Why your job search is all about your personal sales skills.

job search promises cartoon

This is a guest post by Peggy McKee. If you’d also like to guest post here on JobMob, follow these guest post guidelines.


What’s the one biggest, most critical, ultimate job search truth?


The one thing that will make you, the job seeker, better and stronger and more than you were before?


Watch the video below to find out the one tip that will make every job seeker successful:


In my business as a recruiter and a career coach, I talk to job seekers every day who are kind of all-over-the-place.

There are a thousand critical details involved in a successful job search, and the typical candidate focuses on whatever piece of the process that’s currently tripping them up—the resume or their interview skills or how to write the perfect thank you note. And there’s nothing wrong with making a weak area stronger. But what happens is that many of these job seekers are so focused on a small point that they miss the one basic truth of job searching:

You are a product, and the job search is the process of selling that product.

That can be a huge mental block for candidates who shudder at the thought of being involved in anything sales-related, or candidates who have more reserved personalities. They take a big step back from the kind of aggressiveness or assertiveness that kind of mindset requires.

But guess what?

Thinking of the job search as a sales process and yourself as a product gives you a perspective on the whole interview and hiring process that’s going to put you miles ahead of other candidates who don’t understand it—because they won’t know how to package and market themselves in a way that gets them hired.

And if you understand it, you’re going to be able to get a job faster, and the job you get is probably going to be a better one than you could have gotten before.

So let’s play this out: if you’re the product, the hiring manager is the buyer, and the cost is the salary they’re going to pay you to do work.

Everything else flows from there:

  • The resume is a marketing brochure that must address the benefits of the product—time or money-saving, money-making, value-producing—and it must do so using data-based evidence (numbers).
  • Your social media presence is your advertising. That includes Twitter, Facebook, and especially LinkedIn.

A targeted direct-marketing approach using those social media platforms will get you in front of enough potential “buyers,” or hiring managers to get you a statistically much higher chance of a job offer—or several job offers. The job search is, in many ways, a numbers game. So, if you contact 20 hiring managers and 1 offers you a job, then if you contact 100 hiring managers, 5 of them will offer you a job. And 5 job offers are a lot better than 1.

  • The interview is your sales call, where you’re showing the buyer all the benefits of your product. What can you do for him and the company? This is why I tell all my candidates to bring a brag book, that shows in living color all the wonders you’ve done in the past, and a 30/60/90-day plan that maps out what you can do for him in the future.

And the most important part of the interview is closing the deal. That’s a sales technique that, if you do it well, will increase your odds of getting the offer by 30%-40%. Most people are intensely uncomfortable with doing it, but I think results like that are worth stepping out of your comfort zone.

  • You always follow up a sales call with a note or a phone call thanking that person for their time and making a final pitch for your product, based on what you talked about together. That’s the thank you note.
  • And your references are recommendations from others who’ve tried your product. Product reviews.

Do you see what I mean? Every part and piece of that process works together to sell you as a candidate. You do have to master the individual parts, and I talk about exactly how to do all that on my website, www.careerconfidential.com, but once you get your mind wrapped around the idea of selling yourself as a candidate just like you would a product, you’re already way ahead of the game.

Best of luck.

About the Author

Peggy McKee is a job search expert and CEO of Career Confidential, providing job seekers with the tools they need to get hired. She is also a personal career coach and recruiter for over 11 years as Owner of and Senior Recruiter for PHC Consulting and has been named one of the Top 25 Most Influential Online Recruiters. Check out her LinkedIn profile or follow her on Twitter @salesrecruiter.

This article is part of the Over $5000 in Prizes: The 5th Annual JobMob Guest Blogging Contest, which was made possible thanks in large part to our sponsors:

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Jacob Share

Job Search Expert, Professional Blogger, Creative Thinker, Community Builder with a sense of humor. I like to help people.

This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. Pingback: The Only Job Search Tip You'll Ever Need | JobMob | Job Hunting Guide Blog

  2. Peggy McKee

    What? No comments.
    No smart remarks? Thoughts?
    Is video worth the trouble? Do you think most people believe that the job search is a sales process? What do you think?
    aka chili palmer of recruiting

  3. Peggy McKee did a fantastic interview on the Recruiting Animal Show. She’s smart, opinionated (and therefore interesting) and a good speaker.

  4. Steve

    I hate sales. Sles just makes me p-u-k-e.

    I wouldn’t show a sample of my work unless the interviewer was to sign a non-disclosure agreement.

    I have no references. Everyone I used to work with is dead. Cancer or old age, mostly.

  5. Kate

    Thank you. I am working on this every day.

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