Monday, March 11, 2013

Job Search Marketing Tools

You've decided to look for a new position.  You’ve written your resume.  You are ready to go!   Right? . . . .  Wrong. 
Your resume is only the first of several tools you will need to market yourself in today's employment marketplace.  After all, if finding a job is all about selling yourself  -  and it is  -- then you will need all your sales tools to make the sale to prospective employers in today's highly competitive employment marketplace!  Your resume is only one of many job search sales tools - albeit a very important one.

Too many job seekers think that when they have finally written their resume, they are ready to roll --  to just start sending their resume out in response to any and every opening they see.  However, to do so without planning a strategy for following up those initial entrees, or developing a marketing plan and focusing your efforts, can result in slow - or no - progress in finding that next position.  You will likely join the ranks of the many job seekers who can count 100's, if not 1000's, of submissions with no results.  Why?
Without a full set of marketing tools, simply applying for positions on-line and sending out resumes is not enough!

What tools will you need to begin to market yourself for a new job?  Remember, finding a job boils down to sales.  You are selling yourself.  You will need to identify opportunities (industries, and then companies within those industries, and jobs within those companies) that could use and value your skills and experience.  Putting this information together is really creating  your Marketing Plan - another of your marketing tools.  That done, you will then need to develop the rest of your marketing tools. 

Here are the basic marketing tools you will need to venture into the job market:
The Basics. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
(1)  Resume. . .  
    Generally a chronological resume (although can also be a functional, combo functional/chronological) that quickly tells  the reader about your skills and experience.
(2)  “L”vator speech. . .
    A self-introduction that accurately and adequately conveys your expertise and attributes in less than 30 seconds.
(3)  Business Cards. . . 
    A Personal-Professional Business Card that tells the receiver at a minimum your name and basic contact information, and at maximum your profession/title and competency areas.
(4) Reference List. . .
    An annotated reference list shows not only the name and contact information of your reference, but also the nature of your professional relationship.
(5) Marketing Plan. . .
    Your marketing plan identifies your competencies areas, and the types of industries, and companies within those industries, that employ your skills.
(6) Portfolio. . .
    Your professional job search portfolio captures and displays materials that provide “proof” of your competency, skills, experience, and expertise.  It can contain items such as: resume, letters of recommendation, letters of appreciation, performance appraisals, certificates, degrees/diplomas, articles about you and by you, reports written, awards, etc.

Your Basic Tool Kit for a Job Search.  With these marketing tools in hand, you are now able to enter the job market.  Think of it is as your Basic Tool Kit for a job search.  You now have the information you need to identify real, potential job opportunities, and a way to communicate to those potential employers about what you have to offer in an impactful, attention-getting way.

Here are the additional or advanced marketing tools you will need to have an all inclusive Job Search Marketing Tool Kit to fully engage and competently capture career opportunities:
The Advanced. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
(7)   Networking Plan
(8)   Linked-In Profile
(9)   Cover Letter Template
(10) Thank You Letter Template
(11)  Follow-up strategy

Now, you ARE ready to go!  As with any good salesperson, you have a plan and the product knowledge to expertly and persuasively engage your potential customers - who just might become your next employer!

For additional information on marketing yourself and your capabilities, please refer to the many articles found under the Articles tabs of the AJC–Career Strategy website.
 ____________________________________________________________________________                 AJC - for Your Career Path
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