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Job Search Tip: Think & Act Like A Gourmet Chef

Job Search Tip: Think & Act Like A Gourmet Chef

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Last week, I had the chance to dine at a truly exquisite gourmet restaurant. Lucky for me, I didn’t have to pick up the check! The meal was more than delicious –  it was forever memorable. The presentation, the pace, and, of course, the food itself were all amazing. Suddenly, as I sat there, I realized what many job seekers are failing to do in job search these days could be compared to cooking techniques. Today’s job search tip is to think and act like a gourmet chef to wow your “food critics.”

Let me explain…

Hiring Managers = Food Critics

For starters, hiring managers are like food critics. Their jobs are to identify talent capable of making meals that are tasty, one-of-a-kind, and well-executed. They need to find the right candidate who A) has the skills, B) is a fit for their unique corporate culture, and C) is professional by their company’s standards. Starting to see the connection?

Job Seekers = Chefs

Now, the job seeker is the chef. It is up to him or her to identify the right ingredients and cooking style (i.e. assess her professional strengths), put them together in a way that is tasty to the hiring manager (i.e. create strong introduction e-mail/cover letter/resume/social media profiles/and so on that connect with the company), then present it in a way that leaves the hiring manager craving more (i.e. great interview skills and follow up). Make sense? Of course it does, because everyone can appreciate a well-cooked meal!

Are You A Fast-Food Or Gourmet Cook?

And yet, I continue to hear stories of job seekers who act more like line cooks at fast-food restaurants than gourmet chefs. They blast their resumes out to job openings without the slightest bit of research on the companies they are sending them to. They don’t bother to try to find a networking connection within the organization to see if they can learn the ‘tastes’ of the hiring manager. And they definitely don’t spend time crafting compelling introduction letters and career stories that will get them recognized as top talent who should be granted an interview.

In short, they don’t bother to put the time and energy into the prep and presentation of themselves so vital to being chosen for consideration.

So, as a new day of job searching begins, I ask you: “Are you going to cook a gourmet meal with your talents, or are you going to go the fast-food route?” If you want to WOW hiring managers and be memorable (in a good way), I suggest you try investing in the gourmet chef approach.

What do you think readers? How else can job seekers approach the process like an accomplished cook? What are you doing to put your ‘signature touches’ on your job search efforts to help yourself stand out from the crowd? I’d like to hear your ideas below.

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J.T. O'Donnell Job Search & Career Expert. Syndicated Speaker & Author. Wife. Mother. CEO of Work It Daily. Connect with her on Twitter or LinkedIn.