One high-powered strategy for gaining notice and differentiating yourself from the rest of the rock stars you’ll likely be interviewing against is called the Job Business Plan. A resume basically details your accomplishments and experience. A Job Business Plan tells the employer how you’re going to address their business needs as they pertain to the position you’re applying for. This is your game plan for getting the job done!
Most employers are pleasantly surprised when someone has taken the time to assemble a business plan for a position they don’t even have yet. Many of our clients have won the job versus some very tough competition and credit the Job Business Plan strategy for playing a crucial, and in some cases, a deciding role.
A Job Business Plan is short 8-10 slide PowerPoint mini-business plan you present to the hiring manager during the interview. It is designed to show them that you took the time to assess their business needs and have used your creativity and business intellect in designing an action plan to offer solutions.
You are also making a statement about the quality of your work and that you employ the mentality of always doing more than is expected. You are showing them that you are a problem solver and someone who has thought through the requirements of the job in advance.
Job Business Plan Content
Focus on the top 5 requirements for the job taken from the written job description. You can also refer to the company web site, their social media feeds, and your business knowledge on what the position will entail. Using information from the initial interview, usually with a recruiter or HR, can also be beneficial. If you’re interviewing for a similar position to what you’ve recently held, the plan shouldn’t be difficult to assemble at all. Regardless of content, the simple fact that you took the time to assemble the Job Business Plan will tremendously increase your chances of advancing in the interview process.
Job Business Plan Components
Does your Job Business Plan have to hit the bull’s eye in terms of solving the employer’s business needs? Not at all. The Job Business Plan is mostly a “statement” that describes your work ethic, creative thinking process, and business acumen. Most likely, you won’t be hired because the prospective company sees your plan as the magic bullet and wants to implement it immediately. However, you will gain significant notice and differentiate yourself from the rest of the field based on your strategic thinking and proactive approach.
The Job Business Plan should be very professional and business-like. Here are the recommended key components:
Slide 1 – Cover Slide: Construct a cover slide with the company name, perhaps their logo, and the position you’re applying for. Also include your full name as “Prepared By” and include the date.
Slides 2 and 3 – Your Industry and Company Knowledge: These slides should talk about what you know about the industry including trends and metrics (slide 2) and how Company X figures into the mix by way of their main products and key competitive advantages (slide 3).
Slides 4 through 8 – How You Meet/Exceed the Main Requirements for the Job: Create a slide for each of the key requirements for the job and how you meet or exceed what they’re looking for. Use no more than 3-5 bullets per slide when addressing their key needs.
Slide 9 – Tying it All Together: This is your recap/summary slide as to why you’re the best candidate for the job based on your skills, experience, education, industry knowledge, etc.
Slide 10 – Thank You, Contact, Personable Picture: Use this as a thank you slide. Insert your picture and your contact information including any relevant links to your LinkedIn profile and or blog. I always recommend making the picture personable so show yourself enjoying a hobby, with a pet, spouse, or significant other.
When to Submit the Job Business Plan
For maximum impact, present the Job Business Plan during the interview with the hiring manager, after the third or fourth question. After you’ve answered the question, simply state, “Mr. Jones, based on the job description, the initial interview, and my industry knowledge, I’ve assembled a proactive plan for addressing the key needs for the position. May I take 90 seconds and share this with you?” Any hiring manager worth their salt will give you a resounding “YES” response as they just don’t hear this from other candidates. Then, be respectful of the time and cover the plan in a cursory manner. Don’t just read off the slides, they can do that later. Simply discuss the highlights and the impact your plan will have. You can attach a soft copy of the plan to the thank you email you’ll send after the interview (also a must-do).
It has been my experience the Job Business Plan is so well received that your chances for a second interview and/or job offer will be increased dramatically. The Job Business Plan does a great job of selling itself (and you), even after you leave the interview.
Give yourself a competitive edge in the hiring process. Go up and above and differentiate yourself from other well-qualified candidates. Assemble a Job Business Plan and offer solutions for getting the job done!
Donald J. Strankowski is a two-time author, active public speaker, and a regular guest on FOX 31 Good Day Colorado. He is founder and president of Ascend Career and Life Strategies, a career management and professional development firm for businesses, professionals, and executives. Since 2001, Ascend has helped people land a better job, improve their level of performance, change careers, or start their own business. Serving customers across the US and internationally, Ascend offers best in class career advisement and professional services for any individual or company looking to gain a key competitive edge. Schedule a free consultation today.