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Monday, February 20, 2006
Your Personal Job Search Sales Force
Have you ever been in the doctor’s waiting room toward lunchtime or at the end of the day when the pharmaceutical representatives start coming in with their PDAs and pull-cases? I’m sure you have. If you have paid attention, you’ll notice all these representatives (salesmen) are physically attractive, expensively dressed, well-educated, experienced, well-spoken, and generally drive decent cars. Pharmaceutical companies aren’t stupid. They field sales reps who meet certain criteria that have been determined to support positive results.

In the job search, you have a set of things that serve as your representative. The first and most effective representative are your network contacts. Job search results are much better if you can network your way into a job. With a network contact, you have someone on the inside or in a place of authority representing you as the perfect candidate for the job. He/she is an advocate or sales rep for you with the employer.

The resume also serves as your representative. For most job search efforts, the resume is the first contact the employer has with you. Every single word, error, bit of information, number, and character that appear on the resume represents YOU. Just like the pharma reps, it needs to be attractive, dressed well, well-educated, well-spoken and experienced. It must make a good impression on the employer without you being present.

A secondary representative in your job search is the executive recruiter. A recruiter is only a secondary (or even tertiary) representative because a recruiter does not work for you, the job seeker. Instead, he/she works for the employer. Where the recruiter has vested interest in your job search success is in the salary issue and in the finalization of your placement. For contingency recruiters, the salary which you command in the new job dictates the recruiter fee. It can be up to 1/3 of your annual salary. It is in the best interest of the recruiter to negotiate the highest salary possible for you.

Further, the recruiter does not get paid unless he places a candidate in the position. It is beneficial to the recruiter to work on your behalf to sell your candidacy to the employer. Remember, though, the recruiter works for the employer. It is possible the recruiter has been asked by the employer to provide more than one good candidate for the employer’s review. If that is the case, the recruiter is fielding other candidates beside you for the same position. In that case, the recruiter has significantly divided interests.

The final representatives you have in your job search are your references. References are very important in closing the deal for job seekers. Most employers will make initial offers contingent on a clean background check, drug test, and good references. Any of those three factors can sink what you thought was a done-deal. Make sure your references are well-vetted and secondary references will also make the grade.

Of all these representatives, the one over which you have the most control is your resume. It is also the most widely used job search tool. Unfortunately, many people don’t understand the importance of making sure that tool is top-quality. It’s easier or more expedient to take a slap-dash approach to the resume and hope for the best. Poor attempts generally bring poor results. Make sure your resume is representing you well.

November 2005 / December 2005 / January 2006 / February 2006 /


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