ATLANTA - Everybody's different (thank God!), and given that the average company's hiring process is an ill-conceived, politically charged, committee-driven train wreck, it makes sense for diverse candidates -- whatever their distinguishing characteristics may be -- to plant themselves in the right soil. IE, it's truly best to work for companies that respect, admire, and even celebrate your particular attributes.
In that sense, applying for a job should be like answering a personal ad in the classifieds. My wife is a straight, white, Catholic mother of six children. If I were to die, after the euphoria wore off, she'd need to be up front with potential suitors about these characteristics, don't you think?
In sales, we call this "selling right into the objection."
There’s an old story told by sales trainer Tom Hopkins about a novice home builder who built a spec house next to a railroad track. For months, no one would buy the vacant house. Then the builder found a clever real estate agent who decided to show the house only at 11:35am and 3:15pm on Mondays, Thursday, and Fridays because that’s when the train rolled by.
The agent raised the price of the house by several thousand dollars, and then bought an expensive wide screen TV and turned it on while showing the house. The TV was a giveaway to anyone who bought the house – and at normal volume, the sound of the TV drowned out the train. The house was sold in the first week. The agent never acted like the train was a non-issue to buyers. Indeed, she acknowledged it as a valid concern, and then put the concern in the proper perspective: “It can be heard, yes – but it’s no louder than a normal TV.” Simply put, she sold right into the objection.
And that’s what you must do. If you are GLBT, over 50, a working mom, have been out of work for 22 months, have been in business for yourself, or whatever, then you will be happier if you simply “sell right into that potential objection.” In the words of Joe Cossman (the inventor of the ant farm): “If you can’t change it, promote it.”
Look, we all know there are biases in the hiring process. If there weren’t, diversity recruiters wouldn’t exist. So use the tool at http://www.simplyhired.com/specialsearches.php to search for jobs with companies that can deal with who you are. And obviously, use headhunters who can appreciate and promote your innate skills and abilities. You'll be so glad you did.
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