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How to Get a Job Before It’s Posted

“Who says you can only apply for a job when a company is looking?” said Ron Karr, author of ‘Lead, Sell, or Get Out of the Way.’ “You shouldn’t wait for a job opening to apply for a position. You may find better luck in applying for a position before it opens.”
“Think about it. The moment a job opportunity is posted, you and hundreds if not thousands of people are pouncing on the opportunity. With this kind of stiff competition, how do you separate yourself from the competition?” said Karr, who helps companies create high-performance sales cultures.
Karr said you don’t have to be a psychic to anticipate a job opening. The trick is to use the same principle he urges sales professionals to use when selling their products and services. He tells salespeople the best time to sell something is when the customer says there is no need.
“Just because there is no need doesn’t mean there is no opportunity. Successful salespeople don’t concentrate on selling ‘me too’ type products. They find out what needs are not being met and then create a compelling reason for the customer to act,” Karr said.
Mother knows best
Karr learned this concept at his mother’s knee. A well-known economist and thought leader in her day, Miriam Karr rose through the ranks of Chase Manhattan Bank as a vice president running their Counter Trade Group. She created the department when she saw a challenge that needed to be addressed — getting third world countries to pay off their outstanding debt to U.S. banks. By helping these countries find buyers for their products, the bank was paid a commission that went to the bottom line as payback for those loans. Karr says his mother excelled in maintaining her value to the organization by creating opportunities out of problems.
“So if you need to look for a job or switch positions, how about speaking to company owners and executives about the gaps they have and issues they are looking to resolve. Who knows, maybe you are the solution they have been looking for all along but never put out a job posting for,” said Karr.
Think small, go big
Karr said that small-business entrepreneurs can act faster and sometimes act out of impulse if they are sold on a compelling reason. Bigger organizations are more stringent and adhere to budgets. But, Karr added, “No matter the size of the organization, if you present a compelling reason, they will be interested. The compelling reason is not about how great you are. It’s about the needs they are trying to address and how you can do that for them.”
He continued: “One last thing. If you get someone really jazzed about a concept of using you to fill a gap, they may just hire you vs. create a position and post it on the board. By being the visionary, you are showing your expertise and proving you are the best person suitable for the job. You are the expert. When this happens, there is no other competition.”
Karr did provide one bit of caution: No approach works all of the time. “But if you don’t try it, you will never know,” he noted. “Plus, this strategy gives you an additional avenue to look at vs. the highly competitive road often taken by people looking for a job.” You can get three free chapters of his book by going to his website, ronkarr.com/leadsellbook.

By Lisa Johnson Mandell for AOL Jobs

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Four Reasons You May Not Be Getting the Job

Why not? According to career coaches and experts, there are several common mistakes that job hunters make over and over, often unknowingly, that prevent them from getting the jobs they want. Below are four of the mistakes most often made by job applicants. To be successful in your search, make sure you’re avoiding them.

1. You don’t prepare for the interview (or you prepare inadequately). “In a competitive market, you can’t afford to wing it,” says Roy Cohen, a career coach and the author of “The Wall Street Professional’s Survival Guide.” “That means rigorously researching the company, the position, and any relevant information that will provide context for the interview. You also need to consider why you want the position, what qualifies you, and how the company will benefit. [The] bottom line [is that] it’s about being smarter and better qualified, even against candidates who have more experience than you.”

2. You don’t follow up–or you follow up ineffectively. “The devil is in the details,” Cohen says. “If [a hiring manager] has two equally qualified candidates, who gets the offer? The candidate who follows up thoughtfully. That candidate conveys gratitude for the opportunity to interview, an awareness of the issues and challenges facing the organization and the hiring manager, and some insight into how to address these issues and challenges. It’s not just a perfunctory ‘thank you.’ That’s a start, but it’s never enough.”

Anne Angerman, a career coach and president of Career Matters, recommends sending a thank-you email immediately after the interview and then following up with a handwritten note. Try to convey not just your gratitude but also your understanding of the position and what you could bring to it.

3. You don’t exhibit a confident image. Rather than appearing nervous or unsure of yourself, you want to appear enthusiastic and confident. “Practice your interview with a friend or tape-record yourself in advance,” Angerman says. “Practice articulating short, concise answers and smiling. Exude enthusiasm and confidence; look great! Memorize a few stories [about times when] you have made a change in your company. Talk about ideas you have for your position.” While appearing confident is a must, don’t overdo it: Nobody wants to hire an egotistical maniac.

4. You make assumptions. Some job candidates assume they have the job “in the bag” just because the interview went well, Cohen says. Others assume they don’t have a chance because they haven’t heard back after a certain number of days or weeks. Instead of making assumptions about the process, “you need to manage every step in the process, from initial contact to offer,” Cohen adds. “At any point, it can break down. When you take your eye off the ball, you lose the potential to intervene quickly and objectively. Nothing less than flawless execution is acceptable.” And if you haven’t heard back, “never, ever read into radio silence,” he says. “Find a reason to stay in touch.”


By Nancy Mann Jackson


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