Job searching is not a passive activity, it requires energy, focus, time, the assistance of others, and in some cases, luck. But if you think of yourself like a product, out there competing with other products who are motivated to be swept up by the right organization, you can increase your odds of lining up a great job. Much like a tangible product in the real market, you, as a product, needs to be marketed in order to be consumed. You need to market yourself. Here are some pointers to help you improve your self-marketing abilities.
Know your self
Knowing yourself is critical to helping you define what you want to do by knowing what your strengths and weaknesses are. A lot of job satisfaction and come from you being in an environment where you can perform well. Knowing yourself also helps you define your value to a potential employer. Taking the time to get in touch with your personality, strengths, successes, passions, etc., will help you to clarify your personal message to an employer. You will have a more focused resume and you will be able to answer interview questions easier and more confidently.
Know your market
Now that you more about yourself, what you are good at, and what your strengths and weaknesses are, you will be able to more clearly define your job search and identify your target market. Take the time to understand what a target employer is looking for in a new hire. What are their organizational pains that you can alleviate? How can your experience make a direct impact on their organization and their bottom line? Knowing who your audience is will help you understand how you can approach a potential employer and how you can relate your personal message to the employer in a way that will engage and excite them.
Have the right packaging
When you buy something at the store, do you pay attention to the packaging? Whether you realize it or not, you do. And it is very important. As a jobseeker who is marketing themselves to potential employers, you want to make sure that you too have the right packaging. Consider what is visibly apparent to an employer, or even a recruiter; namely your resume and your online presence (LinkedIn Profile, Facebook, etc.). Take the time to refine your resume, or work with a professional resume writer, to make sure you are dialed in. Good resume writers will know what questions to ask to make sure you are including the right content, they also know how to optimally format your resume for visual appear and to help pass through ATS. Many resume writers can help you with your LinkedIn profile as well; check out our recent blog on that. Bottom-line, make your resume and LinkedIn profile stand out as they will be your first impression. Your interview will be your second first-impression if that makes sense. So be ready for that as well! Make sure you are well groomed and dressed appropriately for the position you are after.
Develop your people skills
Take the time to read some refresher articles on being a good communicator, and how to listen more effectively as it will pay off in your job search. Communicating well with recruiters, networking associates, those you may conduct informational interviews with can help you get closer to that job you want. Part of this process is knowing how to talk about yourself so make sure you take the time to know yourself first.
Know how to interview
Marketing yourself doesn’t stop once you’ve gotten a callback for an interview. This is where you need to really shine to get an edge over your jobseeking competition. But do you know how to interview? We’ve written several blogs on the matter including 5 Ways to Woo Hiring Managers During The Interview Process and 7 Steps to Prepare for Your Job Interview in addition to the information we provide there is a plethora of books, videos, blogs and seminars available out there. We also offer interview coaching for those looking for some personal feedback. A few keys are to really understand the position you are interviewing for, being prepared, and listening well.
This is a pretty obvious point but is often overlooked. You must take charge of your job search and be active with it if you truly desire to make a positive change in your career. It’s been said that luck rewards the hard working, and we feel this is true. Send emails, make connections, pick up the phone and get yourself out there. Going back to the analogy of you being a product, your activity can be the difference between you as an item that sits on a shelf waiting too long for someone to find it or being an item on an end-cap with high visibility that is sure to catch people’s attention.
Make a plan
This last point is very important. Take the time to make a plan. We are all busy people and making a plan can give our job search focus and can help us realize our progress. Decide what your end goal is and how much time you can dedicate each day or week to reaching your goal. Set a schedule for working on your resume, contacting recruiters, sending out job applications, and practicing your interview skills. Work with Define your progress by blocks of time (30 minutes a day), or by units (2 applications a week) etc. Keep a visual calendar and mark off each goal of your plan or each day that you make progress, it is encouraging and will push you closer towards getting the results you deserve.
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