Welcome back! We hope that you have been studying up on the first two steps (Process and Tools) in order to become more attractive to employers. In this third and final step, Bob Layne shares with us how to apply these aspects to truly grab an employer’s attention.
“3. Application (the attractive-to-employers part)
And now to our final point – Application. This is where you take all of the research, all of the preparation, all of the tools you’ve developed and you put them in action. This is really where the “attractive to employers” comes together.
Think about it. When you are a candidate who has a professional skillset that includes:
a. The ability to understand challenging concepts
b. The ability to relate to all people
c. The ability to communicate a message in multiple formats through multiple channels,
d. And the ability to persuade,
How can you not be attractive to employers?
When an HR manager is interviewing candidates out of college, she sits down and asks a set of standard, routine questions. And with every candidate, she expects standard, routine responses. So when she asks a candidate, “So, we’re interviewing a lot of candidates for this position. What can you bring to Apex Corporation that sets you apart?” She expects to hear responses like:
Well . . . I’m very organized. I like people. I’m a people person. My friends all tell me that. And I’m a fast learner. I like to learn. Learning’s my favorite.
But when she asks you, as a professional communicator, “So what can you bring to Apex Corporation that sets you apart?” You will look her straight in the eye and say, “Ms. Jones, I consider myself a professional communicator. Someone who can write technical content, ad copy and employee communication all in the same day; someone who can communicate complex topics clearly to a broad range of audiences from employees to shareholders to customers and prospects; someone who can negotiate adroitly and persuade effectively. And I take this very seriously. So when Apex launches the Widget 5000 this spring, you are going to need someone who can help craft the messaging that the sales team can bring to the company’s clients. It’s a complex product, the message must be concise and persuasive. I can help you create that. I can also help you target the right media to get the attention you want with the industry. And when you roll out the new employee benefits program in the fall, you will need someone who can help write the technical documentation and help effectively explain in the employee meetings why healthcare costs are going up again. And Ms. Jones, if the union organizing efforts that I’ve been reading about are effective, you will need assistance with developing the most effective employee communication strategy. I can help lead that effort. These are just a few of the qualities I can bring to Apex that set me apart. And I’m also a people person.”
Can you see the difference? We need to stop simply taking classes, and start using them to improve ourselves in the areas of process, tools, and application.
Mr. Layne closes by saying telling us that we have OPTIONS!
“With a degree in communication and a commitment to becoming a professional you will be giving yourself options. Unlike many career choices, a professional communicator is necessary in every industry, every size company, every geographic location.”