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January 5, 2016
In Job Hunting, The Best Defense Is a Smart Offense
In job hunting, the hiring authority plays the role of prospective buyer, and job hunters play the role of seller. Therefore, a smart seller realizes that many, if not most, prospective buyers will likely have one or more objections to a proposal. No sale is likely until any and all objections are answered — to the prospect's satisfaction. Since the prospect has the power of the purse, a smart seller knows that, to the prospect, her or his objections must be taken seriously.

Failure to adequately satisfy a prospect's concerns will result in a lost sale. That's why it's best to prevent a potential objection from ever coming up in the first place, if you possibly can. Fortunately, you can usually correctly identify the most likely concerns of a given hiring authority for a specific opening that you want to target.
This article is not intended to be an exhaustive list of likely objections; rather a guide to pre-handling the most common ones.

Readers familiar with my strategy of using a Direct Marketing letter for the purpose of generating interviews will thus anticipate and incorporate honest, reality-based strategies in the body of the letters that they send to hiring authorities — designed to address her or his most likely concerns about your candidacy for the opening that you're interested in.

Here, then, are common objections, and suggested responses to them:

  • Too old. Answer: Prehandle by saying in your letter that, as a result of your extensive experience, you can get more of the right things done  easier, and in less time.
  • Too young. “I have a high energy level, I'm not stuck in my ways, and I'll do the job exactly the way you want it done.”
No Experience In Their Industry
  • “As a result of my background in (e.g., auditing), I’ve learned a lot about how to ask good questions and dig deeper — and knowing how to do that will help me to better identify prospects that are having the kinds of problems that your company can solve, and that will mean I could close more sales for you, faster. Just as importantly, you know what works best in your business, and I’m used to following proven methods, so you won’t have to worry about me being a maverick, or trying to use the same selling formula that they use at the company down the street.” 
  • “Because I’m used to “eating what I kill,” I’m self-disciplined, and I don’t need any help to get going every day. You can count on me to be a reliable, loyal team player who’s willing to burn the midnight oil when necessary.” 
No College Degree:
  • “To improve myself, I read a lot. That has helped me to learn how to communicate clearly, concisely, forcefully, and in plain English — I know how to get my point across to most people.” 
  • “I’m highly motivated to succeed, and I’ll do whatever it takes to make sure that I measure up to your standards. I have a strong sense of urgency. Just tell me what you want me to do, if you have a preference for how you want it done, and I’ll get on it right away. I won’t let you down.”
There’s an endless number of spoken and unspoken objections that you may run up against. I hope that the main point you get from this article is the wisdom to think about what key objections a given authority might have about you, and to get out in front of it by pre-handling it. Doing so will go a long way towards letting you compete on a more level playing field, and hopefully influencing the hiring authority to evaluate your suitability based on what you can do for her or him to help them reach their business financial goals faster. After all, isn’t that what they want the most anyhow?

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Tom Kellum is a job hunting consultant, helping people's dreams come true since 1987. He specializes in providing a personal job-landing service based on proven marketing strategies and methods. For more information, email him at careerkeysman@gmail.com.
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