Thursday, May 1, 2014

Adapting Marketing Principles to Your Job Search

Author: Stephen Juro
             Accomplished Marketing Strategist, Communicator and Creative Force

When you boil down a job search, it is very similar in principle to selling a product or service. In essence, you are promoting yourself and trying to motivate an employer to spend time and money to bring you on board. Granted, this analogy can be overused and taken to the extreme, but if you use some basic marketing ideas, you can present yourself better and improve your chances of landing.

Determine a problem the company has and how you can be the solution
As they say, it’s tough to sell ice to an eskimo. Find a problem that the company has that you can help solve. Is it a technology infrastructure that needs improvement? Is it an accounting department that is struggling to keep up with the workload? Whatever it is, you need to identify that problem and show how you can help fix it. And, not just by sitting at a desk pushing paper, but by bringing skill, innovation, excitement or whatever you do that others can’t (at least not as well as you).

Tailor your message to your target audience
Good marketers tailor their message to the person receiving it. For example, different language is used when promoting products to young, urban professionals versus seasoned, C-level executives. Determine what type of person will typically be a hiring manager for the positions you are exploring (you probably worked with a few of them), and craft your messages – resume, cover letter, elevator speech, interview responses, etc – to this type of person. It sounds simple, but it is often overlooked. Express yourself in a way that is best for the listener/reader, not for you! Put yourself in their shoes and make sure that you are talking with them, not at them, above them or below them.

Craft your message so it is easily received
Think of your favorite ads and marketing campaigns. They are easy to read and you understand them quickly. Now, imagine yourself reading resume after resume and cover letter after cover letter. People often use confusing language, too much jargon and don’t get their point across. Is your message easy to “get” the first time? Does it engage the reader? Does it make the listener want to hear the rest or tune you out? Here are a few quick editing tips to make your message easier to understand:

  • Cut unnecessary words
  • Brief is better
  • Define acronyms
  • Use active, not passive language
  • Proofread! (both you and someone else) 

Build your Brand
Decide how you would like the world to perceive you, and then craft that image. This is your “brand.” While some things are out of your control, everything you put out in the world professionally should add to this personal brand. If you want to appear like an expert on a subject, write and share relevant articles. If you want to appear professional, don’t post items on social media that could detract from that image. If you want to appear like a good manager, get testimonials from previous employees or peers showing that. It’s your image…it’s your job to maintain and protect it.

No comments:

Post a Comment