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Don't Play By The Rules If You Want Results

/ On : 11:59 AM/ Thank you for visiting my small blog here. If you wanted to discuss or have the question around this article, please contact me e-mail at atm.flexter@yahoo.com.

Everyday, millions of people follow the job search rules. They send a standard cover letter, which doesn't say much and send a generic resume to an unknown entity in the Human Resources Department via the internet. And then, they play the waiting game, because almost every ad asks that you do not call. A few of the places that you applied to have an automated response, as generic in nature as the cover letter and resume you sent. It thanks you for your interest and sets a time frame that they "may contact you" if you have "the proper qualifications." Most employers, however, do not even have the courtesy to say "don't call us, we'll call you." And you wait, and apply for other opportunities, and the "game" continues.

But most successful people are risk takers. They look for new ways, innovative ways, to do what others do better. They look at opportunities in a different light. There are ways to stand out, that many job seekers overlook because they are too busy playing by the rules of Human Resources, who are, by virtue of their position are rule makers, not risk takers.

Here are calculated risks that today's job seekers can take, which can lead to unexpected, positive results:

Risk #1: Send a letter to the President, not to Human Resources, via snail mail. See, when a letter goes by the internet to Human Resources, there are programs which search for key words. If you do not match the key words, your resume is placed into the "no" pile. You want your letter read. You want your resume read. So why send it in with the rest of the herd, looking for the same opportunity as you? Send a letter of introduction to the President of the company you're applying to.

This is not your typical, understated cover letter. The letter you send describes your qualities and skills. Now, you ask, will the President read the information you sent to him. Probably not as carefully as you'd like, but he WILL take action. He will put a note on it (with a sticky note saying handle it and get back to me) and get it into the Head of Human Resources' hand. Now, I ask you, if your boss, walked up to you, and gave you something to do, outside of the normal scope of your job, what would you do?

Remember, this guarantees you nothing, except that your documents will be read carefully, not glanced over. And if your communication skills are as sharp, this should lead to an interview. The rest is up to you.

Risk #2: Research. Research the company to make sure you're sending the letter to the right person. Use the internet to study the company web site, call the Chamber of Commerce, talk to someone at the Better Business Bureau, and learn about the company from the competition. The more you learn, the more you can personalize the information you send. It will help your information stand out, because it will be different from everyone else's, in a way a businessman can appreciate.

You also want to research the position that is available. Make sure you use the key works that the ad used. And use the job description as a jumping off point. The company is seeking certain skills; to insure your candidacy, make sure you tell them you have those skills, and give specific, concrete examples.

It is your job to sell your skills and abilities. It is your job to communicate how you can make a difference, how your background and skills stand out. By doing this, you will already be focusing on the interview. They will ask you about your background and skills. You have accurately covered that in your letter of introduction; repeat it back to them, with confidence, during the interview, over and over again. This is your commercial; make sure they hear it in no uncertain terms. They want to see your drive, your determination, your ability to perform under pressure. You will have given them the answers they are looking for. Now you have to sell it.

Frank J. Giudice is a graduate of Gannon University. I am an educator who has taught a variety of subjects to students from 16 to 60, including Job Readiness Skills. My first book, "The Pieces Of The Puzzle - A Job Hunters Guide For The 21st Century", is currently available at http://www.createspace.com/3710544.

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