Note: This material has been extracted from Getting THE Call: Executive Coach Reveals Job Searching SECRETS Employer’s Don’t Want You to Know.
This article will focus on three proven ways to get the Job Interviews you deserve.
Here’s what I’ve learned from being an executive Career Coach for more than 20 years about how to get job interviews.
1: Send Approach Letters
You’ve already created a Target List of the 10-15 companies you would like to work for (part of your Focus Statement) (or are closest to your home). It’s now time to send Approach (#6), and Advice Letters (#7) to your Target Companies. Approach Letters are sent to the company Leaders (without a referral), and Advice Letters are sent to Target Companies where you have a referral from the people you know – asking for an advice meeting.
In 1995, while living in Kansas and moving to Seattle, I sent an approach letter to 7 target companies in Seattle. A month later, I ended up working for one of them.
An Approach Letter is a letter you mail (USPS) to each company on your Target List. Mail it to the company Leadership, 2 to 3 levels above the position you want.
Sample Approach Letter (no resume attached):
If building long-term, international marketing relationships and increasing your competitive advantage in the marketplace appeals to you, then I can get the job done!
As a dedicated international senior business executive with over 20+ years of progressively responsible management experience within the global sales arena, I have managed high-tech sales, marketing, operations, and product management in all major world market regions (Europe, Middle East, Asia, and Latin America).
Additionally, I have directed overseas product introduction, trade shows, and key account supervision and distributor management. My strengths and achievements include:
List a few strong achievements here as bullet points. Make it PCF/BOE rich!
Of course, there is a great deal more to my background. While I am not sure of your staffing needs for the near future, I would appreciate the opportunity to meet with you to discuss how my talents could contribute to meeting your needs.
I will call you soon to arrange a brief office call at a mutually convenient time to discuss how I can add value to your organization. I look forward to meeting you.
2: Send Advice Letters
As you contact your People I Know (PIK) and receive referrals from people who already work in your Target Companies, send this person (the referral) an Advice Letter requesting an Advice Meeting.
Purpose: To gain information and to be favorably remembered.
An Advice Meeting is a brief 15-minute meeting designed to ask for advice as to how your background and experience relate to their industry. During the meeting, ask relevant questions about their industry, your resume and what’s missing that would make you more competitive in their industry. At the end of the meeting, request a referral to others that could also provide advice. Since they now know who you are and what you can do, the potential exists to be called, if a future need arises.
Sample Advice Letter (with a referral):
Your name was referred to me by a mutual friend; Bill Reynolds. He indicated that you would be the ideal person to speak with to offer some advice as to how I should proceed with my career.
The purpose of my letter is to ask your advice as to how my background and experience relate to your industry.
I have no intention of asking you for a position, nor do I expect that you would know of an opening. My only purpose is to ask for your candid advice as to how my background and experience relate to your industry.
My resume is attached for your review and comment. I will call you next week to set a time for us to meet.
Approach Letters are sent to the company Leaders (without a referral), and Advice Letters are sent to referrals from the people you know – asking for an advice meeting. Both letters are sent to companies on your Target List.
Why do some letters go without a resume?
In most cases, the person you’re sending the letter to is not the person who opens the letter. And, when the letter is opened by someone else, they are often told to either throw letters away that have resumes attached or to send them to Human Resources. My experience is that your letter has a much better chance of being read by the addressee if the resume is not attached. Instead, add your best achievements in the body of your letter.
3: Visit Your Target Companies
Here’s what I did while living in Seattle. Years ago, I got laid-off due to a lack of positive cash flow in my company. I did a web search for all similar type companies in the Seattle area, and I found three. I called the first company and spoke with the receptionist and said,
My name is _______, and I’m very interested in your company. Is there anyone there I can speak with concerning what it takes to join your team?
She told me that I was in luck. That very afternoon, their company president was flying in to address several investors to their business at 2 PM. After I thanked her, I put on my suit and tie, drove to their office, and sat in their conference room to listen to the Presidents business plan.
After the briefing, I walked up to the President, stuck out my hand, and said,
I enjoyed your presentation. My name is ______. I just have one question. What does it take for me to join your team?
He then asked me what I did. I gave him my 30-second commercial. He asked me for my resume and said someone would contact me. Then, he left hurriedly because he had another engagement.
The next day, I was invited back to meet with the Branch Manager. I was asked to make a brief presentation the next day and was hired the following day.
I admit I did have the credentials and experience. But, I also know this technique works because good employers are always looking for the best talent they can find to help them enhance their PCF/SOE.
Here’s my challenge to you:
Go visit every company on your target list. 90% of success in life is showing up, asking questions, and showing an interest.
Purpose: To confirm or deny your interest in the company.
That’s right. Show up (unannounced) at each company on your Target List and strike up a conversation.
Hi, my name is ______, and I’m very interested in your company. Is there anyone here that I could speak with to find out what it takes to join your team?
You’ll probably be directed to either the Boss or someone from personnel or human resources. When you meet them, say the same thing. If anyone asks what you do – give them your 30-Second Commercial and your face-to-face networking resume. Stay awhile to chat with them, but not too long. Show a genuine interest in their company. Impress them with your knowledge of their company because of your research.
Be prepared to go right to a job interview, if they have the time or set a time to come back. Be prepared to present your resume and your achievements.
Also, be prepared in the case they say, we’re not hiring right now. That’s just an excuse from someone who’s not responsible for the company’s Profit and Loss. In response to this statement just say,
Thank you for that information. May I speak with the head of your Engineering Department (or whatever functional department you are interested in) just to ask a few questions?
If you are turned down again, ask,
Maybe I could just write him. Could you please give me his name?
Be nice and respectful, but assertive. Take note of what you learned and follow-up later.
I love this quote from Hannibal:
“We will either find a way or make one.”
I challenge you to share this information with others because the only way to truly own knowledge is to give it away – one of life’s great paradoxes.
By showing up unannounced at your target companies, you’re creating opportunities that previously didn’t exist!
Think about it!
In my next post, I’ll continue to focus on the 19+ Proven Ways of Finding a New Job in 90-Days or Less.
Prepare to be surprised. Stay tuned! In the meantime, if you need more help, learn more HERE.