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I’m Dumb: Connect the Dots for me

November 1st, 2010
This post is part of Job Action Day. See other Job Action Day posts here, read the Job Action Day chatter on Twitter here.

I went to a job seeker network club and one of the complaints was the interviewer was not nearly as prepared as the job seeker.

It was almost an insult to be interviewed by someone who was so ill-prepared.

In Dallas a career coach told me one of the techniques she teaches job seekers is to help them tell stories (think Problem-Action-Result), AND finish up with a connect-the-dots response like:

“…and what that means for you is that I can ________.”

This is one of the most powerful things I’ve heard all year.

I like to think you know what to do or think, or why you should do something after I tell you something… but we have somehow been trained to wait for the messenger to TELL US what to think, what to do or why to do it.

I LOVE MY TV.  (you should buy one because…)

I LOVE THIS HAMBURGER. (the next time you get a burger, go to this restaurant)

Translate that to your career management… perhaps even your 30 second pitch:

… here’s my 30 seconds… all the great things I’ve done, or can do, or who I am… AND WHAT THAT MEANS FOR YOU IS ____________.

I’m telling you, if you think the person you are talking to knows why they should talk to you again, or why they should recommend you to their network, or why they should introduce you to their boss, or why they should ______, you are CRAZY.

In general, most of the time, you have to connect the dots for people.

Here’s what this might look like – notice the gap in the middle… FILL IT IN and tell the rest of the story :)

30_second_pitch

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9 Responses to “I’m Dumb: Connect the Dots for me”

  1. Shane Smith says:

    Another “Alba bullseye”
    Want to tell your story better? Type it up! Practice it, reading it out load.

    Wow ‘em by including your “story” as a case study as leave behind stapled to your resume.

  2. Jason Alba says:

    Thanks Shane – as a professional marketer this is what you have to do all day long and I’m glad to hear you think it’s a bullseye :)

  3. [...] Favorite Friday: Don’t Make Me Think… Connect The Dots! April 15th, 2011 I’m Dumb: Connect the Dots for me [...]

  4. How timely, Jason! (Nice to see you at CMA last week by the way.) I was speaking with a potential client today and was “educating” him on the importance of social media and connecting all the job search dots, as well as what I thought were ‘his’ dots and how we could connect them.

    He had emailed me and said he was a bit skeptical using a “service” for something he felt he could and should do himself, but someone referred him to me so he thought he would also shop around and check into career services. In his email he said, “Can I call you in an hour an interview you? I want to see if you can answer some questions because I have called a few other people and purposely saved calling you last.” I thought to myself, hmmm, ok. An hour later he called. I answered all of his questions and then some. He said, “Camille, you are the only one that has been able to connect the dots for me. I’m sold. How do I give you my credit card, and I want to add on _____.”

    Connecting the dots can mean a number of things. Being able to connect the dots and demonstrate the importance of the client also connecting the dots, can result in revenue for both parties. The add on project from this client is 3+ times the fee of the original project he wanted done.

    I like playing the dot-to-dot game, but I really enjoy helping people connect their own dots. What a concept! =)

    Definitely bullseye, Jason.

  5. Seth Price says:

    Great article! I’ve started doing sales the last couple of months and this helps me even more than you can imagine. It’s hard enough getting to the right person to talk to, but once you have them, you barely have any time to convince them to meet with you. Most of the time they just don’t realize what we can do for them even though I just explained it all. Love the article and will be implementing this immediately.

  6. [...] WHAT your past means to them now, more than if you weren’t changing industries.  Read this post on how I think we need to connect the dots for people (too often we assume they’ll connect the dots on their own, in the right [...]

  7. [...] story. Then you say "…and what that means for you is ____." This is the moment you connect the dots from your skill to your delivery to what’s in it for the manager if he hires you. You, [...]

  8. [...] day action plan.  She might have to educate them a little on what that means (see my post on Connecting The Dots here)… she might even include a snippet of it, but I would not include the entire [...]

  9. [...] need to think about this amazing concept.  More on this concept in this post, one of my favorites: I’m Dumb: Connect the Dots for me (what is WIIFM?  What’s In It For [...]

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