We received a phone call this morning from one of our career counseling clients. Not just any call, but the best kind of call. A call that represents CDCG’s entire reason for being. The call from a client to let us know that he’d received an amazing offer. The following is approximately what this career counseling client had to say:
He was beyond excited, and rightfully so. He’d been out of work for about four months, spent heavily on his education, and had the good fortune of going on about thirty interviews after applying for well over one-hundred positions. I’ll say that again… he’d been on about thirty interviews and applied for over one-hundred positions.
When we learned this during our initial chat, we were completely blown away by a couple things:
- That he’d landed that many interviews with his current career search strategy.
- That he didn’t receive an offer or second interview from one of those initial interviews.
No, we weren’t shocked by the amount of applications he’d filled out. That’s not uncommon. What is uncommon is for somebody to have that many interviews and not even a single success to point to. Here he was well-educated, extremely social, experienced, and passionately in love with the career field he was chasing. What wasn’t there to like for an employer? Why was he not invited back for even one second interview?
Then we conducted a mock interview.
Bingo, we found the problem. This career counseling client simply didn’t understand why companies hire people, and his strategy was suffering because of it. What he didn’t understand is that companies don’t hire people because they possess a level of education or set of experiences. No, not at all. Are you ready? Listen closely as I say this:
Companies hire applicants because that person demonstrated that he/she can solve the company’s problem.
Everything else is window dressing. Sure, a degree, skill, or experience may support the idea that a person can solve the problem, but alone these things do not communicate that value. It is the targeted communication of these things, relative to the problem, that leads to an offer.
After a couple conversations, our career counseling client understood this. The result? He received an offer in a matter of weeks. All that changed was his perspective about hiring, and a couple communication tweaks. And by communication tweaks, I mean a lot more listening and a lot less talking. Listening for the problem, and formulating answers as a result.
The moral of the story is to focus on the problem. I promise it’s there, otherwise the company wouldn’t be hiring.