Common Threads in Business Development and Job Search

Foot in DoorThis week in LinkedIn’s Account Manager Group there was a discussion that intrigued me as a resume writer and job search advisor.

“Need to convince a prospective client, but no way to get into him!” This was a discussion started by an Account Manager at a bank in Cameroon looking for strategic business advice.

What I loved was the response to her question posted by a Business Development Manager in the UK.

What do you need to convince the client to do – To buy something?

Why can’t you get to him – He refuses to talk or you can’t get past the gatekeeper?

When you hit a brick wall, ask yourself: How much do you know about his business? What is it that he does? How he does it? What is it that he wishes to achieve? Why would he change something? Why would he buy from you?

Find the answer to some of these questions, and you will find a way to get him to talk.  If you can’t get past the gatekeeper, find a way to build rapport with the gatekeeper first, or find a reason to be at his office in person.

I thought his response was categorically great advice for the banker and I also perceived it as equally applicable advice for job seekers.

Throughout my career I’ve been telling people how important it is to think like a salesperson in all aspects of conducting a job search. So when I read this Q&A I immediately knew it was something wanted to share with you so you could the correlation as clearly as I do.

Cristian Andronache’s advice is something you need to seriously consider when writing a resume and preparing for a job interview.  In both activities you are trying to make a sale and get beyond the initial gatekeeper. So, just as he advises the banker, to be successful in a job search it helps to know as much as possible about perspective employers, their business, culture and the modus operandi of their operations. You need to research what is it they are looking for in this hire and why would they consider hiring you over someone else. If you can answer these questions you will be prepared to write a targeted resume that will get past the gatekeeper and get your foot in the door, and once inside the interview room you will know what to say to the interviewer that will get you a job offer?

As always I am happy to critique U.S. resumes and LinkedIn pages at no cost. Email me at

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