The selling point of your job search strategy
“Just do it”, “Impossible is nothing”, and “I’m lovin’ it!” Can you guess the corresponding brands of these popular advertising slogans? That’s right; these slogans belong to Nike, Adidas and McDonalds. If you’re wondering why they’re popular, it might be because they’re simple and catchy (or it might be because, together, these three companies spend nearly $5 billion a year on marketing and advertising).
In terms of self-marketing, you should apply a similar approach to your own job search strategy. I’m not saying to overdo it and have focus groups to evaluate your brand. I’m merely saying to make a self-inventory of how you can add value to the world.
In this case, you’re a pair of Nike’s Air Max running shoes, a brand new Adidas track suit or a Big Mac – or rather, your technical and functional skills are. And you have to figure out how best to pitch this tasty product to customers – hiring managers and employers. Do what you can to make yourself remain memorable among the gatekeepers, which include recruiters and HR professionals, and appeal to the final hiring authorities.
Here are some tips to help you sell yourself and further open up new opportunities:
- Put yourself in the employer’s shoes.
When it comes to marketing, it always helps to put yourself in the customer’s shoes. Think to yourself how the customer – in this case, potential employers – can best utilize you, the product, for their own personal gain. More specifically, think about what skills or qualifications the hiring authority is seeking out. What are they looking for while reading through resumes? It’s important to go through the job description and read between the lines. Find out who you’d be reporting to at the company and why the position is open. Do they have an immediate need for someone or are they taking their time in going through their options? Taking into consideration the employer’s wants and needs will certainly affect how you market yourself to them going forward.
- Have a specific marketing strategy.
Once you’ve thought of the employer’s needs, it’s essential to have a strategy of how you’re going to promote yourself. In other words, plan out what you can offer the hiring manager that no one else can. Ask yourself, “What is the differentiating factor about me from the other hundred or so candidates vying for the position?” Having a clear idea on how to effectively market yourself will significantly enhance your job search strategy results.
- Believe in the product you’re selling.
No matter what you’re selling, confidence is key. If you don’t believe in yourself, why should anyone else? So remember to believe in yourself! Don’t sound arrogant, but try not to be too modest when selling your contributions and major achievements. Strike a balance between selling and overselling. Be humble but tenacious!
- Use attractive packaging.
Let’s go back to McDonald’s – unfortunately, only figuratively. How many times have you seen an ad for a Big Mac or McChicken, and wanted one right then and there? Even the Filet O’Fish looks good. I’ve only had one once, but every time I see an ad for it, I could go for another. Part of selling a product is making it look visually attractive to customers. The same goes for your job search strategy. Highlight your track record on paper. And, in the interview, remember to dress to impress, look calm and present yourself with confidence. Make yourself appealing to the hiring authority at every level.
Keep in mind that an effective self-marketing strategy is important when it comes to job hunting. It’s essential to put yourself in the customer’s shoes and ask yourself what the customer’s needs are. And then, take the next step and tailor your own skills to reference the needs or the organization of which you’re applying to.
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