Platt Perspective on Business and Technology

Social networking and job search 8 – taking a consultant’s approach in the job search

Posted in job search and career development by Timothy Platt on October 20, 2009

When I am hiring, and searching through candidates to try and find the best fit for that position I have a problem I need solved. Actually, I generally have several pressing problems and it is the collective impact of these problems that prompt me to take on the work and expense of finding and hiring, and in training that new hire into my organization’s systems and approaches. Some of these are short term, immediate-need problems I that need resolved right away and some of them are longer term tasks and responsibilities I need taken off my desk so I can focus on my own job and so others on my team can focus on theirs. This is true for anyone who hires anyone, ever.

People hire to make their life easier and to get pressing and long term problems and tasks taken care of. So when you approach a job search you should do so as presenting yourself as the answer to problems and the person who can take care of them. You are not looking for a job just to meet your own needs and priorities but also to be the answer to that hiring manager’s needs and priorities so he or she does not have to worry or even think about them any longer. That is what consultants do. They step in and solve problems. They craft and apply Band-Aids and they develop longer term solutions and approaches that create value and make life easier for the businesses that hire them.

Tactically, this is the most effective way to approach a job search and it starts with defining your targets and goes on through the search itself.

• Where can you be that effective consultant, both for your skills and experience and for your interest and enthusiasm? That is where to look.
• How do you reach out in your business networking, and in developing informational interviews and in setting up job interviews? The materials you send in written form as letters and emails and your resume, and what you say in direct conversation should convey this attitude and approach. You are the person who looks at and understands the hiring manager’s requirements as if from their side of the table, and you are going to be there to solve these problems so the hiring manager does not have to.
• How do you most effectively out-compete the competition that the hiring manager is also considering for this job? Consultants focus on the hiring manager’s needs and priorities and only that in their presentations and orientation, and focus on the value they bring to the table with the hiring’s manager’s view on value in mind.

The next in this series is going to be on building a career strategically by taking an entrepreneur’s approach.

3 Responses

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  1. […] one of finding ways to reduce constraints and get unmet needs met. I wrote in an earlier posting on taking a consultant’s approach and taking a position on the hiring manager’s side of the table to work with them and help them […]

  2. […] the consulting perspective as a tool and a useful perspective – in a job search. When I wrote of taking a consultant’s perspective in searching for a next job I wrote of the value of presenting yourself as a problem solver who will focus on the employer’s […]

  3. […] hiring manager’s perspective and of interviewing as the answer to their problems and issues in Taking a Consultant’s Approach in a Job Search last October. I recommend that you read that as I am not simply retracing ground already covered […]


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