How to Get a Job Before It's Posted

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Ron Karr "Who says you can only apply for a job when a company is looking?" said Ron Karr, author of 'Lead, Sell, or Get Out of the Way.' "You shouldn't wait for a job opening to apply for a position. You may find better luck in applying for a position before it opens."

"Think about it. The moment a job opportunity is posted, you and hundreds if not thousands of people are pouncing on the opportunity. With this kind of stiff competition, how do you separate yourself from the competition?" said Karr, who helps companies create high-performance sales cultures.

Karr said you don't have to be a psychic to anticipate a job opening. The trick is to use the same principle he urges sales professionals to use when selling their products and services. He tells salespeople the best time to sell something is when the customer says there is no need.

"Just because there is no need doesn't mean there is no opportunity. Successful salespeople don't concentrate on selling 'me too' type products. They find out what needs are not being met and then create a compelling reason for the customer to act," Karr said.

Mother knows best

Karr learned this concept at his mother's knee. A well-known economist and thought leader in her day, Miriam Karr rose through the ranks of Chase Manhattan Bank as a vice president running their Counter Trade Group. She created the department when she saw a challenge that needed to be addressed -- getting third world countries to pay off their outstanding debt to U.S. banks. By helping these countries find buyers for their products, the bank was paid a commission that went to the bottom line as payback for those loans. Karr says his mother excelled in maintaining her value to the organization by creating opportunities out of problems.

"So if you need to look for a job or switch positions, how about speaking to company owners and executives about the gaps they have and issues they are looking to resolve. Who knows, maybe you are the solution they have been looking for all along but never put out a job posting for," said Karr.

Think small, go big

Karr said that small-business entrepreneurs can act faster and sometimes act out of impulse if they are sold on a compelling reason. Bigger organizations are more stringent and adhere to budgets. But, Karr added, "No matter the size of the organization, if you present a compelling reason, they will be interested. The compelling reason is not about how great you are. It's about the needs they are trying to address and how you can do that for them."

He continued: "One last thing. If you get someone really jazzed about a concept of using you to fill a gap, they may just hire you vs. create a position and post it on the board. By being the visionary, you are showing your expertise and proving you are the best person suitable for the job. You are the expert. When this happens, there is no other competition."

Karr did provide one bit of caution: No approach works all of the time. "But if you don't try it, you will never know," he noted. "Plus, this strategy gives you an additional avenue to look at vs. the highly competitive road often taken by people looking for a job." You can get three free chapters of his book by going to his website, ronkarr.com/leadsellbook.

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