Marketing. Unless you work in the field, it may not be the first thing on your mind when you start a job search.
Let me tell you why it should be. Marketing is communicating in a way that is both informative and persuasive. It’s telling a compelling story in a way that motivates whoever hears it to take action.
Does that sound like it might support your job search? I thought so. Let’s break it down a bit more. Here are some tried and true marketing concepts that you can put to work right now.
Talk about benefits. When working on your resume and preparing for interviews, it’s easy to get caught up listing your skills and achievements. Take it one step further and stand out from your peers. Make sure that you clearly articulate how those skills and accomplishments will benefit your future employer. Before they can even ask the question, be clear about what’s in this for them.
Speak specifically to your audience. Do not send the same materials to every company. In the same way that a retailer customizes what they offer – and how they offer it – to speak directly to their targeted demographic, you should adjust your application materials to make them as relevant as possible to each company you contact. Tailor your resume and cover letters.
Have a clear call to action. What do you want to happen after an employer reviews your application? Will you call them? Or follow up by email? Should they visit your website to see samples of you work? Whatever the next step is, make sure you clearly communicate it.
Have a key message. Develop your application materials to point to one clear idea. For each employer you contact, answer this question, “If they only remember one thing about me, what does it have to be?” When you know that answer, make sure the skills and achievements in your resume, and even the anecdotal stories you mention in an interview all support your key message.
Review. Revise. Update. The world moves quickly, your experience and skills change, as does the landscape of your industry, and the environment at the companies you are applying to. Make sure your materials are up to date with your latest skills, aligned with the current terminology and trends in the industry you want to work in, and relevant to current events at your targeted employers.
Know when you need help, and ask for it. It is rare to find any marketer who delves into the details of multiple marketing disciplines such as public relations, social media and web design. Instead, marketers specialize and then team up with colleagues that have complimentary skills. In your job search, know where your strengths lie and where you need a boost to be your best. Leverage the professional skills and networks of your family and friends, and reach out to the experts.
As many have said, finding a job is a job. Apply these marketing principles to create hardworking applications that illustrate exactly why that ideal position should be yours.
Marketing Strategist, Lindsey Wiza Marketing
Expert Consultant, The Wilbanks Consulting Group