Measure and maul your competition

The scientific name for an animal that doesn’t either run from or fight its enemies is lunch.  (Michael Friedman)

James Bond, 007, has the best enemies.  They are ruthless, evil and totally bad.  When he “accidentally” kills one, you cheer.

In your job search you don’t have to kill or destroy your opponents.  All you have to do is dispose of them. It is a very simple process.  The people competing against you must be known, measured, and either beaten, eliminated or enticed elsewhere.

Known

Who else is applying for the job you want?  Is it college graduates, high school kids or guys who have been in that industry for 20 years?  You have to know how they are like you and how they are different.  If you are exactly like everyone else, you won’t be noticed.  If you don’t fit in at all, they probably won’t hire you either.  If you don’t know who is applying, call up the company or recruiter and ask.

Measured

I call and ask why the people applying for a job are not getting hired.  I ask HR and hiring managers exactly what skills and traits they are having trouble finding. You can certainly call HR or a recruiter and ask.  They can’t fire you.  You don’t even work there yet.  You can also see if you can find old ads for the same job.  Look at what has changed from the old ad. They are probably emphasizing the hardest to find traits in newer ads.  Another possibility is to just think a bit.  What are the hardest to find skills they are asking for?  Do you have any of them?

Beaten

Since you know and have measured your competition, beat them flat out if you can.  Emphasize your strongest qualifications.  Tell them how well you can do the job.  Prove you have done similar things in the past.  Say what is different about you.  Sure, mention in passing how you have all the traits ever other applicant has, but do something to stand out.

Eliminated

I prefer to eliminate the opposition entirely.  The best way to do that is to have someone tell the manager to call you without even presenting a resume.  Okay, you may have to give them a resume to hand to the boss.  Either way you can eliminate the competition by leapfrogging the qualification process. Get in front of the hiring manager before he sees anyone else.  He may decide it isn’t worth his time to look any farther than you.

Enticed elsewhere

Some jobs and companies are so wonderful everyone is applying for them.  If you know you can’t beat the great masses of people, you are going to have to go somewhere else.  Look for a job where the masses of people are not applying.  It may be in a very small company.  Ask everyone you know, “Who needs someone with [my skill]? The masses are enticed elsewhere.  They see high profile jobs.  You will be looking for the less obvious openings.  Become an expert in locating companies that could use your skills, but aren’t widely known.

Your competition is easier to get rid of once they are known and measured. Then they can either be beaten, eliminated or enticed elsewhere.

Something To Do Today            

Think about your job search. Just think.  And then take notes about your conclusions.

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For 2 weeks: Zen and the art of getting a job

Tomorrow:     Making a silk purse

Later:              Why you aren’t paid what you are worth

A man dying of thirst

Perception

Character

Diamond in the rough

Cleat marks up your back

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