How to Market Yourself Effectively
Knowing how to market yourself can be vital in your job search. Competition may be fierce for the dream job you are searching for especially in a tight labor market. Although this can be an intimidating experience, you may be able to rise above the crowd by presenting yourself as a worthy candidate for the job. The key to landing your perfect job is to market yourself effectively. With a little effort, practice and time, you can distinguish yourself and potentially get a foot on the career ladder.
Like a new product that has yet to be launched in the market, you may want to consider taking the initiative to follow three simple stages in market yourself:
In order for a new product to fly off the shelves, it needs to stand out from its competitors. The packaging features unique attributes and qualities that are intriguing to the buyer. In this context, your packaging should include your work experience, skills and professional qualities.
One way to package yourself is through your resume. It should showcase your work experiences, qualifications and skills. To highlight transferable skills to your potential employers, ensure that you include the right format, update descriptions of your achievements using action words, list awards or certificates earned on campus, at work or community involvements. It is also helpful to indicate relevant project assignments from past employment or while volunteering. Temporary work and volunteering is a great way to put your skills to good use and gain experience that could help you land the job you are seeking. Based on article published in Time, 80% of employers hire new grads who have completed a formal internship.1
A brand is not just a distinguishing symbol, logo or name that companies use to differentiate their products from others in the market. A strong brand is one that resonates well with buyers as it is tagged to a unique package of attributes and values that define the product or service delivered. Hence, it ican be imperative to portray a professional image that projects your beliefs and values online and offline to set yourself apart from other job seekers with similar skills, qualifications and experience.
- Social media
In this technological era, companies are constantly looking at social media before deciding whether to hire a candidate. LinkedIn reports that 94% of hiring managers use social media to determine if the applicant presents himself or herself professionally and is a good fit with the company's culture.2 In light of this, ensure that you present yourself professionally in photos uploaded in Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn. Your published content or language should be appropriate regardless of whether your profile is publically displayed. Since social media is a form of personalized branding, use it to your advantage in the social and professional sphere.
Promoting yourself is similar to promoting a product. In order to gain a larger outreach for your product, you need to advertise. Likewise, you should get your name out there and market your brand in a way to inform others that you are equipped with relevant skills and qualifications for a particular job in your industry and are willing to fill in a vacancy.
Keeping in touch with your course advisers and classmates widens your social network, keeps you informed of any industry developments or job opportunities that might interest you. Attending career fairs or networking events to promote your skills is also an effective way to widen your social circle and make yourself known to people who may know of any suitable job openings.
A great way to find a job can be to learning the ropes from others who have followed the same path. You can receive guidance from a relative, a friend or a neighbor who is more knowledgeable and experienced in your industry. A mentor is more than a network contact as he or she provides long-term interest in your professional realm. If you prefer to find a mentor out of your immediate social circle, check to see if the company you've completed an internship program with, college alma mater or trade association has a formal mentoring program. Leveraging on social media such as LinkedIn is also an effective way to identify mentors in your professional field.
Knowing how to market yourself will help you get ahead of other job seekers. To distinguish yourself from the rest of the pack, you need to project the right image and attitude. If you package your skills and experience effectively, create your brand professionally and promote yourself assertively and persistently, you will soon land your desired job.
1Martha C. White, Time - The real reason new college grads can't get hired, (Nov 10, 2013)
2Hannah Morgan, LinkedIn- Get Hired Faster:Embrace Social Networks, (May 7, 2014)