I receive emails quite often from people trying to get a job at Culture Adapt and a vast majority of the time the email starts with “This is my dream job. I love different cultures and traveling!”
I instantly assume that you are passionate about these things because you’re applying. The question you should be asking yourself is… why do I care?
It’s not about YOU… it’s about how you can help me.
Every employer or hiring manager has this same attitude. Employers focus on their own problems and are looking for a solution. If there is no problem, there is no job opening.
This is why it’s so important to learn early in your career that if you focus on helping others and not personal gain, you will become more successful.
The relationships you build from helping others will help you throughout your career, not just in the here and now.
That’s what I’m going to teach you how to do in this post… but first I’m going to teach you what not to do.
SO HOW DOES THIS APPLY TO EVERY PART OF YOUR JOB SEARCH?
A few days ago a person emailed me asking for a job.
She obviously knew how important it is to meet decision makers but unfortunately there was no way I could say “YES” to her request.
Here’s her email:
Do you see the problem?
It is all about her! Nowhere in the entire email does it say how she is going to help me build my company and reach MY GOALS.
You have to realize this is how employers think.
When you do, you can start actually building relationships. What do you think would have happened if this person had emailed me and said,
I’ve researched your business and have a couple ideas to help your company grow.
IDEA 1 will grow your students by 10%
IDEA 2 will grow your revenue by 20%
IDEA 3 will get you 10 new partnerships.
I can help implement these ideas in the Community Manager role. Let’s discuss at the event.”
See the difference?
I would have gone completely out of my way to meet that person. There isn’t a word about what she likes or who she is. The applicant just describe in detail how she could help me.
So let’s say that you already understand that you need to help others and you’re out at a networking event.
You meet someone that works at your dream company and you know that he can help you get an interview.
You make a good first impression get the business card and follow up the next day with this email:
Great meeting you last night and talking about your company. My resume is attached and I would love for you to internally recommend it.
Is there any way I can help you in return?”
You have the right idea but you’re still not actually helping. In actuality, you just made more work for this person.
They now have to think of a way that you could possibly help him.
He barely knows you. Do you expect him to look through your LinkedIn profile or Google search you?
You should have spent time thinking about ways that you could help. Come up with something creative.
But you didn’t and now that person will not go out of his/her way to help you.
So, how could you have helped?
Here’s some ideas:
Send them an interesting article from your industry
Find and share an upcoming event with them
Pick something non-work related from your conversation and educate him in some way. (events, articles, tips, tricks, etc.)
Introduce him to someone via email or LinkedIn
Help this person take one small step towards achieving their own dreams (you should always try to find this out during small talk)
And those are just off the top of my head. (Jump on my email list for even more)
Imagine how many good ideas you could come up with if you actually sat down and thought about it for 20 minutes?
If you really go out of your way to help someone they will be 100x more likely to go out of their way to help you.
Three Types of Incentives That Will Make People Help You in Return
I told you that the secret is simple. So simple in fact, that you only have to focus three ways to help others.
I showed you how this would work in Example 1. Show someone how you can help his business make money or more importantly, make him or her money.
Can you help a company get press? Help someone meet other important people? Help build someone’s personal brand?
A number of the things I mention in in Example 2 are ways to do this.
Everyone has beliefs and deep down wants to make the world a better place. If you can somehow help them spread a message, he will be willing to help you.
An example would be interviewing a person and writing a blog to help spread his message.
You can use one… or even better ALL THREE incentives to help convince others to help you in your job search.
Now for your homework…
I want you to write a sample email where you show me how you could convince someone to help you in your job search.
You could be asking for anything… An informational interview? A recommendation? An introduction to a decision maker? An in-person interview?
Focus on whatever you think will be most valuable to you.
Then I want you to write the sample email in the comment box below.
I will look at every single comment and even provide you with feedback on your sample emails.
P.S. – If you’re looking for even more techniques in greater detail, you’ll find them in my new book.