Being able to land the job that you want is about being able to market yourself. You need to not only develop your personal brand, but you need to create a personal marketing plan
The business world is changing and if all you think you need is a resume, you are wrong. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard business owners say, “they bring a lot of assets to the table.” Those assets are just skills, but rather relationships, reputation, and public presence.
While it is true that landing a job can mean knowing the right people and having the right skills, it is really more about conquering a marketing challenge. It’s not about luck, it’s about reaching and selling to “your” target audience.
Define Job Search Objective
So, let’s think about that for a minute. What is your job search objective? What is it that you hope to accomplish? Don’t limit yourself in your thinking, we are talking about your dream job here. Think about the wise words of Dr. Seuss, in his popular book “Oh the Places You Will Go”:
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself
any direction you choose.
You’re on your own. And you know what you know
And you are the guy who’ll decide where to go.
Most people who have been job hunting for a long period of time can be discouraged and even sometimes depressed, so I want you to see the optimism for a few moments. This will help you in doing what it is that you need to do to get where you want to be. The fact is, it worked for me and it can work for you.
Your objective must be clear and measurable, so if you need some help you can use the starting sentence below as a guide.
My job search objective is to secure a job in <what market> doing <what task> so that I can <achieve what>.
See, it doesn’t have to be hard. Go ahead and play with it and don’t move onto the next step until you have it down and it feels solid to you.
Know the Employers that You Are Going to Target
In Step 1 you identified your objective and in that objective, you identified not only the job you wanted but the market you wanted to work in. What do you know about that market? Who are the employers that surround the geographic location that you want to work in that are focused on this market?
Identify two and sit down and get to work – you’ve got a lot to do.
Know them, discovery everything you can, learn about the department that you want to work in, use LinkedIn to see who works there, what positions they hold, where they used to work. Yes, this is a little bit stalkerish, but we prefer to call it competitive research in marketing.
Having this information will help you stand out from the crowd because the fact is most people start their job search with the help wanted section, rather than the approach of learning as much as you can about the employer that you want to work for. You have nothing to lose after all this is the market you want to work in, might as well learn all you can about it.
Craft Your Messaging
You’ve done your research, identified the company you want to work for and after putting in the work you’ve also found that perfect position that just fits. Now it’s time to showcase yourself by crafting a message that will get their attention. If I were sitting next to you, you’d probably say “But Laura, I’m not good at writing about myself.” Well, guess it’s about time you honed in that skill, especially if you are looking to land that dream job. I’m going to help you by giving you a fail-proof formula that will help you get over your modesty and insecurities.
Benefits over features. How can you benefit the company? What skills do you bring to the table that can help them in efficiency, revenue, or production? Remember they don’t care about you right now, they only care about what “YOU” can do for them, and so that’s what your messaging has to be about. Leave them thinking about how great it would be to have you on their team – that plants the seed of interest and if you do it right they will call you in for an interview, no question.
Yes, we are referring to courting just like you would in dating. It’s time to start building that relationship with your potential employer. Marketing is all about the relationship. In your research did you find anyone that you are already connected with at the potential employer that you could reach out to? If so, fantastic you are one step ahead. If not, no worries. It’s just time to figure out how you can connect human to human. Just sending in a resume without a relationship can almost guarantee it has an 80% chance of making it to File 13.
A human connection will make a difference.
Measure Your Results
In a job search, you will more than likely make a lot of connects and send out a lot of resumes. Measure your conversion rate. How many resumes do you have to send out to get an interview? How many interviews do you have to go on to get a job? This can help you in identifying if you need to make changes in your messaging, interview skills or even your resume. In marketing, we are always measuring and we aren’t afraid to change the course if necessary. Be willing to learn and grow through the process and make changes if necessary.