Approach Your Job Search Like a Salesman

Posted: February 7, 2012 by Alison in Finding a Job
Tags: , , , , , ,

by Maro Onokpise

Sales is one of, if not the hardest professions that you can ever get into.  I’m dating myself here, but I remember when I was a kid, we would get visited by the Encyclopedia salesman.

I know some reading this might be wondering what an encyclopedia is.  For the novice, it was basically an alphabetized bounded paper version of the internet.  Regardless of what line of sales you are in, it can be equal parts challenging and rewarding.

There are endless books on the topic of selling or how to become a better salesman.  As someone that’s worked in sales for a number of years, sales comes down to relationship building.  People buy from people they like.  As a job seeker you are always in sale or marketing mode.  What you’re selling is yourself and what you can bring to a potential employer.  If you haven’t worked in sales before, this is going to feel a little uncomfortable at first, but with a little practice and repetition you’ll get the hang of it.

Here’s how you can approach your job search like a salesman

Think Really Big

Whether you’re attending a job fair, interview or networking event, you have to approach each meeting confident that you are the one that they need.  You are the individual that is going to help them solve a problem that they have.  The best sales people are the ones that work closely with their customers to highlight pain points and offer solutions to help them.

Be a people person

The difference between the job seekers that land jobs quickly than anyone else is they have a knack of building rapport just as easy as taking their next breath.  Good salespeople go out of their way to know their clients.  They send a follow up email or call to check in once a week.  You can do the same thing.  Keep in mind that your rapport building are the building blocks to lead you to a job opportunity.  When you follow up with a potential employer, talk about anything else other than job opportunities.  You may be in sales mode, but it shouldn’t be overt. Be different.

Be honest

There are going to be instances along your job search where you’ll be asked a question that you may not feel comfortable answering.  Regardless of the answer, you should be 100% honest.  Being honest from the beginning will help you in the long run.  The trust that you build will be priceless as you establish yourself as a person of integrity.

Related Post: The Best Way to Answer “Yes” to Have you Ever Been Fired?

Sweat the small stuff 

Great sales people have the same drive and passion for all of their accounts regardless of how big or small they are.  Put the same emphasis and enthusiasm in ALL job opportunities that come your way.

Refuse to Lose

Go all out and make it difficult for a recruiter or hiring manager to turn you down for an opportunity.  You have to be aggressive and show the organization that not hiring you is a huge mistake.

Keep things loose and fun

Searching for a job or changing careers is hard enough as it is. Treat your job search like a sport and make sure that you are the best damn athlete on the field!  Then and only then will employers ask if you can play on their team.  The best athletes of our time seem to be having the most fun.  They make it look effortless.

Related Post: From Job Search to Employment in 10 Steps


  1. Irina says:

    I stopped reading after the author decided to explain to the readers what encyclopedia is.

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