Saturday, December 20, 2008

I NEED This Job - NOT !

by Joe Turner, The Job Search Guy

I recently received a letter from a job seeker indicating that she had been called for an interview but didn't have all of the qualifications. "Carey" wanted to know what advice I could give her, adding that she really "needs this job."

My response to "Carey" applies to most job seekers who don't have all of the qualifications listed in the job description. Consider this a wish list from the employer. Know that, even in today's tough economy, employers aren't always going to get everything that they want, either.

Your attitude is more important than your compendium of skills and abilities. Many people write about "attitude" as something you can switch on and off. Like trying to sell the interviewer on the idea that you're some cheerful, gonzo team player willing to tackle any task thrown at you. This is pure rubbish, of course, and it will last about 20 minutes, or as long as you're able to maintain this false front.

When I say attitude, I'm talking about your core belief in who you are and what you bring to the table at an interview. It starts with self-respect. Before any interview, tell yourself this: "I may need oxygen, food and water, but I DO NOT NEED THIS JOB." With today's economic climate of gloom and doom and job losses projected to tally into the millions by the end of 2009, this may seem almost suicidal.

Yet, by freeing yourself from feeling you "need this job", you will actually perform better during the interview by not giving your power away to the employer. Otherwise, your sense of neediness will be read as desperation and will work to your disadvantage to quickly eliminate you from further consideration.

Of course, it's all well and good to talk about thinking "I don't need this job" when the rent is due and your bank account is empty, but don't give your power away. Realize that the employer needs to fill this position ASAP and might want you as much as you want them.

Employer's NeedsInstead of YOUR needs, think instead about the EMPLOYER's needs. Remember, companies hire people who can either make money or save money for them. They're looking for people who can best provide a return on their investment.

Focus on the major benefit you bring to your employer. How does that benefit help them make or save money? If you can get to the root of their need, you can stand out among even stronger candidates who only talk about their skills.

For example, an administration assistant may have a very strong phone presence and as a result, makes clients feel at ease. She sets the stage for their continued purchases from her company. Her strength is her phone skills. Her benefit is happy clients, and consequently, more revenue to the company.

Highlight those areas where you are strong and really sell those. Bring up examples from your past when you were successful, and describe them. When you go through this exercise, you'll most likely amaze yourself with your list of work-related accomplishments. More importantly, you'll begin to see yourself in a new light-a producer of results. You'll also inoculate yourself from the dreaded "I need this job" syndrome that so many job seekers share, and take a giant step toward having the employer think, "I need YOU for our company".
SummarySure, the economy will continue to decline while not only jobs, but entire businesses, crumble and dissolve into oblivion. Yet, as some companies fall, others will rise.

These employers, more than ever, will need employees who not only know who they are, but who know and can articulate the true value of their accomplishments as a return on investment to their employer. When you can do this, you'll lose the "I need this job" syndrome and have employers feeling "needy" for you.

As a recruiter, Joe Turner has spent the past 15 years finding and placing top candidates in some of the best jobs of their careers. Author of Job Search Secrets Unlocked and Paycheck 911, Joe has interviewed on radio talk shows and offers free insider job search secrets at: