A consultant is an expert in a particular field who works as an advisor either to a company or another individual. In order to be a consultant, you have got to be take the knowledge that you have gained into a resource that someone is willing to pay for. This means that any one can be consultant so long as they discover what they are good and are able to translate that into a service or product.
Consultants are hired by companies because they couldn’t be able to find, hire and train in house experts to solve a particular problem. As a job seeker, there is a lot you can learn from consultants on your way to landing your dream job. Read on for tips that successful consultants use to land new clients that you can incorporate in your own job search.
Know your ideal customer
Successful consultants actually get to choose who they want to do business with by creating an ideal customer profile. The way they do this is by knowing who their ideal customer is. Similarly, as a job seeker, you should know what your ideal job is. Most people think that having an ideal employer profile is limiting but it’s actually empowering. After all, if you don’t go through the exercise of choosing who you want to work for, your employer will choose you and you just might find yourself in just any job that comes up.
So, get crystal clear about the type of employer and the kind of position you want. Then, start taking action to improve your skills so that when your ideal employer looks at your profile, you’re a good fit. If you don’t know who your ideal employer is – and yes, you can have more than one – then everything from this point on is going to be difficult if not impossible to do
What value do you offer?
Consulting begins and ends with results. Offering undisputed value is the foundation of any consulting contract. Before you embark on your job search, ask yourself, why would anyone hire you? what’s different about you and your services? why is your service needed? What problem will you solve? How will your employer be better off after working with you? What quantifiable benefits and results can your employer expect when they hire you? After knowing your value preposition, create opportunities to truly differentiate yourself from others.
Consultants are hired for their expert knowledge. Clients expect them to have more expertise than the company’s internal resources. At all times, they have to remain current by reading industry journals, magazines, informative websites and networking. Their level of knowledge should be broad enough to know when to ask questions and/or where to research to find solutions. Comparably, as a job seeker, you have to be willing to update your skills to remain on top of trends in your field.
Become a thought leader
Highly successful consultants build thought leadership around the problem that they want to solve for their target customer. Clients gravitate toward consultants who have established a certain level of authority. When you build a reputation as well as a following for your ideas, consulting clients come to you instead of you chasing them. Why not do the same for your job search so that job opportunities come knowing at your door.
Before embarking on your journey towards thought leadership, you should take time to decide what your personal brand will be. Identify your ultimate objective so that you can create a well directed strategy. Building thought leadership involves turning your knowledge into intellectual property and building a community of those who need to know what you know. If you are financial advisor, turn that expertise into a book or course. A PR consultant could get active in the field, share his expertise through great content (blogs, books, videos), speak, and teach others through educational PR programs.
Make a proposal
It is hard for a consultant to book a job just by telling their target customer that they can do the job. They usually do presentations on how they can add value to a company. Instead of just applying for a job, make a presentation on how you can add value to a company. Show that you have taken the understand the needs and challenges of your target employer. Offer solutions and convey clearly how you achieved results in the past. For instance, someone interviewing for a strategy executive could make a proposal showing the current strategy of the company and the direction they would take if hired.
Work with recruiters
In consulting, one of the ways to get new clients is through partnering with an agency. Likewise in your job search, reach out to some recruiters with a personalized email of the kind of work you are interested in and your skill set. Good jobs are not advertised but recruiters have access to these jobs. Set up meetings to discuss further any opportunities that are available whether now or in the future. Nurture good relationships with head hunters.
To retain old clients and attract new ones, a consultant cannot afford to skimp on relationships. Relationships are invaluable to a consultant. Successful consultants treat their references like gold because their ability to get work is highly dependent on their ability to secure work through referrals. As a job seeker, you have to build relationships with people you are working with. Build your credibility by doing great work at each job and translating that wherever you go. They just might be want you need to land that new highly coveted job.