When I first heard Jim Grenier’s voice-over on his topic of customercentric marketing, I thought, “Bingo.” I was drawn to the message about customer focus, and I saw a parallel to to the job search. It also helped that my good friend Jim has a smooth. alluring voice. Jim’s a college instructor but has had extensive experience in business.
Customercentric in the job search means satisfying every need of the employer, beginning with an accomplishment-rich résumé that shows a complete understanding of the job and the organization. The résumé sings to the employer, “Hey, this guy understands my needs,” and makes the employer think she is a valued customer. The employer, in my mind, is the focus of your job search. She is your customer. Six other components of the job search include:
- The cover letter. Sent with the résumé, it expresses your enthusiasm for serving the customer and adds a dimension to your candidacy.
- The approach letter. This is your introduction to a customer who hasn’t advertised the job and doesn’t yet know he’ll need you.
- The LinkedIn profile. Your profile should shout out your skills and accomplishments. The customer sees other dimensions to your ability to serve her needs.
- Networking. Here’s how you form relationships that precede your contact with the customers, forming a solid foundation for your written communications and the interview.
- The informational meeting. Part of your networking, this is a valuable tool to get known by the customer, breaking through the Hidden Job Market.
- The interview. The big ballgame. Your big chance. Don’t neglect to make the customer know your customercentric attitude and practices.
Every step in between the résumé and job offer must also center upon the customer, the employer. I often ask my workshop attendees, “Who is the buyer?” To which they say, “The employer.” Better put would be to ask, “Who is the customer?” There’s a distinction. In my mind, the buyer is someone to whom you sell your product–you–the customer is someone to whom you offer the best possible solution, regardless of the sale.
Listen to Jim’s message on customercentric markeing. I promise you’ll relate to it, and I think you will see the customer and employer as one.