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12/20/09
Search Killer Phrase #2
Filed under: Networking, Search Killer Phrases
Posted by: John Hadley @ 9:55 pm

“I can work in any industry”, or providing in your message 2 or 3 different industries as your targets.

Candidates who say this may think they are keeping their search open, but they are actually closing it down.  It has the same problem as “I have transferable skills” - it sounds like you are unfocused, and are willing to work in any industry if I’ll just consider you for a job.

You might think you are displaying confidence through your willingness to apply your skills in a variety of industries.  Exactly the opposite is true.  You come across as lacking the confidence to present a specific target industry, perhaps even a bit desperate.

Think niche marketing.  The strongest marketing efforts are tailored very specifically to a target.  The same is true in your search - the more focused you appear to be, the more likely it is that I will pay attention and be engaged by your message.

This doesn’t mean you can’t be open to other industries, jobs, etc., but you will never get my attention if you start by providing a laundry list of what you might be open to.  Once you have my attention, and the conversation leads to a discussion about another industry, type of company, job, then you can pursue that with me.  If you never get my attention in the first place, you will never have the chance to have that conversation.

3 Responses to “Search Killer Phrase #2”

  1. Lisette Says:
    I agree. I have struggled with including my various job sectors and have included them in my resume/cover letter. Thank you for the concrete answers!
  2. Julia Says:
    I have read several of your posts. Your suggestions also relate to individuals looking for consulting jobs. I think it is important to let the prospect know how you are going to help them rather than how the employer or prospect is going to help you. Having a niche or fucus helps the prospect or employer see the potential even if they ultimately have other things you would be qualified to do
  3. Ginny Roth Says:
    I’ve loved reading many of your “search killer phrases”! What I did, and it is still part of my LinkedIn summary, is pull the one common denominator from the 3 different industries that I successfully worked in. A quick look at my past professions, and the math is easy, I must be old! I have always loved to write, and age doesn’t matter in writing. It is all new to me, with lots to learn, now attempting to make a living through writing and publishing. I look back, each career change was a risk, and I had to learn something new. With a past perfect batting average, today is a well-calculated risk worth taking.

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