To position yourself as the most promotable employee, the most preferred job applicant or the “obvious best choice” professional, you must first attract the attention of the folks responsible for promoting you, hiring you, or contracting your services.
But before you put yourself out there, you need a solid strategy that attracts positive, not negative attention.
Key #1: Keep it Relevant
If you don’t demonstrate how your skills or accomplishments fit their requirements, making a bid for attention carries a big risk. You could come across as an intrusive individual who couples a lack of insight with the tenacity of a bulldog chasing a bone.
Yes you’ll get their attention, but not in a good way.
A series of TV commercials that began airing recently provide some excellent examples of "what not to do" to get noticed.
Commercial #1 shows a job applicant climbing into the ceiling in the hallway outside an office. After crawling through an air duct, and crashing down in a bathroom where they hand their resume to a startled occupant.
Commercial #2 opens on a business meeting being conducted in a high rise office boardroom. As a window washer’s platform rises into view outside the window, its operator rolls out a message and attempts to stick it to the glass. Most of the lettering (a message to call on the applicant for a job opening) is carried away by the wind. The partial remaining words embarrass the meeting leader by suggesting he is the applicant’s birth father.
While both scenarios are entertaining, the idea that these tactics could potentially give a job seeker the edge they need to get hired is laughable.
Your attention getting strategy has two goals:
- To present your achievements to the people who want the benefits you have proven you can deliver.
- To connect the dots for them by demonstrating, point by point, how your skills, experience and past accomplishments meet their needs and advance their objectives.
For example, if you are a realtor on the hunt for new residential listings in a specific neighborhood, you’ll need to assure your prospective clients that you can meet their needs and their desires; selling their home quickly, for the highest possible price.
But simply making a claim is not enough. To get their attention, you must demonstrate that you have sold more (relevant sized) homes (in a relevant area) for more money (x% of asking price) than other local realtors.
This approach is far more effective than the common claim of being a “top producer,” because the average homeowner doesn’t know what that means. Sure they’ve heard the term before. And it does indicate that you’re selling a lot of... something.
But are you selling low priced properties? High end, luxury units? Or something in between? Are you “producing” sales of commercial properties? Residential homes? Condos? Vacant lots?
Are you selling in their local area? If you can refer them to people in their neighborhood who support your claims, they’ll be much more comfortable trusting you to sell what is likely their largest investment; their home.
I’ll say more about trust when I define the second key in Part 2 of this series...
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