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"Man, when you lose your laugh, you lose your footing."
   — Ken Kesey

Tips, techniques and teachings on the job search from the facilitator of the Marketing Professionals Network.

Marketing Professionals Network

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The golf courses just opened, but PARs are always in season for job seekers.

We just completed two workshops on PARs (Problem Action Results statements) entitled, “Developing and Delivering Your Success Stories”. They were well-attended—the first was full—and by all accounts were well-received. If you haven’t prepared your PARs…or if you haven’t polished them up recently…now is a good time. Just like spring cleaning! Because a well-told story with lots of details about what you did and how you did it, and lots of specifics on products and places and profits (proper nouns!), can be far more persuasive than an atonal droning on about your generic marketing capabilities. People like people stories; they are pleased by a well-structured narrative; and it gives them plenty of opportunity to plug you into their fantasies for the future. In other words, if you solved an international product launch for one company, they will start to think about hiring you to do their own international product launch two quarters from now. It’s human nature. Speaking of which, don’t be afraid of sharing the trials and tribulations you went through before you arrived at a successful conclusion. It’s the archetypal American story, and we all love the person who was down and out, yet came back to win the day. Why else would the Rocky movies be so popular? (Except for the overt racism of them, but that’s another American story, and an ugly one at that.) One tip: we found in the workshops that the real key to a good PAR is a very clearly and concisely defined problem statement. Be sure that your problem statement sets up and is aligned with your actions and results so it all makes sense. A good rule of thumb: Keep the problem statement to no more than 20% of the total time; give the same for the results portion; and devote most of the time—60%—to the actions you took to solve the problem. After all, that’s the real meat of the story…at least when it comes to getting a new job. For more on PARs, watch our calendar for the next workshop.

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