Thursday, November 8, 2012

Follow-Ups and Marketing

Many Las Vegas clients pursue jobs in the hospitality industry, particularly food & beverage. Clearly some are in the lower-skills categories but certainly not all. I would characterize lots of them as being middle-skills jobs which can lead to solid career opportunities. See my 11/1/12 post.

Consequently I spend a fair amount of time coaching job searchers in this area. Recall that middle-skills jobs have the following characteristics: they are service oriented, not easily out-sourced, and typically require interpersonal interaction. Considering these points, is it any wonder that old fashioned face-to-face job search techniques - when employed and well executed - produce such positive results?

I recommend a simple three step approach.

First, walk right in and introduce yourself to the applicable manager. Keep your resume handy and produce it when appropriate. If you know there's an opening before showing up, compete the application beforehand. Otherwise, wait until you are there (or later) to apply for whatever position you learn about on your visit.

The second step is to follow-up in person (always) unless expressly told otherwise. Going back (Vs calling or emailing) is extremely important because it demonstrates your interest and gives the other party an opportunity to get another look at you. I mean this literally, an opportunity to once again check you out directly and in real time.

The third step is to do a second in-person follow-up (which is to say, a follow-up of the initial follow-up).

All the while you are making these contacts, note that you aren't selling (your services) yet. No. What you are doing at this stage is marketing. This boils down to influencing the other party's opinion by demonstrating positive and heads-up behavior each time you make contact.

Marketing not selling. It is creating interest not cutting to the bottom-line.

Marketing to prospective employers (buyers) in service categories such as food & beverage means being likable and consistent in your approach. Clearly if they don't like you they will not want you interacting with their customers. Seriously people, this is a matter of common sense but you'd be surprised ...

What about consistency? Let's say the first contact went well and they appear to like you. What next? Consistency, that's what. Your objective should be to execute all follow-ups and other contacts in the same manner; no changes, no surprises, no additional variables added. A positive initial impression needs to be reinforced and enhanced. The other party wants to see the same person, each and every time. So deliver!

Remember the hiring formula: Past + Present = Future. Every in-person, real time contact you make has a Present value. You have no ability to change or re-write Past events, but you most certainly do have the ability to execute in the Present.

Be likable and be consistent in how you roll, striving to hit the consistency target dead center each and every time.

Travel well.
John Jeffrey Lundell

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