Selling a product to consumers is no different than looking for a job. You have to make yourself attractive to prospective employers. That involves the "m" word. Marketing.
“For most positions, employers are not just looking at your resume,” Brittany Dowell of Digital Talent Agents tells eFinancialCareers. “They
want a solid culture fit and have to be able to get that comfortable
feeling from a potential hire within minutes.”
Here are some strategies to get employers to buy what you’re selling.
Position Yourself as an Expert
“Demonstrate your expertise on a public forum, such as a blog,” says Ben Piper, president of Ben Piper Consulting, LLC, an IT and business strategy consulting firm in Woodstock, Ga. “Don't just
ramble, but showcase the sort of value that you would [bring] to your employer.”
Josh Turner of Gateway CFO solutions, a St. Louis firm that works with small businesses, suggests increasing your visibility as an expert by distributing your content through channels or in forums where potential employers are likely to see them. He also suggests starting your own group on a social networking site centered on your expertise.
“One way to make yourself more marketable is to improve your online influence
as measured by Klout or Kred,” adds Crystal Kendrick, president of the Voice of Your Consumer, a Cincinnati marketing firm. “Employees who have a strong online presence
tend to be knowledgeable about current affairs, consumer behaviors and
community events. Some employers also believe that employees with a strong
online presence can complement corporate marketing strategies and extend
messaging to personal networks.”
Put Yourself in the Shoes of the Employer
Maya Mathias, a San Francisco-based leadership and innovation coach, suggests getting a strong sense of what the employer is looking for.
“Go to the company's Web site—read their 'about
us' page and their latest press releases,” she says. “What's important to them as a
company right now?”
She also advises job seekers to be strategic in how they go about positioning themselves to the prospective employer.
“What can you offer that aligns with their needs? Instead of putting
everything you've done on your resume, or in your preparation for a phone
interview, pick the top three or five things you've done that fit their current
needs for the role and the company,” she says. “If you want to shine, you could even
identify something that needs improving—if you're a Web designer and
you spot an opportunity to improve their company Web site, for example—and share your
suggestions during the hiring process to help you stand out from other
Become an Expert on the Employer
"Knowledge of companies and industries is a big differentiator,” says Caroline Ceniza-Levine, a career and business expert, who advises job seekers to put Google Alerts on companies they are targeting in order to get the latest news about them. “As a former recruiter, I know that the vast majority of candidates do very little
research before coming in for interviews. What you know can really help you stand
Are you up to date on the latest technologies and trends in your industry? Are your professional skills sharp or rusty? Have you taken steps to pick up new skills or enhance what you know?
“Better yourself, learn some new skills or update your existing skills,” says Bruce Hurwitz, president and CEO of Hurwitz Strategic Staffing, an executive recruitment and career-counseling firm. “Take on jobs to pay the bills. Do some professional consulting and volunteering—anything that shows you are taking advantage of your unemployment and not just wallowing in self-pity.”