You’re out of work, so you need a job. You have a job, but you want a different one. You’ve got the standard resume, experience, and a list of references, so why no offers? Maybe your approach is wrong when talking to the hiring person.
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Change Your Approach
What are you actually doing when you apply for a job? You’re selling yourself, which is no different than a business trying to sell its products or services. And, what is a customer buying from a business? Customers buy solutions to their problems and want benefits for the money they spend.
Businesses want the same thing when hiring employees. They hire individuals who can solve some type of problem the business currently has. A business might need employees to work in sales, customer service, manufacturing, operations, or support staff, and they want a benefit for salaries paid.
Pitch Solutions and Benefits
This is a simple concept every job seeker should understand: “Pitch” yourself as if you were pitching a product or service for a company. What skills do you have that you can offer to a prospective employer that will solve one of its problems? What benefit will the company receive by hiring you?
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When you’re sitting in front of a hiring person, forget about the resume and list of references — everyone knows you’ll only list names of people who are going to give you top marks in all categories anyway! Instead, start selling solutions and benefits to the company such as:
- This is how I can improve sales.
- This is how I can correct inefficiencies.
- This is how I can save costs.
- This is how I can improve quality.
- This is how I can ____________.
Promote the End Result
So, what gives you the ability to become a problem solver for a prospective employer? It’s your experience and skills that you list on your resume, but that’s not what you’re promoting. You’re promoting an end result — how you can be a solution to some type of problem the company has. Your solution might be nothing more than filling an empty position. However, filling that empty position is: (1) solving a problem the company currently has, and (2) offering the company the benefit of your services.
Consider Becoming an Outsourcing Entrepreneur
Outsourcing is the contracting out of a business function that produces greater efficiency and less cost for a company. It can be equated to hiring a temporary employee. If you have a bit of entrepreneurial spirit inside you, this might be an opportune time for you to actually consider becoming an independent contractor and outsourcing yourself to many different businesses, depending on the skills you bring to the table. Instead of just one employer, you could have many clients!
Since small businesses generally do not have expertise in all core competencies, this lack of expertise can hinder a small business in many ways: lack of efficiency, higher costs, and lost sales. So instead of performing all business functions in-house with perhaps a certain amount of inefficiency, some functions might be best performed by external providers who are specialists in certain business areas and have expertise in areas that might be lacking in a small business.
Outsourcing Is Attractive
What makes outsourcing attractive to many businesses is a combination of cost savings, specialized knowledge, improved quality, and known costs. Many services can now be performed remotely. So, now you’re working for yourself AND working out of your new home office! Sounds like outsourcing can be attractive to you as well.
Consider approaching businesses that might not have the time and expertise to perform certain functions in-house. These businesses that lack the time and/or skills necessary to efficiently perform certain functions are prime targets for your new business venture.
Refine Your “Outsourcing Pitch”
Don’t limit yourself to only large companies. Small companies equally have the need to consider outsourcing as an alternative to hiring permanent employees. The flexibility of this type of arrangement can work in your favor. Pitch how you can lower costs and leave essential employees time to work on core business functions; thus, maintaining an efficient business operation through outsourcing to you.
Many companies outsource certain functions understanding the benefits received rather than hiring full-time employees for accounting, recruiting, human resources, payroll, marketing, IT expertise, selling, and travel, for example. Analyze your skill sets versus what companies need, and then start prospecting. You never know what opportunities exist until you ask!
Change Your Odds
Whether you seek another job or decide to become an independent contractor, one thing is certain: companies need employees and independent contractors to solve problems and provide benefits. By changing your attitude, perspective, and approach, you have the opportunity to be flexible when it comes to your next “job.” Turn your interview into a sales pitch for yourself or your new business and see the results!
Richard L. Weinberger, PhD, CPA has over 30 years experience as a financial and management consultant dealing exclusively with small businesses. He has taught numerous continuing education courses for entrepreneurs, business owners, and professionals. Dr. Weinberger currently serves in the capacity as the Chief Executive Officer of the Association of Accredited Small Business Consultants (AASBC) and authored the SEMP Approach: Simplified Examination to Maximize Profit, which is the foundation of the educational training for the AASBC. He is also the author of a new release book Propel Your Small Business to Success: Accelerated Actions to Maximize Profit that is a step-by-step process to gain expertise, increase operational efficiency, and maximize profit in every area of a small business.