employer and do
the job, right there in the interview.
Obviously, this takes some research. Headhunters do a lot
of research, and it makes all the difference in the world.
Unlike most job hunters,
headhunters don't sit by the phone, waiting for someone to call back on a resume. The
headhunter seeks to control all aspects of the deal, so that every candidate he
submits hits the ground running in the interview and is desirable enough to hire.
Make doing the job in the interview your goal.
The interview isn't an experiment or a fact-finding mission. It's not where you go to
"learn more about the job," even though that's how most job hunters view it.
Don't go on an interview unless you are prepared to control it, and to demonstrate your
ability to do the work.
Next: Job Hunting Skills
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