Think Like an Entrepreneur to Get Yourself Hired

If you’re looking for a job in today’s economy, you may find that the usual strategies of endless résumé updates and job board postings are yielding little return. When the market is tight, how do you present yourself as the most compelling candidate?

The answer may lie in the way you approach your job search in the broader sense. Put yourself in the shoes of a hiring manager: Which candidate would you choose?

Candidate A: “I’m applying for this position because I want to build on my current knowledge and broaden my experience to include a more technical skill set.”

Candidate B: “I can help your team manage their work-flow so that each person can be more productive, have a clearer understanding of his or her role, and increase revenue by providing more efficient services.”

Both candidates are applying for a mid-level position in a corporation, yet Candidate B approaches a job search not as an employee but as an entrepreneur. Before you begin your job search, take inventory of your skills. How would you market them? And what’s your marketing strategy?

In the book Hire Me, Inc.: Package Yourself to Get Your Dream Job, Roy J. Blitzer puts you in charge of presenting yourself as a special commodity the hiring organization simply must have. He stresses that this approach can be beneficial through the entire process, from researching openings to final offer negotiations. He includes activities and exercises to help you shift your focus toward marketing yourself as a product.

In the end, it comes down to a shift in perception. Instead of asking yourself how this company will provide you with a job, ask yourself how you will provide them with a service. When you take inventory of your well-honed skills, your self-confidence will increase and add to the list of reasons that you’re the perfect person for the job.

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2 Responses

  1. Hello Walter

    I am trying to understand how I present myself being a recent Masters graduate from Seattle U in the OSR program. I know I have skills to present to a company. My situation is I do not have a track record proving how I used the skills.
    The job I had while in school was just for a pay check. My past work experience is outdated. So in today market how do I present my skills to help solve the problem with out a track record?

  2. Hello Joseph,

    I bet there are some attributes and unique skills you’ve demonstrated in your previous work experience that would translate over to your current pursuits. Sometimes it just takes an outside perspective to make those connections…as far too often we sell ourselves short…discounting our experiences too quickly. I would also suggest connecting with that part of you who was drawn to the OSR program at Seattle U. I am familiar with that program and imagine that decision was not an easy one, nor was the investment of time and money. Clearly there is something in you that predisposes success in the Organizational Change/OD space. Get in touch with that and start seeing yourself as valuable, with or without specific experiences in the past to prove it. I also have a hunch that those aspects of yourself that drew you to OSR have been present all along, throughout your career, and that you’ve probably been doing this work (without an explicit job title, mandate or responsibility) the whole time.

    On a more strategic note, you could always volunteer and/or intern at a consulting firm or company to build up your experience (Community Consulting Project is one option directly applicable to OD). To subsidize income levels you could find a part-time job or temp while you gain valuable experience. You could look for sub-contracting opportunities with more experienced consultants or do volunteer projects inside local non-profits. There are a ton of non-profits who need OD help but can’t afford it. Be sure to pick organizations who you naturally connect with and resonate with their mission. These experiences could help add to your ‘track record’ and be fodder for articles, blog posts, books, or other media, which could add to your credibility as a professional.

    I’d be happy to talk more with you should you have any further questions. Please contact me at walter@leadingchangecompany.com. Congratulations on finishing the OSR program! I graduated LIOS 2.5 years ago and have heard many great things and met many great people coming out of the OSR program.

    Good luck! Let me know if I can be of service.

    Walter Edwards
    Change Agent
    Leading Change Company
    http://www.leadingchangecompany.com

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