Landing a great job is a product of design, not random luck.
It’s not magic. It’s the result of concentrated, organised efforts.
Is luck involved in the process? To some extent, yes. But it’s usually your attitude and experience that will get you through to the other side (Read more about this here).
Mr. Cover Letter advocates for following a specific, time-honoured process that, if done right, can result in your desired outcome.
Many people looking for a job don’t adhere to a systematic, streamlined process thus fall short in leveraging their efforts.
The main issue I’ve experienced myself in the beginning, and also one I see in many job seekers I support, is trying to either rush the process or skip some steps.
Changing the order of Mr. Cover Letter’s process or not putting in the required efforts or attempting to prematurely advance to the next stage, can leave you spinning your wheels.
Using broad strokes, the job seekers’ path should unfold so:
- Curiosity: get people in organisations to know you and remember you
- Engagement: get people in organisations to like you and trust you
- Negotiation: get people in organisations to want you and need you
The more you invest in understanding how these phases correlate with each other, the better your chances will be to land a great job, faster.
So how do you ignite the right combination of generating curiosity, creating engagement and navigating a negotiation?
Find out below.
Phase 1: Generating curiosity (Job applications and informal interviews)
The only purpose of crafting a solid resume, an engaging cover letter and an inviting LinkedIn profile is to send a solid job application that generates curiosity in a hiring manager, to pique their interest so you can get your foot in the door.
That’s it. Nothing else.
The only goal is to get invited to a job interview. The majority of the time, you don’t even need to send job applications to get your foot in the door and you can reach out, break the ice and start to create a relationship with informal interviews.
Your applications do not need to be cute nor clever, you don’t need to tell your whole life story, you don’t need to convince them that you are “the ideal candidate and that you would love to work for them.” The only thing you need to do with them is to generate curiosity.
Just like a movie trailer, you need to show the best scenes of your relatable experience to get someone interested in knowing more about you.
Once they get to know you, and remember you, that’s where you advance to the next phase.
Phase 2: Creating engagement (Job interviews)
Once you get the opportunity to get to know each other, you then start to explore each other’s needs, skills, context and a potential future together.
During the interviewing process, which can be tiered, starting with screen interviews, then face-to-face interviews, and including task-oriented interviews, a lot of things will be evaluated.
What type of personality do you have? What’s your energy like? What is the story you tell yourself? What is the story you tell to others? What do others say about you when you leave the room? What do you value the most? What are your strongest beliefs? What does your voice sound like? What do you look like? How will you react in specific situations? Could you be a good addition to their team?
You also have a lot of power, and you should be doing a lot of evaluation yourself. (Read more about this here)
Yet, after all that ping-pong in the end, it all comes down to only three things that both you and your potential employer are trying to figure out:
- Is there a good click?
- Do we trust each other?
- Can we do good work together?
Phase 3: Navigating the negotiation (Job offers)
You are moving forward in the process, you are in the final round of candidates, both are super excited about the future together. They already know you, they like you, they trust you, they’ve found out that you are the one that can solve their problems and they also want to work with you! They really need you. So they proceed to give you a job offer! Yay!
So what’s next?
What you do with it, will depend on a number of factors:
- How’s the job market and the economy in the industry you want to work?
- How urgent do you need a job?
- How much do you like the role, the working environment, the team, your manager (Crucial!), the company’s values, mission, vision, etc you are about to work with?
- What are your other alternatives?
At this stage you can do any of three things:
- Refuse the offer: not because you got the job offer means you need to accept it. There might still be some things that put you off, you might have changed your mind or might have another process in parallel waiting for a better deal.
- Accept it: everything is great, you take things exactly as they come.
- Negotiate a better deal: Like with any skill in life, you can learn to become a better negotiator over time — it just takes some intent, confidence and a lot of practice. Start with a little online research to make sure the salary range you’re asking for is backed up by data and is according to industry standards. Then, be super clear on your minimum requirements and have a strategy for dealing with counter offers if you choose to do so. Negotiation should be a win-win situation and your goal is to settle on a contract that all parties are happy with. And remember, a job offer isn’t just about pay, you can negotiate any number of things, like your job title, number of vacation days, the working from home policy, or personal development budget.
Whenever you try to speed up or skip aspects in this process, things usually fall short. Doing the right things in the right order at the right time matters.
So if you are actively looking for a job or about to start your job search, consider investing time in generating curiosity, creating engagement and navigating a negotiation, in that order.
To your success!
Mr. Cover Letter
Looking for a job is time consuming and frustrating. Mr. Cover Letter has everything you need to clarify your story and value, engage with hiring managers and get shortlisted and land a great job faster.
Actively looking for a job or about to start doing so? Consider taking advantage of my tools, joining a workshop or engaging in coaching. Otherwise, decide to become one in a million and sign up for updates.