Do a competitive analysis on one of your targeted employer’s products and send it to them. People assume that all companies keep up to date on their competitors, but this is rarely the case. Most companies don’t have the budget or the ability internally to keep on top of innovations and best practices so your piece will likely be most welcome.
Focus on companies that are direct competitors with those you want to work for, not your own company.
Potential employers need to get something out of reading the piece.
Use graphs and charts wherever possible because people like visuals.
Make it only as long as it needs to be.
Ask for an opportunity to discuss your findings with the hiring manager if they’re interested.
Offer to share your primary research if they’re interested.
A War Story
I worked with one client who specialized in retail merchandizing (POP, planagrams, etc). After developing her resume, we discussed putting together a targeted job search campaign to go after some of the bigger players in retail. While working out her “unique selling proposition” she made the claim that she could walk into any retail environment and recommend how they could make more money through better merchandising. I asked, “Can you really back that up?” and suddenly her plan was born.
My client targeted 5 major retail outlets, went to a number of their locations, and made detailed notes on what she saw and how she would improve it. The first company she contacted was a major outlet with offices located in the building over the store. She walked into the offices, asked to speak to the person in charge of marketing, was told he was in a meeting until 11:00am, so she scribbled a quick note on a piece of paper that read “I’ve just spent 30 minutes in your store. I found 3 merchandising inconsistencies and identified 7 ways that should increase your sales by about 12-15%. My name is ____________ and I will be waiting in the coffee shop downstairs.”
“Please hand this to him at the end of his meeting. It’s very important” and she walked out.
Shortly after 11:00, the VP of Marketing came downstairs, met her in the coffee shop, and spent the next hour walking through every corner of the store discussing her findings. Although no such position existed, the VP hired her as their new Director of Merchandising.
Compliments of Ross Macpherson, President Career Quest, www.yourcareerquest.com