“I want you on my team. What will it take to get you?”

A dream? Not exactly. One of my clients just got a call like this from his future boss. He knows he can ask a bit more than the first offer. And, he knows that he is golden, a great asset because his special expertise is just what’s needed.

How do you become irresistible to future employers? It’s actually easier than you might think.

Hiring managers are looking to solve a problem. They started having issues 2, 3 or even 6 months ago. First, they reorganized the work, trying to get it done with the staff they had. Then, they begged for new “head count.” Finally, a job description was written and the job was advertised. One-hundred-thirty-six resumes, 10 phone screens and 5 interviews later, they finally have someone they hope can do the job.

How do you convince employers you can do it? With stories of your past successes. Stories that include enough detail to give the correct impression of how you work. And, with little enough detail to tell in 60 seconds or less. (You can always elaborate if they are interested.) In short, they are looking for stories that PROVE you can do the job. So, you’ve got hundreds, even thousands, of stories from your past jobs that prove how you work.

How do you find such stories? By asking yourself these 5 questions:

  1. How did you do the job differently than others in the same job? This question gets at contribution – how you go beyond the job requirements and add something that just makes sense to you. Perhaps you’re more organized, give more personal service, or create documentation to help yourself and others keep the facts straight.
  2. Did you create or bring innovations to your job, the process, or your business tools? Innovation, even on the smallest level, is vital if a company is going to grow. Innovation and creativity make you irresistible.
  3. What assignments did you volunteer for beyond your job responsibilities? Here, we’re looking for initiative. When you voluntarily step up for an assignment, you set yourself apart from other employees. When you volunteer for something new and difficult, you take a burden from your boss.
  4. Did your coworkers look to you for some special knowledge, talent or ability? Here, we’re looking for your special talents. Tasks that are so simple for you, that you end up teaching others. Concepts that you easily grasp and can explain to customers. What is easy for you and difficult for others can be labeled a talent. Talent is irresistible to hiring managers.
  5. What did you enjoy about the work? Here, we’re looking for passion. True enjoyment of a job well done is something every employer wishes their staff felt, on a regular basis. Passion sells. It makes you irresistible.

Here’s a challenge: Complete these 5 questions for 3 of your past jobs. You will net about 10 great stories you can tell in your next interview. Told well, these stories make you irresistible.

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