Okay, so you have spent the time to craft a well constructed resume that highlights your successes. You have identified a company that is hiring and a job that you feel fits your background…. Now what do you do?
Step One: PIPELINE
FIND TEN MORE. Seriously, maybe twenty more. This blog will discuss doing all you can to get in front of the interviewer; however don't focus on just one job, no matter how perfect it sounds to you. Just as in your sales careers, your pipeline needs to be consistently full. As you move forward in the interview processes with companies, you will find that many will prove to not fit what you're looking for or will disqualify you from the interview process. Don't over analyze the opportunities, just apply. Apply to jobs despite the fact that they may not be perfect. You can only learn a small amount of information from a job description – your perfect job could be hidden in a poorly written and vague job description.
Step Two: DIRECT CONTACT
Don't submit your resume blindly to a company's website portal. Find the name of the HR manager or Sales Manager and submit your resume directly. If you cannot find those individuals, you can still apply to the website, but if you do, you might as well wad it up in a ball and tell your dog to carefully deliver it to the decision maker. Instead, use one of the many online names databases like LinkedIN, Jigsaw and ZoomINfo to find the name and in some cases the contact information of a Sales Manager, VP of Sales, Director of HR, and Director of Sales.
Step Three: PROFESSIONAL FOLLOW-UP
Now….go back to the basics and get yourself noticed by not one, but many different individuals in the organization. You are marketing yourself, creating a buzz. This process is identical to the steps you would take in order to secure a meeting to sell your product. Repeat after me, your product is now yourself. It is not personal, this is business.
Email to EVERYONE that could be potentially involved in the hiring process. Use an Email Cover Letter and attach your resume.
Quick Tips For an Email Cover Letter:
Lose the fluff. Tell them what they want to hear and only what they want to hear. Read the job description and highlight all the pieces of the requirements that you have in short bullets. Short! Always include:
- The types of companies you sell to; whom within these companies you talk to
- Your average size deals
- Your quota numbers for your last five years. Percentage towards quota and sales team ranking. THIS IS MOST IMPORTANT
- Any special awards, notable client wins, large deals.
Step Four: PHONE FOLLOW-UP
Using the direct phone numbers you have gathered from Jigsaw or traditional sales prospecting; call each potential decision maker to let them know you have recently sent your resume. Make sure that you are brief and to the point. A Sales Manager's #1 priority is driving revenue. If you have helped a Sales Manager achieve that goal before, sing to your successes; VERY BREIFLY.
"My name is Kimberly Collins and I've recently sent my resume for your consideration. I have 6 years of experience in sales recruiting and have consistently ranked number 1 in my company and averaged over 200% of goal. I would love the opportunity to speak with you about your open role. You can reach me at (xxx) xxx-xxxx."
Articulate your contact information slowly and clearly.
Step Five: CONTINUED FOLLOW-UP
This is the stage of the process when follow-up becomes an art. You have to feel it out carefully and conduct yourself differently to almost every prospect.
The goal: Creatively Stay in Front of Your Prospect
- After three days, email the exact same email again. Follow up on the phone.
- Few days – find a Press Release or article on the company; email it to your prospect with a comment. Attach your resume follow up with a phone call.
- Phone call again, zero out to operator, POLITELY (this is key) ask to have your prospect located. Are they in the office? At a meeting, when can they be reached?
- Send a hand written note
- Use social media
- Does your prospect have a blog? Make a comment
- Does your prospect have a LinkedIN/Facebook/Twitter site – send a connection request
Gone are the days of submitting your resume, sitting back and waiting for the interested parties to start contacting you. Just like in sales you need to work to get in front of these hiring managers. Your actions during this "courting" process will also display who you really are as a sales person.
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