Case study: how to get a job

Subject: Case study: how to get a job
From: Dick Margulis <margulisd -at- comcast -dot- net>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 24 Jun 2004 07:25:47 -0400

Gather 'round, children ...

Context: Last week I posted a query under the subject "Web animation technology question." I eventually posted the project on a bid site, as I said I would.

What happened: I didn't get any bites at first (well, one from somebody who had taken a course and wanted a practice project); but I reposted it yesterday and got eight bids.

Of those eight, seven were boilerplate cover letters. These individuals and firms would appear to send the same I-can-do-it-good-fast-and-cheap letter in response to every job posted that even has a whiff of being something they might be able to do. The attached portfolios in some cases included zero examples of the technology I requested. A few had one or two decent examples, but it was unclear whether those examples involved the technical characteristics I asked for.

The eighth response, although the Web client medium is not conducive to formatting a T-letter, was essentially a T-letter in content. It addressed the requirements _I_ identified in the job description with _explicit_ answers directed at _my_ questions. The linked samples _demonstrated_ that they embodied the technical features I'm looking for.

The proposal was a concrete demonstration of the person's ability to understand my needs and address them directly and skillfully.

This is a no-brainer. I awarded the job immediately to that bidder and closed the listing. I don't need to hear from anyone else.

If I were filling a full-time position and received that convincing a letter, I'd be certain to interview the candidate and likely to hire the person at its conclusion.

So when you're out there looking for work--as an employee, a contractor, or an independent vendor--can _you_ be that persuasive? If so, I don't think you'll be whining about the lousy economy to your friends.



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