Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Stop Saying Stupid Stuff 2: Call People to Network a Job

Saying the wrong thing two womenThis continues our series helping you to improve your career by stop saying stupid stuff

We introduced Dave in Monday’s post. He tried to get appointments by saying “I’m looking for a job. I filled out your online application.” He could have said “At the Acme Department Store I increased sales by 20% month over month for 9 months. I also increased turns (inventory turnover) from 6 to 8 a year.” That impressed the men’s clothing manager enough to interview Dave and hire him over Black Friday weekend. After several months of looking for a job, Dave found one in four days when he stopped saying stupid stuff and told them things that made them want to hire him.

Stupid Stuff People Say

A lot of people call me because someone referred them to me to find a job. One would expect them to say things that will impress me enough to do what they want. Instead, I hear things like this:

  • “I’m looking for a job and so-and-so said you could help.” pause, pause, pause waiting for me to something. What do they expect me to say?
  • “I’m looking something in sales (or human resource, or accounting, or IT). Do you know anyone who is hiring?”
  • “I’m a hard worker, dependable, and get along with people” They may as well say I’m trustworthy. loyal, helpful, friendly,..(and the rest of the Scout law)

None of these statements make me want to refer them to my contacts. If they waste my time, they will waste their time. They will blame me.

Prepare to Say Smart Stuff

Instead prepare either smart questions or smart home run statements that convince people you won’t waste their time, or the time of their friends.

For example, ask questions they can answer easily without working too hard:

  • “I heard that you know the Acme Corporation. What can you tell me about them?
  • How is the release of their new product going?
  • Do you know anyone who could give me more information?

Friday we explore stupid stuff people say to hiring authorities to schedule meetings

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