7 Tips and Resources to Market Yourself and Win the Job of Your Dreams
Standing Out Ahead of the Crowd
You are a Salesperson
Face it, whether you like it or not, you are a salesperson and the chief product you represent is yourself. Accordingly, you need to know how to market yourself. Knowing how to market yourself is your best chance at landing the job of your wildest dreams. Just like any sales and marketing gig, you will need the right marketing materials that present you in an honest, but positive light. Such tools include (a) job networking business cards; (b) 30-second elevator pitch; (c) networking résumé or CV; (d) job search résumé or CV; (e) social networking sites; and, of course, (f) appropriate grooming and attire.
This hub takes a brief look at these tools related to an effective job search.
Networking Business Card Sample
Business Cards for Job Networking
Networking business cards became one of the chief tools for successful job searches in the 21st century. This became a trend in employment finding best practices because over 80% of all successful job searches occurred through personal networking. Although many companies automated their employment application process and thus "required" potential job candidates to apply online, only about 5% of new jobs were landed through the online application process. Thus, marketing one's talents quickly reverted to finding employment opportunities the old fashion way - through personal contacts and face-to-face networking.
The samples pictured on the side show some of the information one can include when formatting employment search business cards.
- Mobile number
- Contact email address
Optional information or add-ons
- Personal branding logo and slogan
- LinkedIn profile address
- Personal blog or website address
- Scan bar tags linked to LinkedIn, Facebook, or personal blog or website
- Avoid putting your home address and phone number. you never know where one of your cards may wind up. Such personal information could lead to unwanted phone calls or guests when you are away from the house.
Professional Résumé or CV
A killer professional résumé or curriculum vitae (CV) that effectively portrays who you are, what you want, and what qualifies you to obtain your dream job is another vital tool for marketing yourself for your dream job. The three most common types of résumés are (a) functional; (b) chronological; and (c) combination.
A functional résumé narrows in on your skills and experience in the field of interest. In this type of work history document the applicant will first list previous jobs or education that relate specifically to the desired position. This type of résumé works best when a job seeker has frequently changed employers or has gaps in his or her job history.
A chronological résumé is the most common but perhaps not as effective in the private sector job market. As the term suggests, a chronological résumé is organized in order of date. The applicant will list their work history with the most recent job first and any other positions previously held following in reverse chronological order. Some job search experts suggest that this type of work history document works best for a person with a strong work history. If you hope to land a position in public sector (the federal, state, or local government) you will need at least one chronological résumé in your job search tool belt.
A combination resume delineates skills and experience first and then the applicants employment history. This type of employment history document allows the job seeker to highlight their skills that are relevant to the job they are apply for and then also their work history in an easy to follow chronological order.
A curriculum vitae (CV) is generally longer more than the typical résumé. CVs work more like portfolios with a detailed synopsis of work experience and accomplishments. Typically, a CV will include a summary of "educational and academic backgrounds as well as teaching and research experience, publications, presentations, awards, honors, affiliations and other details." According to Alison Doyle (About.com, 2013) CVs are used in the United States "primarily when applying for international, academic, education, scientific or research positions or when applying for fellowships or grants."
More than One Resume in the Job Seeker Tool Kit - One Size Does Not Fit All
In many cases, it could be beneficial for would-be job seekers to have more than one type of résumé in their employment search tool kit. One person with whom I spoke is a chemical engineer. Like many types of job experience, her job background qualified her for a large array of employment opportunities. With such a versatile background, she had many transferable skills so she was not locked in to one type of job placement. In that case, she prepared four or five résumés targeted at different types of job openings.
Networking Résumé and CV
Networking résumé and or curriculum vitae (CV) became another effective job search tool in the years leading up to the year 2013. A networking résumé is a document that combines information from a typical resume with lists of job skills that you would like and target companies. A job seeker would take networking résumés to networking events where they can exchange them with other job seekers or potential employers who may be kind enough to join the search team or pass the information on to someone else who is hiring in the applicant's field.
30-second Elevator Pitch
The 30-second "Elevator" pitch became one of the most effective skills for successful job searches. If you are currently looking for work or looking to transfer to another company or position, you should prepare a 30-second "elevator" pitch. These short but impactful speeches were made popular in the Silicon Valley were entrepreneurs would try to catch top management and pitch their ideas for a new high-tech venture. According to Nancy Collamer of Forbes Magazine, the 30-second pitch "summarizes who you are, what you do, and why you'd be the best candidate." Collamer goes on to highlight key aspects of a strong elevator speech including:
- Clarify your job target
- Write it out on paper
- Format the speech in a way that answers three basic questions: who are you? what do you do? what are you looking for?
- Tailor the pitch to the potential employer
- Avoid industry lingo or jargon
- Read your pitch out loud
- Prepare more than one version
- Practice until it comes as second nature
- Deliver it with confidence
PARs - Problem, Action, Result Statements
Problem-Action-Result (PAR) statements work as another effective means to grab the attention of a potential employer. Also know as CAR (Challenge-Action-Result); PAR statements are brief attention commanding, heart gripping pictorial stories of how you came to the rescue to solve problems in your former work. According to update-your-résumé.com, PAR statements answer the objection (formulating in the back of your future employers' minds) "Why should we believe you can do what you say you can do?"
Describe a problem or challenge faced by a former job situation that you helped solve. In brief but descriptive terms, summarize the context within which the problem or challenge occurred and how that problem was a significant milestone for your former job situation.
Tell what you did to solve the problem or overcome the challenge. Include in your description of your action(s) the personal strengths that gave you the ability to take action. The people at update-your-resume.com add, "The key is to be specific and use strong action verbs."
Describe the result of your action. This part demonstrates how your action positively impacted the future of the business. The folks at update-your-resume highlighted "Here we include key deliverables, “measurables" and contributions, all described in terms of the employer's point of view (POV). Sometimes—to help nail down the result—we'll imagine what would have happened if you had not done such a great job. Many resumes make a big mistake by failing to state results from the employer's POV."
LinkedIn, Facebook, and Social Media
Social media especially LinkedIn and Facebook also grew to be powerful job search tools in the 21st century. Some experts in the employment search field estimate that up to 60% of employers (especially in professional sectors) will take a look at a candidates LinkedIn profile and around 40% will checkout an applicant's Facebook page. LinkedIn, especially, became the social media outlet for job search networking. There are many excellent examples of how to build an effective LinkedIn profile; one of them was by Ted Robison, affectionately referred to as "Mr. Linked Me In."
Appropriate Grooming and Attire
One other key aspect related to marketing your self is grooming and attire. Grooming includes basic hygiene as well as appropriate attire. Most employers tend to hire others that look and dress like them. There are a few enlightened employers who look for someone who operates outside the box and or promotes diversity in the workplace. However most people gravitate towards those fit their own profile. When attempting to land a position with a desired company, it could be beneficial to research the dress styles of that company and even the hiring department manager, if possible.