Why should I hire you?
On the bench' is one of the saddest situations to be in; and we've all been there at some stage or the other of our working lives. And it can hide a multitude of sins - from being between assignments in a company, to being between jobs.
Rajeev Sahni's education and work experience are exceptional.
Surprisingly, he has been out of work for eight months. Asked why, he launched into a list of things he couldn't do, experience he didn't have and technology he didn't know.
All of these plus "the economy" were why he was still looking. Sahni is on the verge of being totally defeated. It isn't until asked what he wants to do in his next job that a glimmer of passion enters his voice. Even the glimmer is slowly fading.
Being out of work for an extended period is certain to erode even the most confident job-seeker.
That's why it's so important that you stay focussed on your strengths and how your special qualities, skills and abilities can benefit a potential employer. Remember, you are the only person in the world who knows everything about what you know!
Here are a few suggestions to help you stay on track:
Never argue for your limitations
It's easy to start thinking in terms of what's missing if you've been out of work for a long time, but arguing for your limitations will never bring you the work you seek. Focus instead on how you can position your unique skills and abilities to support a potential employer's goals.
Pay particular attention to the things that are so easy for you that they seem unimportant.
Sahni is a natural relationship builder and communicator; yet, he could not see that his gift for communication is what could set him apart in the technical world he travelled in. Ask yourself what sets you apart, what makes you different.
Fill in the gaps
If there is knowledge, skills or experience you want or need, set about getting them and brag about your efforts to do so instead of shining a spotlight on what you don't have.
Think of yourself in terms of results. People buy solutions. A lady who is a voice-over talent for radio left this message recently for a station head: "Hello, Kavish.
This is Deepti Rajwani. I was the voice of The News At 5 the four years when your station had its highest ratings. How can I help you regain that position? Call me at ...". She got a request to submit her demo reel the next day. How will hiring you move others closer to their goals?
Ask good questions
Craft a series of questions that are open-ended, thought provoking and position you in terms of results.
Avoid directive questions that signal the answer you are looking for or require a yes / no response. Ask yourself, "What are the biggest questions I can ask in response to this opportunity?"
For example, "What are the organisation's most important goals?" "How do you see this position impacting on the achievement of those goals?" "If I were offered the opportunity to work with your organisation, what would you like me to accomplish in my first 90 days?"
Learn the art of selling
True selling is actually a wonderful process of learning about others and listening for an opportunity to serve through what you offer. It is the single most important tool in your job search kit.
people will forget what you said ...
people will forget what you did ...
but people will never forget how you made them feel ...