JOB SEARCHING AS A MARKETING EFFORT
Most job seekers realize that job searching process is a marketing effort. It requires some degree of "sales" skills. However, a common mistake job seekers make is perceiving sales skills as imposing their will on someone else. This comes from thinking about selling abstractly, or thinking about how stereotypical (and often unsuccessful) sales people try to sell things. The truth is no one wants to be "sold" on something, and that includes recruiters and employers. If you think about times you came to decide you wanted to buy something, most likely it can be boiled down to one of two motivating factors: an opportunity and/or a challenge.
Think about kids who buy Nike Air Jordan sneakers. They buy them for *opportunity* to be like Michael Jordan. Challenges typically occur when there is a dilemma about living up to one's image of themselves. For example, someone may buy a Mercedes because they felt an internal challenge about being successful and not having a car that shows that success off. In terms of personal negotiation and persuasion skills, offering opportunities is a less risky option than offering challenges, even though both can motivate people to make a decision. Offering challenges is best done subtly, because an obvious challenge can be taken as an insult.
Here's an example of what we're talking about: Let's say you want an employer to make a decision to hire you within next week. If you call them a couple days before end of week and inquire about whether they've made a decision yet, that would most likely not be successful because you have not inspired any challenge or opportunity in employer's mind. In fact, it could have opposite effect because employer might think you're desperate and think you're not such a rare opportunity.
However, if you do a good job of presenting yourself as a top-notch candidate, and you present employer with opportunities to reach their objectives if they hire you, and you give employer a reason why they have to make a decision within a certain period of time, you have then created a challenge. If employer perceives you as a highly desirable candidate and thinks there is a chance someone else may hire you before them, a personal dilemma has then been created in their mind where they will want to live up to their image of being a desirable company to work for. They will also feel challenged in terms of their skills as a recruiter and being able to recruit a top-level person.
Presenting opportunities is necessary in effective selling, but it's not just a tactic because it requires that you do some real work, and for it to be done well, you have to be genuinely committed to opportunity you're presenting. Offering an employer a compelling opportunity requires that you create a vision in your mind of possibilities and that you share your vision with them. And creating a vision requires that you understand dynamics of company and how your background can be helpful to what they're trying to achieve. Researching company before interview through personal contacts and Internet can help. You'll probably also need to ask questions in interview about employer's objectives and how they see you fitting in.