This fall, my team put out a job description for a marketing intern. One candidate stood out far above the rest, and the experience drove home a point: If you want something (a job, a sale, an internship), it’s up to you to go out and take it.
Meet Miranda Allen, REA’s new intern.
Miranda applied for the position, but she didn’t just email her resume and cover letter and call it a day. Instead, she took time to subscribe to my blog, follow me on Twitter, and watch several of our videos in order to understand more about the company and our culture.
After she’d done her due diligence, Miranda decided to set herself apart by sending us a welcome video. Especially because she was applying to work from home (she’s a full-time college student in Indiana; we’re based in Minneapolis), she wanted to create a personal experience that would assure us we’d be able to collaborate with her over Skype, even if we weren’t meeting in person.
She out-prepared the other candidates. Then, she offered valuable opinions and input during the selection process and took the job.
I was actually surprised that more candidates didn’t show the same initiative. I assumed every college student who applied for the internship would subscribe to my blog and follow me on Twitter. I was way off in making that assumption.
I asked Miranda about her job-search strategy. She has several other internships under her belt and she’s on track to graduate in just three years and understands how to separate herself from the competition. Sending out resume after resume for any relevant job she can find simply isn’t her style. Instead, she’s learned to focus on the right opportunity and spend the required time researching the company and category to make sure she can add value. When she knows the opportunity is right, she pursues it relentlessly.
The process of taking the job is actually quite similar to earning the sale. In today’s increasingly competitive buying environment, the sale goes to the person who’s most prepared and demonstrates the strongest value proposition.
What’s your big goal this week, quarter, or year? Are you prepared to show up and take it?
Ryan Estis & Associates is a training and development organization helping companies, leaders, sales people and individual contributors embrace change and achieve breakthrough performance in the new economy. We offer keynotes, live classroom training and online learning that blends interaction, energy and actionable content designed to elevate performance. Contact us for programming inquiries and assistance determining the curriculum that could best support your learning and development objectives.
Ryan Estis is a Keynote Speaker & Management Consultant blogging about business performance.