Land that dream job with the X and Y tips

June 24th, 2009 by elizabethpace Leave a reply »

helpwated2In today’s economy there are no jobs for the average Joe or Jane.  But there are plenty of jobs for superstars. Competition is fierce and if you do not shine in every stage of the interview process, someone else will get your dream job.

A reader asked me to post The X and Y of Landing the Dream Job. Sales people know that they must be at the top of their game to close the deal. That means that they must know their prospect, how to best communicate with him or her to differentiate their product and how to add the most value.

If you are currently searching for a job as an engineer, a manager,  or even a zookeeper, you are a sales person and your product is you.

For the next few posts I will provide tips to get you in the door, to wow both males and females in interviews, negotiate your best compensation ever and land your dream job. I’ll incorporate The X and Y of Buy tips so that you can connect to both sexes. As an executive that often interviews others, I’ll let you in on the secrets of what wows me.

Let’s start with the basics.  All great sales people know that the three basis rules to closing the deal are:

1. It is not about you, it’s about your prospect. This means your must first concentrate on your prospective employer’s needs, not your needs. You gain deep knowledge about the employer, the department and the job.  Search the Internet, past media and the company’s marketing information. What is the employer’s growth strategy? How do they plan to bring more value to their stakeholders ( investors, employees, customers) in the next 12 months and three years. Find this out before the interview.

2. OK, now it is about you. You must know your innate strengths and weaknesses.  Set aside 45 minutes and take the VIA Signature Strengths Questionnaire. This questionnaire was developed by Martin Seligman, Professor of  Psychology at University of Pennsylvania , and measures your unique and innate strengths. You will actually get descriptions of each human strength and your personalized ranking from 1 to 24 in order of your strengths. This means that the last seven will be your weaknesses.  DO NOT work on your weaknesses, work on and promote your strengths. For example my #24 trait (meaning my biggest weakness) is prudence- being cautious and careful. I should not be an accountant (my college major), a structural engineer, or a safety manager. I would be miserable and fail.

Find a company and job where you can use your innate strengths every day. If you know your strengths and weaknesses you will forever avoid the great person-great job-bad match syndrome! I promise this will be 45 minutes well spent. Log on to, scroll down under Engagement Questionnaires and then click on the VIA Signature Strengths Questionnaire. You do have to log in but it is free.

3. Now that you know your prospective employer’s goals and initiatives and your unique strengths…brainstorm. Make a quick list of how you, armed with your unique talents, can add value–lower their costs or increase revenue .   Jot down key words, phrases, examples and ideas. Don’t judge, edit or over-think this.  Just write down every thing that comes to mind no matter how crazy!  Now walk away from it.  Go take a walk, relax and look at it again tomorrow morning. Then start editing and refining. 

Next post- how to develop your 30 second elevator pitch and your signature stories –ones that bring your unique strengths to life for your prospective employer.



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