Job Search Email Etiquette (Part II)

Tuesday I blogged about Job Search Email Etiquette, which I’m pretty passionate about.

The issue, really, is about communication.  It’s 100% communication – whether written, spoken, sung, danced, whatever – it’s how you communicate the message.

Do you communicate your message well?

Is it easy for people to understand?

Or do you go on and on and on and on and on and on and on, saying nothing, but building up to something amazing?

Here’s one more idea to have stronger emails:

Connect the dots for people.

Too many times we say something about what we’ve done, how brilliant we are, or something that proves we are the right person for the job, but why have unconnected dots.

For example, in a job interview I could say:

After I got laid off I came up with an awesome idea to help job seekers organize their job search, similarly to how salespeople organize their prospects and customers.

And then I silently sit back and let that soak in, proudly thinking about how awesome that task was (and, of course, about how awesome I am).

The problem is, instead of soaking in, they are wondering: SO WHAT? They are thinking “that’s nice for Jason, but I don’t know how his coming up with JibberJobber has anything to do with what we need him to do here.  We’re not a job search company – we manufacture widgets!

I thought they were smart enough to connect the dots, but they might not understand what I think the dots are.  So, my brilliant message is lost.

Instead, I should say something like this:

After I got laid off I came up with an awesome idea to help job seekers organize their job search, similarly to how salespeople organize their prospects and customers.

This shows that I have a unique ability to take a real-world problem, apply creativity from my 8 years as a web software developer, and create a solution that applies not just to me but to tens of thousands of people in different situations.

and then take it one step further:

I can do this for your company, in this role. I’m not just a product manager, I’m the guy who immerses himself into the customer’s mind, understands their issues, and creates a system that helps them do what they need to do. I bring proven creativity to the task and can communicate with the customer as well as the technical team to ensure the right solution is created. And of course, as I did with JibberJobber, I do this with a keen sensitivity to deadlines and budgets.

What do you think? Maybe you would phrase this differently but my point is this: don’t just tell them that you are brilliant, using a story, but connect the dots for them.

If you need help figuring out how to communicate this, use this golden phrase:

What this means for you…  (or, for your company, or for this team, etc.)

Isn’t that awesome?

Armed with this tactic you can take your message and make it significantly more impactful to whoever you give it to.

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