August 03, 2012
Do more than personalize your emails!
By Maureen McCabe
Are you looking for a marketing position? Are you a recent graduate, intern, or are still unfortunately unemployed or underemployed? Are you tired of having limited success?
This is Part 2 of my powerful “how to” Olympian job search tips to help you get the job you want now! Learn what you need to do differently – to be successful and get that job that you desperately need.
If you’re wondering why the tips start at Tip 2 either you didn’t read my other blog, Part 1 – How to search like an Olympian: 1 tip “marketers” need to know to land their “golden” position – or – you were up late watching the Olympics and cheering on our diving team and now you’re ready to dive into the details!
Tip 2: Research – use my name, please
If you didn’t know before, you now do – you MUST avoid the phrases “To Whom” or “Dear Sir”.
Look under the “About” tab to learn something about the company. I have a page called “Maureen McCabe”. No job seeker has ever used my name which is simply unbelievable. This also applies to those calling me for a job. Honestly, I’m not exaggerating!
Tip 3: Don’t use the generic email ID
How can you increase your chances of having your email read and get a reply to it? Do NOT send any note to the generic ID posted on the Contact Us page, e.g. the famous “info@”
If you read my about page you would have learned a few things about me and McCabe Marketing. But more importantly you could have clicked on the link to read my LinkedIn profile and learn a whole lot more!
Be a sleuth; you would get my personal email vs. the not-so-generic one used on my website which is firstname.lastname@example.org – but hey(*) I’m a creative marketer – that’s why I don’t have an email address like everyone else – I want to be memorable!
(*) I can use that word. If you didn’t read Part 1 of this blog, you won’t get the joke. Refer to Example 1 – a prospective intern’s email to me.
Tip 4: Set up a LinkedIn profile – Join Groups
My biggest LinkedIn pet peeve is a request from someone who chooses to send the “standard” LI invitation. Notice the word – choose. Are they lazy or don’t know? By reading this blog you have become a savvy “marketing” job seeker and won’t make this mistake, ever.
I typically don’t respond because if you won’t take one minute to write a short note as to why you want to connect with me – why would I want to connect with you?
Maybe we’re in the same group. Perhaps you’re interested in being a marketing consultant, small business owner, or we simply share a hobby. Please let me know and I expect you’ll be more successful in making good online connections.
Tip 5: Needs-based marketing – employers hire based on…
I trust that you remember the reference to the person who used the word “I” eleven times in his email; if you do not, refer to Example 3 in Part 1 of this blog.
Perhaps you can benefit by reading another insightful blog, “Needs-based” selling and writing skills – it’s not all about you! If you didn’t read it before click here now to learn more. Focus on prospective employers:
- Dreams and Aspirations
- Immediate Benefit
As a marketer you should think of yourself as a product; people buy based on needs and wants. What do you think are my business needs? Although you don’t know your “perception” demonstrates that you are trying. Good effort still counts in my books.
Tip 6: Personalize – use my name and company name
An email with the person’s name used a couple of time is effective. Use it in the middle of a sentence as it looks even more personalized. Why? It’s more natural vs. at the start of the last paragraph where most people typically use it.
You must make your email personal. Think of the above example about sending a LinkedIn invitation. It’s your choice, to customize or not to personalize your communications – but choose wisely – it will make a difference in your response rate.
If you want to land a job you’ll not just notice that I used the words – personal, personalize, customize – but you will actually use this tip. Personalization is key!
Tip 7: Attachments – your resume
Many people will not open attachments from strangers. I never do – about the only exception I recall recently was the retired gentleman, refer to Example 5 in Part 1 of this blog. Always send your resume as a PDF or RTF document. People don’t want to get a virus – a Trojan Horse.
Do not name the file “resume”. Use your name and the job title you want:
Maureen McCabe, Marketing Consultant – Resume.pdf
Joe Canadian, Digital Marketer – Resume.pdf
Tip 8: Help their SEO – Comment on their blog
If you want to write a guest blog, the rule of thumb is not to immediately ask for the opportunity. Instead, the accepted wisdom is to comment on a few of their blogs with a thoughtful two or three sentence post. This gains the visibility of the blogger and it helps with their SEO. (This is a topic for another blog.)
Apply the same concept to effective job searching. Follow the person you’re trying to reach on Twitter, Facebook, or perhaps they’re actively posting in a LinkedIn group. Comment meaningfully to gain visibility; you’ll be more successful when you to reach out to them with your request of an “informational meeting”.
Tip 9: Quality not quantity of your contacts
There are various theories about the way to job search. Send as many emails (non-personalized) to get your name out there which you know isn’t my approach. Or develop a systematic process to find a position. Are you wondering how do you do it? Tip 10 will give you the final parting words of wisdom from yours truly.
Tip 10: Your Marketing or Job Strategy
You know that every marketing project needs a strategy and plan to be successful. Why is job searching any different? Develop a strategy to target selected companies, research and follow them online, make requests for short 20-minute informational meetings.
This type of meeting is a useful way to learn more about an industry, ask for career directions, and more. You’ll be surprised how open people will be to provide their insight. Don’t ask for a job, don’t send your resume, and above all don’t use the phrase “interest interview”.
Why? Because the word interview implies you want a job interview. Yes, you do but you have to learn and apply the ways of job searching in the 21st century!
It’s been another exciting day watching the Olympics. But don’t watch too much TV – stay focused on your goal. You don’t want to search just like an Olympian but land an amazing marketing position – your gold medal. Good luck!
P.S. I hope you picked up an idea or two (or maybe three). If you’d like to post a comment about this blog, you’ll have understood Tip 8!
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