New Leaf Blog
I am on my way back from pitching to an enterprising charity to develop a number of new social enterprises to replace and enhance their diminishing grant funding. Amongst the questions we were asked was a query about the differences in charities’ and social enterprises’ mentality when it came to funding.
The answer is that it is very similar to the difference between applying for a job with a CV and application form that you have adjusted to fit the job requirements, or applying for a job with a document that you can call a CV, but which is really a demonstration that you understand the problem that the employer faces and that you can solve it.
Offer the employer a solution to their problem
To make that clear I’ll say that again in a different way.
Businesses don’t “apply” for a position in your life – like plumber, supermarket, clothes retailer. Businesses solve your problem in a way that appeals to you. For example the plumber might advertise “speedy response in an emergency with low call out fees” or “quality workmanship and no mess”. Both are plumbers, but solving different specific problems for clients looking for that solution.
The supermarket says “Quality products at an affordable price” or “cheap and convenient” depending on its customers. And the clothes retailer tries to evoke how fabulous you will feel wearing their goods.
Employers are really looking for the same thing
Think about it. An employer is not really looking for an accountant with five years experience and a professional qualification. They are really looking for their finances to get done by someone they trust to do it properly. That word ‘trust’ is the key.
How do you build trust?
It basically comes down to two things. Firstly, you understand them and their problem. I mean, you really “get it”. That takes some research on your part. And knowing that what you are looking for is to understand what problem they are trying to solve can really focus your efforts.
Secondly, you can demonstrate that you are able to solve that problem. What would you do for them? Not in a theoretical way, but really… what would you do in your first month, three months, a year that would make a difference?
And how do they know that you could? Well that is where all the standard CV stuff comes in – your experience and qualifications. Of course they are still relevant. But now you have really shown HOW they are relevant. If possible, give them real examples of what you have done to solve similar problems and how pleased the people were that you solved them for. Or if it is a new idea, give them evidence of your skills in related areas.
Give it a try
Next time you apply for a job, you could give this a try. Not sure how to do it? My next free teleseminar will take you through it. With real practical steps to follow and the chance to ask questions, sign up now by clicking here.