A colleague of mine passed on information on how he lands jobs for clients. (And dare I say these clients have barriers the competitive workforce may not have). “D’s” title is “Job Developer,” which means he meets employers regularly, nurtures his network of contacts and then matches available jobs to assist clients. This last point about networking is a moot point for your job search.
Ironically, employment specialists do not always practice what they preach; some confess they do neither network actively, nor nurture their existing contacts. This is imperative, no matter if you are unemployed or not. Research indicates you stand an 80% chance of landing your next job from someone you have met or contacted. Those are formidable odds. And something should be said about the so-called “weak links,” which are people who appear to be irrelevant to your job search.
Once, when I was laid off by surprise, I immediately turned to my circle of contacts, and fortunately, I received two job offers in a week and ultimately accepted a satisfying position.
Just as job developers aim to attract employers to assist their clients, job seekers need to attract employers to demonstrate their value. Enter the “exchange theory.” This theory, is designed to build a bridge between a need and a solution. In short, you give something and you get something. How does this help you as a job seeker? Read on…
Employers, on the whole, are motivated by 2 factors: their needs must be addressed. For example, improve customer service, boost productivity levels or reduce costs. Secondly, employers must perceive value in hiring you. Translation? Each party in the “exchange” must perceive the benefits of hiring must outweigh the employer’s costs. For example, convince the employer that you can help him/her with a high turnover (hiring is expensive) or being a reliable employee.
As a matter of fact, an employer told me earlier this year she was disenchanted with job placements from college students because they are NOT reliable. In spite of a shaky economy, employers have consistently told me the number one thing that attracts them is loyal employees. Yes, I realize contract work is very prevalent but job seekers need to be mindful of this.
The other technique job developers use is related to the market theory. What’s the gist of the market theory if you are unemployed? Features and benefits. In other words, if you are preparing yourself for an upcoming interview, what would you identify as your “features?” Perhaps your unique talents or credentials? Your new blog that held sway with those in your chosen field? Bilingualism? Diverse experience? Now think about what benefits you can present in an interview? Perhaps stellar performance ratings? Be prepared to incorporate the exchange and market theories into your active job search. Obviously, it works for job developers to create employment. Why wouldn’t it work to propel your job search? You don’t have to be a marketing specialist to embrace these techniques.
Incidentally, my colleague asked me to assist him with short-term placements. I “hit the streets” and espoused the exchange theory for the benefit of those disadvantaged clients. It worked! I landed job placements for him, using the principles of job development. You can too!
Speak to the employer’s values and goals. Assure the employer that by hiring YOU, the company will enjoy short-term and long-term benefits.
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CAREEREALISM Expert, Melissa Martin is a bilingual career coach who specializes in offering career counseling by phone. Contact her today at CareerCoachingByPhone.com and connect with Melissa by following her on Twitter.
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