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Who Else Wants
a Job Created Just For Them?
In good times and bad, there are jobs to be had.
But if you follow the crowds and apply only for positions advertised in the classifieds or on Internet job sites . you're doing what everybody else is doing.
And just about everybody is finding this job market tougher than a $2.00 steak.
There's another way.
You can effectively create your own private job market -- and have jobs created just for you -- if you do one simple thing: write an "approach letter" to employers and ask to meet with them.
To show you how it's done, I interviewed a company president, Stuart Lichtman, from Santa Barbara, Calif.
In addition to running three companies right now, he's a scientist, former Fortune 500 consultant and author of 14 books, including his latest, "How to Get Lots of Money for Anything - Fast."
Here's how you can write a simple letter to employers -- and get job offers.
"As a company president, I always try to meet qualified candidates who write and ask. I have created jobs on the spot for people who made a strong case for hiring them," says Lichtman.
And he's not alone.
"The biggest problem in running any company is getting the right people, so a good leader is always looking for new star employees. Most presidents of successful companies I know feel the same way," says Lichtman.
Since star employees are usually action-oriented, the act of writing a letter to ask for a meeting shows initiative. Which can earmark you as the kind of go-getter that employers want on their team.
Instead, write a concise "approach letter" letter to the president of the division or company you want to work in. Your aim? To sell them on the idea of meeting you.
"I prefer letters that say, in effect, 'Here's what attracts me about your organization, and here are the skills and abilities I can contribute. Would you be open to discussing this?'" says Lichtman.
To write an effective approach letter, research and learn the needs of your target company. You can talk to people who work there or at the competition. And your experience can provide valuable insights, too, if you're in the same industry.
Be sure to mail an actual paper letter. Since it's tangible, it can't be deleted in two seconds, like an email.
During his 30+ years as a company president, he received letters from about 40 candidates asking to meet, and he sat down with almost all of those. How many got a position?
"I hired about 26 at last count. Essentially, I created jobs for them on the spot. Most of the others I referred to friends and colleagues who could help," says Lichtman.
You may or may not experience a high number of calls for interviews, but if the phone isn't ringing now, what have you got to lose?
"Yes, especially when times are tough. The need for good employees is even greater now," says Lichtman.
With more job hunters chasing a shrinking number of advertised positions, you should have less competition by approaching employers directly. So, a rotten job market may actually favor you.
Lichtman says: "It's amazing how many people treat the job search as a non-human process, when, in fact, the decision-making is all done by humans."
Please email me at email@example.com with your experience using this method. I may interview you for a future column!
Kevin Donlin owns and operates Guaranteed Resumes. Since 1995, he has provided resumes, cover letters and online job-search assistance to clients on five continents.
Kevin has been interviewed by WCCO and WLTE radio, and KMSP TV, among others. His articles have appeared in the National Business Employment Weekly, Minneapolis Star Tribune, Twin Cities Employment Weekly and others.
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