Over the past two months, we’ve received more resumés and job inquiries than ever before. I try to respond to each personally with an honest assessment of our needs and their approach. I know it’s a tough time for these young people, and they need to know someone cares.
Given the competition to find a good job, I’m surprised by the ineffectiveness 80% of the inquiries that come to SHiFT. Some letters are over-the-top in their cuteness (and length). Others have a fatalistic undertone, as though they already know there are no jobs out there.
The thing most young people lack in their approach is a statement of what they can do for our company. As I wrote one young person, “don’t make your potential employer weed through your capabilities and proficiencies. Instead, talk about the value you can bring to that agency. Also, never forget that a big advantage you have is the willingness to work hard for not a lot of money. Make it impossible not to a least give you an interview.”
It’s a devilishly tough job market and employers are stretched quite thin. Job seekers need to be smart, courageous and pragmatic if they’re going to get the gig.
As a small businesses, we would do well to heed this advice when competing for new clients and projects. Don’t dwell on capabilities and what you’ve done in the past. Understand what the prospect wants to accomplish and focus on how you’ll help them achieve this.