A guest post from Angus Morison, a MBA student I worked with several years ago, who is now founder of Hedgebrunch, a unique network for the hedge fund and alternative investment world.

On a recent train journey Angus found himself pondering an article in the newspaper containing another graduate quote about "I've sent hundreds of CVs, still nothing".

Over to Angus...

Getting a job (if you want one) is the same task as building a product you wish to sell. You have to look at the market and:

  • see where demand is (what pays well?)
  • figure out how your strengths can take advantage of that demand (or learn strengths in order to do so: pick your education)
  • design and construct the product to be something that people will buy (consider you for a job), and finally.....the one element that nearly everyone misses.....
  • consider the marketing (how you go about "advertising" yourself) and sales closing ("getting to yes") strategy.

With any sale that involves a face to face relationship people buy people, not products. Your product (your CV and experience) is a hygiene factor, it maybe enough not to say no but it's not enough to say yes. It's NOT enough to get you a job by itself. You need so much more than that. You need personal connection. You need to be good in the room, be interested and be interesting, be able to connect on a human level, give them a reason to like you and want you, specifically, on their team. Show them you understand their goals, strategy, culture (whatever it maybe) and empathise with that.

Saying "I've sent 500 cvs off, still nothing" is an analogue excuse in a digital world. Paradoxical, considering what you need is a human solution to the problem. But it remains Einstein's definition of Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again whilst hoping for different results.

Sending CVs is passive. Connecting with actual people is active. Be active.

Jane Barrett taught me most of that.

Thanks Angus for your reflective thoughts!