As a digital marketer, it’s my job is to convince people to take action.
As a job seeker, your goal is almost identical – whether it’s getting an employer to respond to your application and invite you to interview, or convincing them to offer you the job after the interview is over.
After spending most of my career as a Recruiter and then transitioning into freelance digital marketing, I’m going to reveal four strategies from the professional marketing world that will help you convince top companies to hire you.
1. Make Everything About Them
Marketers know that if they write an advertisement or marketing message all about themselves, it will flop.
This is because the average reader doesn’t care about the company or the person writing the message; they care about their own needs and problems.
So marketers write about you – their target audience.
As a job seeker, you can do the same thing.
Focus your cover letter and resume on showing how your skills will help you be successful in the exact role you’ve applied for.
Here’s a trick you can use with cover letters and emails:
After writing your message, search the document for “you” and count how many times you used the word. Now, look at how many times you said “I”.
You should be saying “you” at least as much as “I”. If not, go back and revise it before sending it.
2. Be Ultra-Specific
Have you ever gone online and seen an ad saying, “discover how this mother-of-two earned $5,284.28 working from home”?
You might have wondered why they don’t keep it simple and just say, “$5,000,” or, “thousands of dollars.”
The reason is that specific numbers are more believable and more convincing.
How can you take advantage of this? Dive into specific facts and details on your resume. Write about exactly what you accomplished in past roles, not just what you were responsible for.
Here are some specific numbers you can put:
- The percentage increase/improvements you achieved for company metrics or your own performance
- Dollar amounts (revenue you brought in, cost savings, etc.)
- Headcounts (e.g. “Managed 20 people across three different groups”)
Then, before your interview, review your resume and make sure you’re ready to talk about these accomplishments when they ask.
If you don’t know any of the metrics related to your recent accomplishments, ask former bosses and colleagues.
Making a habit of tracking your data will help you stand out for the rest of your career – on your resume and in your interview answers.
3. Remove the Risk
Marketers know they can often boost sales by offering a guarantee that removes the risk for the buyer.
While you’re not going to offer a money-back guarantee to employers, you can do a couple of things to show them you’re a safe bet…
1. Reassure them that this is the type of work you want to be doing.
Why it works: Employers are afraid of hiring someone who isn’t excited about the job (even if you’re very capable of doing the work). Their fear is that you’ll leave within the first year, or lose motivation when things get tough. Address this concern by showing them why this job excites you, and you will get more job offers.
2. Show them you are “coachable” and open to feedback.
Why it works: Hiring managers are afraid of hiring someone who is stubborn or won’t take direction, even if you’re extremely talented. If you want to get hired by top companies, show that you’re willing to leave your ego at the door and learn things their way if they hire you.
4. Make Your Writing Irresistible to Read
Imagine you’re browsing Facebook or LinkedIn, and all of a sudden you see an ad with one giant paragraph of text taking up half your screen.
Are you going to read it? Highly unlikely.
You’re probably scrolling as fast as you can to get it off of your news feed.
Well, hiring managers and recruiters behave the same way, and they’re also bombarded with information online just like everyone else.
So they’re impatient and they judge content very quickly when deciding whether to scroll past it or keep reading.
This means that whether it’s on LinkedIn, email, or your resume or cover letter that you sent over, they typically don’t respond well to long, bulky paragraphs that look intimidating and very time-consuming to read.
This is especially true if you’ve never spoken before.
If it’s a first message or “cold” message, you need to be extra careful about this. While it’s always a good idea to keep this in mind, you do have more leeway or margin for error when you’ve been communicating back and forth with somebody for a couple of days or a couple of messages.
I recommend assuming the reader is in a rush and impatient either way. This will help you focus on getting to the point quickly and making your writing attractive to read.
One of the ways you can make it more likely your messages will be read is to keep everything well-spaced. Avoid giant “walls of text”, and aim for no more than three sentences per paragraph.
Also, to catch their attention quickly and give them a real reason to keep reading, lead with your best and most convincing points right away.
Marketers often spend as much time on their headline and opening sentence as they spend on the entire rest of the page they’re writing. I’d recommend you do the same, in cover letters, emails, LinkedIn messages, and even on your own resume with your headline or summary statement.
If they like your first sentence, they’ll read more. If not, you might have lost them forever. Remember, your email or LinkedIn message is far from the only one they’ve received today.
Sometimes recruiters and hiring managers will have 20, 30, or even 50 emails or LinkedIn messages waiting, so if they start to doubt whether your message is relevant, they’ll be tempted to move on.
If you follow these 4 marketing strategies in your job search, you’ll get more interviews and convert more of those interviews into high-salary job offers.