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Career-Life Times, Issue #23 -- Santa Overheard at a Job Interview
December 18, 2005
Happy holidays! And welcome to the latest issue of CAREER-LIFE TIMES! Thank you for subscribing! I hope you find this little publication to be informative, useful and entertaining.
If you don't like it for some weird reason, there's an unsubscribe link at the end. And if you have any ideas on how I can improve it, please let me know -- I value your suggestions! My email address is also at the end.
The following conversation was overheard during a recent job interview:
Employer: "I notice you put three different names on your application: Saint Nicholas, Kris Kringle, and Santa Clause. What shall I call you?"
Kris: "Kris is fine."
Employer: "So, Kris, tell me a little about yourself."
Kris: "I'm a jolly old elf who lives at the North Pole. I love children and reindeer. I'm good at making lists. And I don't mind travel."
Employer: "Hmmm... You've got a spotty employment history. You've worked at Macy’s and many other stores, but only for a few winter weeks. Why is that?"
Kris: "I can only get work in late November and most of December. I tried applying during other times of the year, but they just gave me an odd look and shook their head. I think it might've been age discrimination."
Employer: "Uh-huh. How are your team-building skills?"
Kris: "OK. I once had trouble with a new member of my team. The other team members used to laugh and call him names. But I had him guide the team one foggy night, and afterwards the rest of the team loved him; they even shouted out with glee. It was pretty weird at the time, but everything's cool now."
Employer: "What are your greatest strengths?"
Kris: "My listening skills are excellent. I have a strong lap. I'm good with kids. And I'm not afraid of heights."
Employer: "What are your biggest weaknesses?"
Kris: "Milk and cookies. They're the reason I have this belly that shakes like a bowlful of jelly!"
Employer: "Why should I hire you?"
Kris: "I see you when you're sleeping. I know when you’re awake. I know when you've been bad or good. So be good, for goodness sake -- and hire me! Otherwise, I'll have to put you on my 'Naughty' list. Believe me, you don't want that."
Employer: "Are you threatening me?"
Kris: "No. I'm not very good at threats. With the cost of gas and electric heat these days, people actually look forward to receiving a lump of coal. I'm just saying it's better to be on my 'Nice' list, because I send a copy of my 'Naughty' list to the IRS."
Employer: "When can you start?"
Kris: "Ho, Ho, Ho!"
The successful job search is really just a personal marketing campaign. And the same techniques used in infomercials and junk mail can help you get hired.
I'll prove it to you.
First, let's define marketing. I like this definition: marketing is finding and getting customers.
That sounds like a job search, doesn't it? Finding and getting a job.
So, why not break from the pack -- and find a job faster -- by adapting and adopting some of the world's most effective marketing techniques?
Here are three ways to do it.
1) Start Your Resume With a Headline
In his 1963 classic, "Confessions Of An Advertising Man," David Ogilvy wrote that five times as many people read a headline as do an entire ad. So if your headline is weak, you've just wasted 80% of your advertising dollars.
How does this apply to resumes?
Since employers often have hundreds of resumes to read, it makes sense to give your resume a "headline." Because you want to grab the hiring manager's attention and keep them reading.
So, how do you create an arresting headline for your resume? This tip is (or was) one of my top resume writing secrets, so pay attention ...
Start your resume with a summary section, no longer than two sentences. In the first, tell the employer what you want to do for them. In the second sentence, fire off your biggest gun and briefly hint at the best thing you've ever done on the job.
Here are three real-life examples of resume "headlines" that got my clients hired.
There's no point in holding back in your resume. Because, unless readers are hooked right away, they won't make it past the opening lines. So your resume "headline" should literally shout the greatest benefit you can give to employers. This will keep them reading. Try it!
2) Include a P.S. in Your Cover Letter
Open your junk mail today. You know, those letters that sell credit cards, magazine subscriptions, 10 CDs for a penny, etc.
Look at the bottom of each sales letter. Ninety-five times out of 100, you'll find a P.S. there.
Because over the last 100 years, direct-mail copywriters have found that a P.S. almost always gets read. So they put a compelling sales message where they know it will get read -- in the P.S.
You can do the same thing -- and increase the number of calls you get from employers -- by including a provocative P.S. at the end of your cover letters.
Here are some examples to get you started ...
P.S. If you do not have a current need, please pass my resume on to someone who wants to turn a $400,000 loss into $800,000 profit in two years, as I did for my current employer.
P.S. Please call me at (612) 555-0000 to find out why my supervisor recently said: "I have absolutely nothing but great things to say about Dan. His strengths are troubleshooting problems, taking care of situations in a timely manner and always willing to go the extra mile ... Dan is a great team player."
P.S. If you don't see a fit at this time, please pass my resume on to someone who needs to increase qualified deal flow more than 300% and sales closing ratios more than 25%, as I have repeatedly done.
3) Give Employers a Free Trial
Hiring managers are like buyers of expensive items: They want the product to work, and they don't want to get burned.
Smart marketers have known this for years. Example: look at how exercise equipment is often sold on TV -- it comes with a free in-home trial, so you can send it back within 30 days if you don't like it.
Why not adopt this same technique, and offer a "free trial" to wary employers? It's worked for other job seekers. Here are two ways it can help you get hired ...
a) Take another look at temporary work.
Fact: many companies use temp agencies to fill full-time openings. According to "Job Hunting for Dummies," by Max Messmer, 38% of temporary workers are offered full-time positions at the companies where they are assigned. So temping can make sense in today's job market.
b) Start work before the job interview.
If you're looking for a sales position, for example, you can research, assemble and bring a list of sales leads to the interview. Imagine walking into a hiring manager's office and saying, "I've already started working for you. In fact, I have a list of 100 people who are interested in your product."
Try these proven marketing techniques today. You'll gain an almost unfair advantage over other job hunters, who aren't as creative as you.
Kevin Donlin is President of Guaranteed Resumes. Since 1996, he and his team have provided resumes, cover letters and online job-search assistance to clients in all 50 states and 23 countries. Kevin has been interviewed by USA Today, CBS MarketWatch, The Wall Street Journal's National Business Employment Weekly, CBS Radio, and many others.
For more information, visit GreatResumes.com
Looking for a job that's a bit unusual -- something that's guaranteed to keep the conversation going when someone asks what you do for a living?
CareerBuilder.com conducted a survey of 2,450 workers, asking them to share their most interesting or unconventional jobs. Here are the top 26 picks:
For more information, visit CareerBuilder.com
Tons of Free, Informative Articles. If you haven't visited my website's article directory in a while, you should. I've been adding articles like crazy, and have organized them into categories so it's much easier to find articles on topics that interest you. Take a look by clicking on: Articles.
Want to be better at networking? I just received this very nice email message from a reader of my ebook, "Networkaholics Revealed! True Confessions from People Who Networked their Way to Success (And How You Can Do the Same)":
"I really enjoyed your book! I think the format is great -- a collection of approaches and anecdotes is a lot more helpful than another 'this is how to do it' book. I also enjoyed reading your description of how you came to write the book. Obviously the real acid test is 'what difference has reading it made?' and I can certainly say I have benefited. I used to find networking difficult to do because the way that I thought I had to do it did not come naturally to me. Your book has encouraged me to relax about this and to work hard at being myself in business company. It has also helped me to reflect on how much I dislike insincere networking from others! (And I will never again give someone my business card first!)
"Thank you for writing such a helpful book, and best wishes for the holidays!"
Chris Baker, Oxon, UK
For more information, go to Networkaholics-Revealed.com
Here's a nice holiday offer (f-r-e-e stuff!) from my friend Roy Miller at Job-Search-Guidepost.com:
The holiday season is a good time to take stock of your life, including what you do for living. Is your job giving you the fulfilling life you want? Would another job as someone else's employee be any better? In some cases (perhaps yours), the answer is NO.
Have you considered doing your own thing? That could mean being a consultant in your chosen field, a freelancer doing your current job (rather an employee), or even an online business selling anything you can imagine.
It's not the right answer for everybody, but with the low start-up cost of an online business, doing your own thing is certainly an option to consider.
If having an online business sounds like something you'd be interested in, the promotion I'm running this month might help. But you'll have to hurry.
It's over on Christmas Day.
If you click on this link: Roy's Package
...you can download 16 information products (mostly eBooks) with master resale rights (which means you can sell them and let your customers sell them) and--get this--websites to sell them with...all for f*ree.
If you've been thinking about starting an online business, this free package can help.
Here's the link again: Roy's Package
Remember, it's F * R * E * E *!
Here's to your job search success,
Roy Miller, creator of... http://www.job-search-guidepost.com
Current Best-Sellers for Under $10. Brand new hardback books selling for $20 or more in book stores are available online for under $10... with zero shipping fees and no tax (in most cases). The holidays are coming. Books make wonderful gifts! Here's the link where you can find these great deals: Zooba.com
Job Interview Success System. My unique step-by-step program is the best way to prepare for and WIN your next job interview... guaranteed. Click here for details: Job Interview Success System
have a magical effect before which
difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish."
(John Quincy Adams)
Here's a little poem I wrote for the employee newsletter where I work. Those readers got a kick out of it; I hope you enjoy it, too!
The holidays are drawing near;
Can I wish you a "Merry Christmas?" This newsletter is read by people in more than 60 countries. If you live in the United States (and several other countries), December 25th is a federal holiday. It's known as Christmas. Most businesses in the U.S. are closed on that day so families can celebrate together. It's a day that has been celebrated in this country since before this WAS a country!
So why can't I, as the editor, say "Merry Christmas!" in our employee newsletter? Why can't we call the party that we have to celebrate this federal holiday a Christmas party instead of a holiday party? Why is using the term "Christmas" taboo where I work?
I just don't understand it. Of course I realize that not everyone is Christian, and many people do not celebrate Christmas. That's fine! But do people who do not celebrate Christmas get offended at the mere word? I find that very hard to believe. Can you imagine the uproar if words like Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or Ramadan were given the same treatment?
The "political correctness police" would have you believe that wishing someone a "Merry Christmas!" is like saying "Denounce your own faith and worship as a Christian!" Give me a break!
We're all different; we have different beliefs and different holidays. But in the U.S., we're all supposed to appreciate and welcome such diversity -- not be offended by it. That goes for Jews, Muslims, Budhists, Atheists, Christians and everyone else.
If you are not a Christian and are so intolerant that the phrase "Merry Christmas" offends you, you're not going to like this:
And For Everyone of Every Faith:
Have a Wonderful, Safe & Prosperous New Year!
So, what did you think of this issue? Any suggestions? Topic ideas? Questions? I really appreciate your feedback. Please send me a note at Bonnie@Best-Interview-Strategies.com
Please forward this to your friends!
P.S. To prevent your email service provider's spam filter from interrupting delivery or this newsletter to your email inbox, please add Bonnie@Best-Interview-Strategies.com to your address book or "safe list."
P.S.S. I apologize for the glitches (especially in links) you may see if you receive this as straight text. If you can receive your email in the HTML format, choose that and it'll look a lot better. Don't worry, I won't have any slowing graphics.
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