What is personal marketing for job search?
When searching for a job, the job seeker must first prepare marketing collateral before stepping into the actual job search. Proper preparation is absolutely the key to success. Jumping into a job search unprepared will not only bring disappointment and lengthen the process but also burn bridges for future attempts. Personal marketing is the creation of a bridge—or the means to be found—in a very competitive market, between the product to be sold (you) and an entity (the employer) that may have need of that specific product—namely, your skills. Regardless of how badly the employer needs that product or how vital it is for a person to generate income or value for that particular product, if one side cannot find and connect with the other, the transaction cannot be completed.
Personal marketing has to be a two-way street, as follows. Inbound marketing is the employer’s creation of the means of finding the candidate. Outbound marketing is the creation of the means for the product to be desirable and wanted by the company.
First, figure out the kind of employer you want to market yourself to. Identify types of employers that look for an employee with your specific qualifications. Here’s how:
A. Segment your market by various criteria. In other words, where do you want to be in your new job? For example:
- By industry: Pharma, utility, financial, advertising, and so on
- By size: Large, medium, small, or any size at all
- By geographic preference and with or without travel
- In a physical job or a virtual one
- By position within the vertical hierarchy: CEO, vice president, manager, analyst, and so on
B. Figure out sources in order to locate job leads
- Search for published openings—for example, on Indeed, Monster, and LinkedIn Jobs. The yield, however, is within single digits.
- Network via personal acquaintances, family, friends, former colleagues, and job search networking groups. This approach is the most effective way to find employment, and historically, 60 to 80% of job seekers find their next job by networking.
- Various types of recruiters. The yield is around 10%
C. Decide on a method for reaching out to prospective employers
- Phone call, either cold call or, preferably, by being introduced
- Personal letter of introduction
- Applying on line to a published opening
- Sending a letter with résumé
- Sending e-mail and/or regular postal mail
- A combination of all of the above should be considered.
For inbound marketing, the job seeker should find means of being found—and found desirable—by potential employers. The answer to this issue lies in the individual’s value proposition and personal branding. For those two issues to be fruitful and bring about the desired results, the information they contain has to be communicated consistently and distributed (a) in writing via the individual’s résumé, cover letter, thank-you letter, and business card; (b) by means of the Internet by way of the individual’s LinkedIn profile, other social media, and blogs or professional articles; and (c) verbally, via individual networking one-on-one, group networking, elevator pitch, conversations with recruiters, and of course the interview.
Personal marketing is not much different from marketing for business in general. In both cases, it is imperative to stay focused on the objective. Otherwise, a diluted approach will produce disappointing and weak results.