Can you imagine a campaign ad that starts: 'Hi. My name is John McCain and I am applying to be your President.'
Applying sounds weak. It makes us sound subservient - we are asking for something when we apply for it.
So politicians don't apply. They run campaigns.
When a politician runs a campaign, he is engaged in the act of marketing. He is deploying a variety of strategies in order to communicate his value. He is being creative. He is engaging other people. He is offering solutions. That is worlds apart from 'applying.'
For most of my career, I applied for jobs. It was only in my last few years of corporate life that I began to think in terms of running a campaign. It made the world of difference. Once I stepped out of the application mindset, I began to do things differently.
Here are some of the things that changed:
- I didn't look for a job just when I needed one. Instead, I worked on keeping in touch with recruiters and building a network of peers in other companies.
- When I wrote my resume, I focused it on demonstrating how I had added value in the past.
- I stopped applying for posted positions and started contacting companies I would like to work for, whether or not they had advertised a vacancy. Often I had to get creative about how to find contact information and make connections.
- When I walked into interviews, I went armed with my suggested solutions as opposed to sitting down and waiting to be asked questions.
- And I approached interviews as conversations between equals rather than as terrifying rituals.
If your job search is getting you down, are there ways that approaching it like a campaign would help you develop some new and creative strategies?
And if you have already done this, what are some of the tricks and techniques you've come up with? Take a moment and share them in the comments - your strategy might be just the thing to jump-start someone else's campaign.
Posted by Louise Fletcher, Blue Sky Resumes