You’re looking for a new job. Either you have your eyes on a promotion with your current employer or you’re looking for a new job in a new place. You’ve read the “how to write a killer résumé” books, and you can talk at length about all of your functional responsibilities.

It doesn’t matter!

What follows are my “quick and dirty” lessons for your job search. You MUST master these, and their implications, to get the job you want:

• Your job search is a marketing challenge; it is not a sales challenge. It has to be treated as such. A prospective employer — even a hiring manager at your existing employer — cares about one thing. He has a bunch of problems that have to be solved. He needs to know that you can solve them. The way to convince him is by demonstrating that you have solved them in the past. You must communicate all of the great things you have done in terms of benefits, not features.

• Employers and headhunters do not use résumés to qualify candidates; they use them to DISqualify candidates. Ergo, you want to provide a résumé to a headhunter or prospective employer as late in the game as possible.

Use a cover letter, initially, to communicate with prospective employers. Be brief and to the point. Demonstrate that you understand the challenges they face and detail (briefly) that you have faced those challenges in the past and conquered them.

• Create a personal value-proposition and elevator speech. It should detail, in one minute or less, who you are and, in a very precise way, how you create value. Memorize it. When a headhunter or prospective employer calls you and asks you to tell him a bit about yourself, launch into your elevator speech.

The bottom line: Generic management and leadership challenges or generic management and leadership jobs do not exist. Companies face very specific strategic challenges during their life cycles. You need to know what those are and why you are the person to tackle them!

Copyright 2013 Rand Golletz. All rights reserved.

Author's Bio: 

Rand Golletz is the managing partner of Rand Golletz Performance Systems, a leadership development, executive coaching and consulting firm that works with senior corporate leaders and business owners on a wide range of issues, including interpersonal effectiveness, brand-building, sales management, strategy creation and implementation. For more information and to sign up for Rand's free newsletter, The Real Deal, visit