Even if your career path is in marketing, marketing yourself is an entirely different feat. Many professionals leave marketing to those with the proper schooling, but preparing a strategically written résumé and presenting it at a job interview is all about marketing. You are selling specialized skills and experience that a potential employer may be in need of, and your goal is to show that you are better than the competition.
Searching for a job is about securing your livelihood, and with all the rejection letters you are bound to get, along with the occasional job offers, it gets personal, but remove the self esteem component, and you are simply selling a set of services.
What do you know about a potential employer and what special training or experience do you have that the potential employer will find of value? Are you aware of projects the company has conducted recently where your skill set would be of benefit? They are eager to find professionals who can speak their brand of professional jargon and who know their line of work well. At the end of the day, their job offer to you is a contract, a business agreement. Although it may seem that the potential employer has the upper hand, they are really quite dependent on someone like you to come along who can get the job done, improve efficiency, and increase the bottom line.
Be confident. Do your research in advance so that you are prepared. A lot of information about a company is available right on a company’s website. If you know someone who works for the company, take them to lunch; find out anything you can that will help you better connect with them. Prepare a cover letter to match your résumé — emphasizing your skills in which the potential employer will be most interested. This means that your resume may be in a different order and with a slightly different profile at the top for each résumé that you send out, but it’s worth it. Potential employers often go through stacks of résumés, so if your document is customized for the position for which they have advertised, they are more likely to place yours in the short stack.
In a job interview, act like you are up to snuff, being careful not to be cocky. Dress to impress, but be conservative, even if flashy ties and brightly-colored silk shirts are your regular business attire. A white or light blue button-up shirt that is well-ironed, combined with a suit that has recently been dry-cleaned and shoes that are shined will move mountains for you. Also, make a special effort in your personal grooming that day. Most importantly, remember to smile.
Make sure to have a copy of your résumé on hand, printed on white or ivory bond paper to use for your reference or theirs. Provide them with a business card that includes information such as your website or blog. A lot of copy shops will print 500 business cards for you fairly inexpensively. The clean-edge Avery business cards (#8873) that you can print from home are also a viable option. These are available in most office supply stores.
When you are searching for a job, make sure to do a little bit of work each day, whether it is doing research about a company or actually submitting a résumé and cover letter. Keep at it, and keep yourself focused and oriented on your end goal. Break tasks down into bite-sized pieces so you don’t get overwhelmed. Then fill your evenings with a hobby or spend your time with loved ones. Maintain your network of friends and family, your support group during this time of struggle. Spend time each week doing a service for someone at no charge. Take the time to get some fresh air at least once a day. If you feel fulfilled in the areas of your life that you can control right now, this attitude will be apparent when you show up for the job interview.
In your résumé, focus on your positive areas and those areas in which they are most interested. Figure out how to present the areas that are not so strong in a positive light. Gaps in employment or a period of being underemployed can be addressed in a cover letter, explaining that you had a illness or a family obligation.
You have a lot to offer potential employers. Résumés, a document that has a fairly strict format, can be molded to represent you in the best way possible. Canterbury Résumé can assist you in preparing a professional job search documents. Sign up now.
© 2010 by Emily Sanderson. All rights reserved.