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(Paul Sakuma | The Associated Press) In March, U.S. employers added a net 88,000 jobs, the fewest in nine months and less than half the pace of the previous six months. At the same time, the increase in openings suggests that net job gains may strengthen in coming months.
For success, turn job searches into a sales job

Think less about matching and more about how you can fill a need.

First Published Apr 13 2012 09:29 am • Last Updated Aug 05 2012 11:32 pm

Bill Humbert, a Park City recruiting consultant and author of "RecruiterGuy’s Guide to Finding a Job," says candidates who understand they are in a sales process and treat their search as such, find jobs more quickly than those who don’t.

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Why is it important to think in terms making a sale hen looking for a job?

Most people do not understand recruiting or job searching. They feel it is simply a matching, human-resource process. But consider the sales process. Each step of the job search matches directly. Candidates who understand that they are in sales act differently than those trying to fit into a matching process. Typically, they will be successful more quickly.

What are the steps?

The sales process calls for identifying a need. In a job search, for instance, ask who needs your skills. Then:

Develop a service or product » This can be turned into developing a resume that targets a company’s need for your skills.

Source potential clients »This means to research the potential companies.

Performing a needs analysis is your interview » Do you have the skills and experience the company needs? Do they have the right job for you?

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A sales proposal » This is a company’s offer to you.

Negotiation » This is your compensation discussion.

The close » This is your acceptance of an offer.

Delivery of a product or service » This is your start date.

What about networking?

Statistics from outplacement companies (such as LHH and Right Management) show that more than 70 percent of all jobs are filled through networking. Think of it this way. If you network with two new people per week, it will take a year to find a job. If you network with 10 new people per week, it will take you six months to find a job. If you network with 20 new people per week or four new people each day, you will find a job in 90 days. Obviously these statistics are averages. Some may find a job sooner and some may take a while longer, but networking is important.

Where do goals fit into the process?

Goal setting is important during a job search because it lets you know where you may need to increase activity. If you are networking, it is important to measure your activity so your expectations match your activity level. Measure the things you can control. For instance, you cannot control the number of offers that you receive. But you can control the number of calls you make. I use the acronym SCAMPS to make it easier to remember the elements of goal setting. A goal needs to be Specific. It needs to be Challenging or you won’t be excited about attaining it. On the other hand, the goal must be Attainable or you won’t seriously work to reach it. The goal needs to be Measurable or you won’t know if you need to step up activity to reach it. It’s also important to tell people or be Public, and to select people who support you. And, Set a date for goal completion. In your job search, set specific goals.

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