Friday, 8 February 2008

Newsletter Issue 144, February 2008

Sam Young Newsletter

Issue 144, February 2008
Hi guys,
We have part one of a job seeker series by Ron McGowan on How to Market Yourself below.
Attending a concert & no change of clothes? No problems with Dirty Laundry here.
Don't forget, if you want to be taken off my mailing list, click here to send me a reply e-mail and I will remove your name.

How to Market Yourself – Part 1

US career consultant Ron McGowan kindly sent this series of articles on marketing yourself, which I am pleased to be sharing with you over the next few newsletters. Read on!
If you ask employment seekers what their biggest challenge is, most of them will tell you it is marketing themselves. They either hate it or are very uncomfortable with it. This is a major problem because their success is directly tied to how effective they are at marketing themselves.
The good news is that marketing can be learned. The main reason for their discomfort with marketing is ignorance. They don’t understand it and assume that since they don’t have a background in it, they won’t be effective at it. The challenge is to unload their current perceptions about what marketing is and to accept the fact that, with hard work and being prepared to move out of their comfort zone, they can become effective at it.
The myth of the backslapping, loud, aggressive sales type is just that, a myth. Successful salespeople are professionals who are well trained, attend to the needs of their customers and are genuinely interested in helping them. They sell solutions to problems and products and services that satisfy a genuine need. They’re also resilient. They’ve fallen flat on their face in front of customers many times before becoming successful. And they’ve endured a lot of rejection and bounced back from it.
Some of the most successful salespeople are quiet, unassuming people – not quite the stereotype often attached to salespeople. The main reason why they’re successful is that they’re sincere. Their customers pick up on that because sincerity can’t be faked. The common view of what selling is about is pure bunk. The “gift of the gab” is not an asset – it’s a liability.
There’s no such thing as a born salesman or saleswoman. Successful sales people achieved their success through working hard, believing in the product or service they sell, knowing it inside out, knowing how it can benefit potential customers and by not being easily discouraged. These are characteristics that you must acquire.
If you have any lingering thoughts that you’re not good at selling yourself, you need to get rid of them. Your selling challenge is to communicate to a potential employer or client how they can benefit from using the skills and experience you have to offer. Not in a fancy, forced or insincere way but in the way of having a normal conversation with them. If you are a low-key individual, be assured that many successful sales people are like that too. The last thing a potential employer or client wants from you is a sales pitch.
The primary reason employment seekers fail at selling is lack of preparation, or failing to do their homework before getting in front of an employer or client. To succeed, you need to be absolutely clear about the following questions:
  1. 1. What do you have to sell?
  2. 2. Where are you going to sell it?
  3. 3. How are you going to sell it?
We will start this time by looking at "What do you have to sell?"
Most employment seekers are weak in this area. They’ve never taken the time to thoroughly analyze themselves and the skills they have to offer. It’s no longer sufficient to identify yourself as an engineer, accountant, MBA, graphic designer, or whatever. You need to be very clear about the skills you have to offer, and more importantly, why a potential employer or client would be interested in them.
How will hiring you make their lives easier? What problems and challenges do they have that you can help them with? As you begin to analyze your education, experience and the skills you’ve acquired, play devils’ advocate with yourself. Put yourself in the shoes of the employer or client you want to work with and take a “so what?” attitude towards your skills and experience and be prepared to respond to that attitude if they project it.
The key to success is to know as much about their business as you can and to be absolutely convinced that your skills and experience will help them. If you are convinced of this and have thoroughly analyzed their business, they will pick up on that. Most people don’t do this. They often assume that their skills and experience speak for themselves. They don’t. It’s your responsibility to explain to the employer or client how they can benefit from hiring you.
They’re not interested in how many people you managed in the past, or how big the budget was for the department you managed. If you have a lot of experience and your background includes operating at a senior level, you need to be careful about how you come across, especially if you’re dealing with a small organization. If you’re not careful you might unwittingly scare them off. Your challenge is to assure the business owner or manager you’re dealing with that you will support them and can offer solutions to the problems and challenges they face.
If you stay focused on the key question that is always on the back of the mind of employers or clients, i.e. “How will hiring this person make my life easier?” you will have your share of success. If you can demonstrate to the employer or client that you‘ve done your homework and know their business, they’ll be impressed.
And be prepared for them to test you. If you are an accountant, for example, they may give you their most recent financial statements and ask you to point out areas where they can improve. If you are a professional, you won’t be intimidated by this. Just be careful that in your eagerness to impress them, you don’t give your expertise away. The trick is to demonstrate that you are a professional and can help them with the challenges and problems they have.
Author Bio: For over a decade, Ron McGowan has helped thousands of US graduates and professionals find work. His book, “How to Find Work in the 21st Century” is currently in use in America in colleges, universities and secondary schools (go to

Dirty Laundry

In Slovenia, the home appliance manufacturer Zanussi-Electrolux has been offering free laundry services at Rock Otočec for many years, cleaning thousands of muddy t-shirts and jeans for concert goers. After picking up their spotless garments, visitors are given a "Dear Mum, I'm clean" postcard to send home.
At the very muddy Netherlands Lowlands music festival late last year, jeans brand Wrangler appears to have picked up on this Slovenian customer care, and was offering festival goers a premiumisation version of Electrolux's laundry service. People dropped off their mud-encrusted laundry and were sent a text message the moment it was ready. No change of clothes? Wrangler came up with a generous solution to that problem, too: they handed out black overalls to anyone who used the laundromat.
Hard to miss at the festival at 18 metres wide and 9 metres high, the Wrangler Laundromat was an exercise in experiential marketing, aimed at surprising and delighting consumers in a way that magazine ads or TV spots usually can't.
Makes you wonder what is going to be the next thing out of the marketing creatives' box, doesn't it.

Scaling Word Docs for Printing

You have created a Word doc ad to print out & distribute, and realise that it doesn’t need to take up an entire A4 page, but will fit just fine on an A5. The first thing we usually do is to reformat the page, or double up our ad so we can still print on A4.
The good news is that we don’t have to reformat your Word document; we can simply print to scale:
  1. Open the document you want to print
  2. Key Ctrl & P to open the Print dialogue box
  3. In the Zoom section, click the 'Scale To Paper Size' drop-down arrow
  4. Scroll to and select the desired sheet size
  5. Enter how many copies you want and then click OK.
Note that changing the size in the Print dialog box will not reformat your original document; the new paper size will apply to this printout only. You can scale your document to print to any paper size listed; or, if your printer supports it, you can create your own size (click the Properties button in the Print dialog box to access your printer’s menus and create a custom paper size).
So, so easy.

TLAs for SMEs

Here are this newsletter's TLAs for you:
  • TEU, Twenty Foot Equivalent Unit. A measure of volume based on the size of a shipping container, twenty feet long by eight feet wide by eight feet high (yes, I know we changed to metric in 1974, but some things are still in feet. Shipping containers particularly!)

Please feel free to email me with any TLAs that you want to get the bottom (meaning!) of.

Tips, Short+Hot Keys
Over the next few newsletters, we are going to look at all you can do with Alt and letters. This time it's A and B:
  • IE "Type the number of the page you want displayed. " Alt & A
  • PowerPoint "Switch to the Answer Wizard tab" Alt & A
  • Access & Word "Open Answer Wizard (In Help menu); use within Help menu" Alt & A
  • Access "Use from the field list to add table and fields to the data access page when working in Design view" Alt & A & Enter
  • Excel & Word "Open the Address book in the bcc field; use when sending E-Mail" Alt & B

Hot Linx
To see how the top one percent spend their dosh, check out the Financial Times magazine at Click the FT's digital edition image to open the mag in a new window.
You can now buy coloured loo paper, made by a Portuguese company, Renova. Check it out at
Check out this gem of a kiwi company - a 'how to' for drawing up plans & assembly for bespoke or production manufacturing at
The town of Cochrane, Alberta, Canada has a very interesting approach to community art. Check it out at

                                Catch you again soon!! E-mail your suggestions to me here

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