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There are many similarities between sales and in finding a job. In sales the measurements are numbers of leads, calls, events, opportunities, and closed deals. When you close a deal as a jobseeker, you are hired.

Job tips

Last year I lived in the USA and was selling software for recruiters. I visited Silicon Valley many times. Once I met a very successful man, whom I asked: “what should I do in order to get more sales?” He asked if my product was excellent, to which I answered: “yes, it’s better than any other out there!” He said: “well, in that case, just go ahead and get attention. It doesn’t matter how you do it. If needed, sleep on the front door of the prospect company, and they’ll listen to you”. What a great tip. Draw attention to yourself, no matter how. You are not necessarily looking for style points.

When applying for a job, is it a cliché that you have to stand out from the crowd?

Same thing as in sales, it’s the attention and the amount of it that matters. How many times were you noticed? How did you get the attention?

I’ve been working in the recruitment industry for fifteen years and I have met lots of candidates. There is a reason why recruiters call job seekers applicants. The recruiters do the selection, therefore the ones that only have applied, are applicants. Don’t just be one of the applicants, elevate yourself and be a candidate that will get noticed.

What if you would re-think the process?

Many years ago my colleague’s son asked me how he could get a summer job. I asked him what he would do, if he was a manager of a grocery store and someone like him would come and knock on the door asking for work? He said: “I’d hire him!” I asked if he had literally knocked on any doors? He was a young man full of attitude, looking for a job, ready for anything. The first manager he spoke with face-to-face, hired him. Ok, it was a summer job and an easy hire, but still – the impression he gave led him to the job.

Another example: my colleague’s sister graduated and she had sent a ton of applications with no results. With my colleagues advice she made a video of herself, which she posted to the jobs that were the most wanted. Result: three offers! She just needed to pick the one that she liked the most.

How recruiters think?

As a person looking for a job, you have to be able to stand out. There are many of you. Do you really think the recruiters are looking at your math or biology score? Maybe in some positions, but mostly they are actually looking for the most secure match. The best candidate is usually the most secure one, as there might not be perfect ones available.

First of all the recruiters are making sure that you are not trouble. They will check your criminal history, the length of your earlier jobs, why you switched jobs… Secondly and most importantly they are looking at your social skills, which can be seen as your skills to sell. How you handle situations with other people, how you fit in to the group, can you learn new things… It is your attitude and social skills that make you the right fit for an organization.

Buzz

There is a lot of recruiting noise in this world; I call it white noise. It’s a noise that puts every applicant on the same level, because you obey the old rules and use the same methods and systems in the recruitment process. Buzz means that a subject is being talked about. As an applicant, you need to create buzz that is different from the rest of the noise so you are the one that gets the attention. The recruiting noise will hide you. You don’t want to hide when you want recruiters to notice you.

If you know somebody that knows somebody that could possibly help you get some attention, use it. The key point is to do everything as a good sales rep does. Have the right metrics work for you. Make enough noise and get out to the light and be seen. Keep yourself in the minds of recruiters and finally you can enjoy the offer that is in your hands.

Standing out from the crowd takes some effort, but you mainly have to be brave enough to stand out to get your dream job. Good luck for the New Year, it’s time to tell who you are.

Sell yourself for the job; show them that you are not just another applicant.