When you’re job-hunting, it’s the time to showcase your skills, experience and accomplishments – to make it clear to HR folks and hiring managers how you can benefit their company, solve their problems and bring about world peace (well, maybe not that). In other words, you need to market yourself in your job search.
Here are six common marketing terms that translate to conducting an effective job search:
Who are you? What adjectives would you use to describe yourself professionally? How do you want your future employer to think of you – what impression do you want to make in your industry? For example, if you’re a banking professional, you want to present yourself as detail-oriented, quantitative and customer-service-oriented – friendly and professional, but not too informal. Everything you present (resume, cover letter, LinkedIn profile) should reflect this; you don’t want to use language that’s too casual or snarky.
The folks you want to read your resume and cover letter. Your target audience is your future employer. Since they aren’t exactly the same each time you send your resume, you need to tweak your cover letter and resume to emphasize the skills and experience that particular employer is looking for.
In marketing speak, value proposition refers to the promise of value a product or service will bring to the customer. Why should a customer buy the product – what problem will it help them solve?
When you’re job hunting, your customer is the prospective employer, and the product or service is you. Your value proposition is answering the question, why should they hire you? How would they benefit by adding you to their team? Make a list of what you bring to the picnic. What qualities, skills and experience do you have that would make an employer drool with excitement (or at least, would help them reach their goals)? Be as specific as possible about these in your resume and cover letter.
Unique selling proposition
This refers to what a company is known for; what makes them different than their competitors. In terms of job search, what makes you different than other applicants? What unique blend of skills and experience do you have that others don’t? If you specialize in a particular relevant skill, type of product or industry, or you’re a total geek about a specific topic, that’s your unique selling proposition. Yes, geek is good.
Like those late-night commercials about pickle-pincers and miracle mud, this is your spiel about who you are professionally. In an interview, this is the answer to “Tell me about yourself and your background.” Your infomercial, like the late-night TV ones, should include benefits (what you have to offer) and features – stuff about you that makes you a good candidate for that particular job; your relevant skills.
This is something you don’t want to do – mislead your target audience. In job search terms, this would be lying on your resume – implying or stating outright that you have skills you don’t have, or listing a degree on your resume that you don’t have. It’s too easy to find out the truth, and you wouldn’t want to be hired and then fired for being dishonest. A lot of negative brownie points for that one.
Marketing yourself effectively in your job search will help you land the job you want. So develop your brand identity, figure out your value and unique selling propositions for your target audience, practice your infomercial, don’t practice deceptive advertising and get a great job!