Thursday, March 3, 2011

1 Tragic Email and The Animal Kingdom

A friend forwarded me this email she received yesterday morning... Have a look and then we'll get cracking.

"Over 90 days have passed since our first correspondence and you may now be employed. If this is the case, congratulations! However, if you are not securing multiple interviews then your resume could be the cause and you may wish to consider having it professionally written, so that it is a more effective personal marketing tool. 

Our clients are securing interviews, even in this economy, because they are properly "branded" and positioned for success in their job search. If you think a professionally crafted resume and cover letter to position your candidacy would be beneficial to your job search, as it is for our six-figure clients, then please feel free to write me anytime to discuss your resume. I look forward to hearing from you."

Before we get going, I'd like to state that:
  • It may very well be the resume that stops someone from getting an interview.  
  • A professionally written resume may very well be a break-through-the-clutter type of attention getting tool.
  • Your "personal brand" always matters regardless if you're in your dream job, an entrepreneur or a job seeker.

But also please consider:
  • It could be more than the resume.  It could also be millions of other reasons: geography, personal "fit" within company culture, the other highly quality talent whom they are evaluating, they can't afford you, the gate keeper is bad, etc.
  • Given the first point, someone could have the best written (and dipped in gold) resume but it may not matter.
  • You may be considered one of the experts in a certain field such that even if your resume were written in Esperanto and sprayed by a skunk, you'd still be interviewed.

Letters such as the one above are designed to make one feel insecure about the quality of their candidacy, make them go in panic mode and rest all of their faith (and money) into an external entity on the path to job hunting success even though the resume may actually have nothing to do with the reason why they are (or are not) getting the interviews.  

The operative word is designed in this scenario.  The fact is that many a time we resort to marketing tricks that use "fear as a great motivator" as its foundation.  The thinking is that if we push someone to a certain level of insecurity they'll snap and look to us as their saviors.  

Pay for play recruiters like the one above do this, term life insurance salespeople do this, a lot of women's magazines do this, some social media "consultants" do this (here and here)...  Actually anyone who says that "if you don't act now" or "if you're not doing this" in any of their communications with you does this.  And, to me, it's off putting because it's aggressive and it's bullying...  and it makes many people like me run away instead of the intended effect of asking for help and mercy.

Why are we making business moves like it's a jungle documentary on a local public TV station?  If an animal is another animal's target, it flees.  So too with marketing communications like the one above.  The idiom "you can catch more flies with honey than you can with vinegar" never rang more true in cases like this.  As you know, the premise is that being confrontational (e.g., your resume is the pits) is less effective than making a positive approach.  

So if we know it to be true in life, otherwise the idiom would not be in existence, why are we not keeping it true in business?  The path to business success is based upon the earning of others trust and faith in your ability to help them and not the mindless stoking of their fears.  Earning someone's trust by instilling in them the faith that you can help should be the foundation when winning new customers and keeping loyal customers loyal.

So why aren't we doing it?  Why are we acting like a National Geographic show?

Parissa Behnia
Idea Chef

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