A Job Proposal can put you Above the Competition
Poor economic conditions have created a distressed job market that has left weary job
seekers scrambling to land desirable positions. Such desperate times call for creative job seeking methods.
If you are conducting a job search, one method that might put you above the competition
is to submit job proposals to prospective employers.
is a job proposal?
Just like a business proposal that
discusses how a business will help a prospective client; a job proposal explains how a job seeker will help a prospective
employer. It is similar to a resume in that it lists an individual’s skills, experience, and achievements. But it also
specifies more directly how an individual can help a company solve a problem.
A job proposal should include an analysis of the company’s problems and offer a plan to successfully address
the problem. In other words, it offers a solution to a problem. The solution, of course, involves hiring you to fill an existing
position, a new position, or a position that is created specifically for you.
The goal of the job proposal is to persuade the company that you – among all of the potential candidates –
are the best person to fill a gap or need within the company. It should be based on your knowledge of the company and its
industry. It should also thoroughly explain why you will be a valuable asset to the company.
What information should it contain?
The job proposal is based on facts and should include the following information:
Introduction – The introduction briefly describes the purpose of the proposal.
Company analysis – An analysis of the company shows that you have in-depth knowledge
about the company and the issues that it faces. Thorough research of the company and its industry will help you create a solid
analysis and help you develop your ideas for helping the company. Your research may involve interviewing industry insiders,
reading trade magazines, reviewing the company’s published information, and reviewing company information that is on
public record. If you work in the company’s industry or for the company, then your knowledge and experience will also
help you create a detailed company analysis.
– By suggesting a position for which you will fill, you are offering a solution to the problem or problems discussed
in the company analysis. The position might be common to the industry, or it may combine elements of two or more positions.
Presenting a potential position and describing its scope will show that you are a problem solver who has a clear understanding
of the company and the industry.
Qualifications – Describing
our qualifications is a significant component of the job proposal. In this section, you will want to explain how your unique
mix of knowledge, skills, experience, ideas, attributes, and values will help the company achieve its goals. Your qualifications
allow you to make the case for why you are a good fit for the company.
Achievements – The purpose of listing your achievements is to show the prospective employer just how valuable
an asset you will be to the company. These achievements should highlight the skills that will help you solve the company’s
Cost/benefit analysis – In business it is all
about the bottom line. This is why a cost/benefit analysis is an important component of a job proposal. You want to describe
– using concrete figures and anecdotal information – how the benefits for hiring you will out-weigh the costs.
The benefits of hiring you may include an increase in productivity, a decrease
in operating expenses, more efficient operations, or an increase in sales. The costs for employing you may include salary,
benefits, training, and travel.
Closing statement – The
closing statement gives you one more opportunity to persuade the potential employer that you are the best person for the job.
It should briefly reiterate the problem and include the most compelling reasons for hiring you.
What format should be used for writing a proposal?
Like resumes, job proposals do not have to be written in one particular format. For instance,
a job proposal can be written in letter form or as a separate document that is attached to a brief cover letter. The most
important thing is to present the information in a logical order and an easy-to-read format.
should not be too long. One to five pages is appropriate in most cases. Presenting only the facts that pertain to the company’s
problem and your ability to solve it should help keep the page count down.
To make the proposal easy to read and understand, use bulleted and numbered lists, headings, white space, and charts
When should a job proposal be used?
There are several situations in which submitting a job proposal might be effective.
But a proposal may not be appropriate for every situation. You will have to use your knowledge about the employer and your
intuition to make the decision. You might consider submitting proposals under the following circumstances:
Applying for an advertised position
A resume may still be the most effective way to answer a job posting or advertisement, particularly if you are submitting
it online. A job proposal, however, might stick out from the hundreds of resumes that a company may receive. One idea is to
submit a resume and follow-up with a job proposal. It really depends on the situation and your thoughts about it.
a career change from one industry to the next can be a daunting experience. It often requires creativity and persistence.
A job proposal might help you show a prospective employer why they should hire you over candidates who have more experience
in the industry.
Obtaining a full-time position after completing
An internship provides an excellent opportunity
to learn about a company and observe its strengths and weaknesses. Your interest in working for the company, belief that you
can help it solve problems, and skills and experience acquired during your internship will help you develop a persuasive proposal
for full-time employment.
Attaining a promotion
There are several obstacles that might prevent an employee from securing a promotion.
For instance, an employee’s performance in a particular position might be so outstanding that they would be hard to
replace. An employee may also get passed over for promotions because management does not have a complete picture of their
talent and abilities.
If you are having difficulty attaining
a promotion, submitting a job proposal to management will showcase your knowledge, experience, and skills. It will also demonstrate
problem solving skills and show that you are proactive and forward thinking.
Following-up on an interview
After an interview,
it is customary to send thank you notes to the interviewers. These notes can also be used to clarify comments made in the
interview, express enthusiasm for the position, or make important points that were overlooked during the interview. By submitting
a job proposal in addition to a thank you note, you might improve your chances of getting a second interview and eventually
a job. The first interview gives you the opportunity to gather inside information about the company, which can be used to
persuade hiring managers that you are the right person for the job.
do’s and don’ts when writing job proposals
goal of the job proposal is to prove to a company that you will be a valuable asset. Listed below are suggestions that will
help you create an effective job proposal.
1. Do conduct thorough research on the company and industry
2. Do present
new ideas for solving the company’s problem or adding value to the company
3. Do present your knowledge,
skills, and experience with confidence
4. Do show enthusiasm for the position and the company
discuss the company’s strengths as a way to present a balanced analysis
1. Don’t skim over the
company analysis (It is the basis for selling yourself to the company.)
2. Don’t come off as a know-it-all
and risk insulting the company
3. Don’t overload the proposal with jargon
4. Don’t include
too much information (prioritize your points and present the most important)
5. Don’t rush through the research
and writing process (It will take time to write a well-crafted proposal.)
It will also help to find an advocate within the company who will champion your cause.
A job proposal is a tool that can put you on the road to career success
Given the current state of the job market, job seekers must use various methods to
secure positions that fit their career goals and employment needs. This includes sending resumes, networking, and placing
cold calls to employers. The job proposal is one more tool that can help job seekers rise above the competition.
Although writing a job proposal can be time consuming, it is worth the effort for several
reasons. First, it is a marketing tool that can help you get your foot in the door. Second, it will help you deepen your knowledge
about an industry. Third, it can help you build your professional network. Fourth, you will improve your analytical, research,
and writing skills.
It may be a little scary to break away from
the traditional resume. But creativity and courage are important for obtaining a position in this volatile job market.
Copyright 2009 Katherine Williams