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Posted: August 26, 2013

The one secret most job-seekers don’t know

But I'm going to tell you

David Sneed

You have a résumé because you’re looking for a job, right? And you shaved this morning and have your best smile on. Join the club, because so does your competition. Anyway, those are only pleasantries to get you in the door.

To actually land the gig, you need to meet one of two requirements:

  • You’ll make the company money, or
  • You’ll make a moneymaker’s job easier.

That’s it – just those.

So what does all this mean for you? First, you need to know which role you’re meant to fill.

  • Moneymakers: If I’m going to put you on the payroll, I want to know you’re good at what you do. Can you program correctly, or install the door the right way? Re-doing work will cost us money and time. Mistakes cost us customers and money. Can you keep our clients happy?  Salesmen: Can you sell? If we’ve got to wait three months for you to find your feet we’d rather go with someone else. Are you experienced; with a record of results? That’s what I’m looking for. Show me in everything you say and do that when I hire you my company will make more money.
  • Assistants: You’ll be helping someone who makes us money. Every minute he spends looking up figures, or writing reports, or getting coffee he isn’t being the right kind of productive. Can you do those tasks to free up his time? Can you do them efficiently? Most importantly, can you do them before we ask you to? That’s what I’m looking for. This group includes secretaries, managers, and CEO’s.

So spend a minute and think back to your last interview. Remember the questions they asked and the answers you gave. Was the point to see if you could play your role? Did you emphasize your ability to do it?

But this ‘secret’ isn’t some video game cheat where once you learn the combination you’ll get a job—a skilled interviewer can tell if you’re faking it. If you haven’t the skill or desire to fit one of the two roles, you’ve got a tough row to hoe.

Rather, decide you WANT to help the company; then strive to make it happen.

Understand your role. And if you’re qualified, be sure that the way you present yourself reflects the person we’re looking for: A happy and willing partner who’s an asset to our company.

David Sneed is the owner of Alpine Fence Company,and the author of" Everyone Has A Boss– The Two Hour Guide to Being the Most Valuable Employee at Any Company." As a Marine, father, employee and boss, David has learned how to help others succeed. He teaches the benefits of a strong work ethic to entry and mid-level employees. Contact him at

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