Personal Branding lesson from : Would the Terminator get Terminated

Used wisely, email is a great tool. It’s instant and costs next to nothing compared to the mail AND your targets secretary won’t intercept and delete it!

Guess AGAIN! 

The challenge is getting your message delivered – and opened. The proliferation of SPAM of all kinds has forced most employers and certainly all head-hunters to install sophisticated software that automatically deletes unapproved email.

So how can you increase the likelihood that yours will be one of the very few unsolicited emails that gets opened? The answer is both simple and difficult: write a great subject line.

To do this, you must be clear, compelling and specific.  Here’s a drab, uninspiring subject line like the hundreds I get every single day:


Sales VP Resume attached for your review

Yawn. It entirely lacks sizzle, a sense of urgency, and specifics.  What a waste of ether. I wouldn’t open it.

Let’s bring it to life:

David, how many VPSales can generate $150 M new revenues in just three years?

It’s long, but it takes you somewhere interesting. It has a fighting chance of enticing a click-through.

In the previous example, the jobseeker has no direct personal or business connection with the potential employer. But if there is such a connection, make it clear in the subject line, in an intriguing way:

David, Bob Hannah says you and I should talk

So your subject line does its job and the email gets opened. Now your first paragraph closes in for the kill. It can’t be like this:

As a senior sales and company executive, I have developed, mentored, and managed high performance sales teams, installed sales metrics and created sales plans and strategies in highly competitive markets. My experience includes both national and international duties.

Feel like you’ve read this before? I have, thousands of times. It’s as generic as an airport lounge. I get thousands like this every week. I never ever read them! To have an impact, the opening paragraph needs to have personality, attitude, and substance. Something like:

Hello David Perry,



VPs—they’re a dime a dozen. Right? Yes—with a few exceptions. Like me.

From June 2002 until March 2005, I drove revenues at XYZ Corporation from $80 million (and flat) to $130 million (and still rising). Before that, the sales team I led at XCO had the highest numbers across the global organization—18 quarters in a row.  Now I’m ready to repeat that kind of success for another company—like yours. Are you ready to talk to me? If so, give me a call right now at 123-4567. Let’s talk.

See the differences Guerrilla? Now it’s your turn. Drop and give me 20 then write a couple of your own and ask yourself – would anyone besides your mother open and read it?  Don't be terminated.

Compliments of David E Perry and Kevin Donlin. For more creative job search tactics, go to the Guerrilla Marketing for job hunters blog and download the free audio CD.

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