By Erica Calka
What’s different about a career in self-storage today? The position of facility manager has become one in which sales, marketing and customer-service experience is essential to business success.
Self-storage operators are just like any other employer—they’re looking for people who will not only perform the job functions but be a positive representative with a can-do attitude and team-oriented spirit. They realize their managers are the face of the organization to the public, and the store’s performance is only as good as its employees.
Impressing the recruiter is the first step toward embarking on a great career in self-storage. Here are some tips to present you as a top contender in this exciting industry.
Target the Decision-Maker
Networking is the best way to get your foot in the door with an organization. Joining social-media outlets such as LinkedIn or Facebook can introduce you to people within your targeted company. By showcasing yourself to them privately instead of blindly submitting your résumé into the sea of candidates will give you an edge.
Find out who the human-resources manager is and submit your cover letter and resume to him directly. If you know an owner or higher-level manager, these people can be instrumental in recommending you as a great candidate. Many times, it can be who you know and how you present yourself creatively that gets you to the next step.
Clean Resume = Neat Candidate
Let’s face it: Your résumé is what paints your picture in the recruiter’s mind. You have only 20 seconds tops for your resume to do the trick. Spelling errors, unintelligible run-on sentences and experiences you don’t really have—is that your best representation?
Proofread your résumé to ensure sentences are to the point and make sense. Always highlight your experiences to what the job requires. If a job posting asks for sales and marketing experience, be specific on those accomplishments. Write what percentage increase in sales you achieved on average per year, how many contracts you generated on average per month, what networking organizations you belong to, and marketing plans you developed to increase your business.
Do not to stretch the truth. Above all else, be honest and accurate in your résumé, and be sure you can back it up when it comes to the interview.
If you submit a cover letter, don’t just change out the company name, position, etc. Personalize it. The recruiter typically sees the cover letter first. It should explain why he should hire you, but without rehashing the content of your résumé. Use your background to demonstrate why you’re the best candidate for the job. If the cover letter is redundant, you just wasted five seconds of your 20 to impress.
Some companies do phone screenings before the interviews to filter out candidates. A facility manager’s job is partly conducted on the phone, and you have to be able to impress new and existing customers with your voice. Generally, the interviewer’s questions will be about your prior work history, why you left positions, and your strengths and weaknesses. Basically, they want to know why they should hire you.
Practicing interview questions with a friend or family member will make you more comfortable and able to avoid hesitation. Be upbeat and put a smile on your face. The interviewer will be able to hear it, guaranteed. Being pleasant on the phone can play a big part in your progression to the next step—the coveted in-person interview.