It’s not about you

The most important thing about job hunting is to remember: it’s not about you.

Employers don’t care about your goals, your dreams, your five year plan, or whether you can make next month’s rent. All they care about is that they have a problem, and they are looking for someone to solve that problem.

That sounds harsh, but it’s true. And everything you do in job hunting that isn’t laser-focused on solving an employer’s problem is wasted time.

Think about it this way: you are a salesperson, and your product is your unique set of skills. So in order to be successful, you need to

  1. Know what that employer’s problem is, and
  2. Know, backwards and forwards, how you can solve it.

Everything else is just icing on the cake.

When you are talking to potential employers, either by letter or email or in person, don’t waste their time telling them that this job would be perfect for you, or that this is your dream job, or that this job fits well in your five year plan.

They don’t care.

We’ll be talking about the nuts and bolts of cover letters and resumes. In the meantime, just realize that these communications must do two things:

  1. Prove that you know what their problem is.
  2. Prove that you’re the one who can solve it.

Get in that mindset, and you’re way ahead of the game.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] The good news is, you can do it. The bad news is, job hunting is a game where most of the people you encounter don’t want you to learn the rules. I’ll do my best to show you how to play the game; the rest is up to you. If you’re new here, you should probably start with “It’s not about you.” [...]

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