Job seekers (sales & marketing) today face quite a few challenges. Many industries are cutting back on hiring for a variety of reasons. While the health of the economy varies, companies are often very selective about hiring candidates. You really need to stand apart in a positive way to obtain the position you’re seeking. There are a number of ways that you can make yourself more marketable to employers. These are guidelines you should keep in mind at all times, not only when you’re actively seeking a job. You never know when you might be looking for a new position, so you should always think in terms of building your own personal brand.

 

Branding Step #1:  Obtain Experience Any Way You Can

You must become an authority at something today to be valuable. Many people express frustration at the catch-22 that you need experience to get a job, but employers won’t hire you unless you already have experience. One way to escape this dilemma is to find creative ways to gain experience.

If you have a skill that you haven’t yet been able to put to use in your career, consider how you might employ this skill at a part time job, internship or volunteer position.  Get the hours and the experience.  Even if such activities aren’t immediately profitable, they give you an opportunity to prove yourself and gain real world experience. They can also be valuable for making contacts who can be used as references on future job applications.

Branding Step #2:  Learn as Much as You Can About Companies

One of the best ways to make a strong impression on employers is to show them you’ve done your research. If you’re applying for a position, make sure you learn as much as possible about the company. If it’s a large and well known company, dig up some specific details about it that aren’t common knowledge. If it’s a smaller company, you may have to try a little harder to find information. This way, when a recruiter or interviewer asks you a question such as “What makes you think you’d be a good fit with our company?” you can provide specific answers.

There are several highly effective research tools on line that are FREE.  Reach out to me if you are not familiar.

Branding Step #3:  Seek Companies that are a Good Match

While it’s certainly possible to get a good job by applying for positions that have been advertised, this is often the least fruitful way to go about the process. If you see a position that appeals to you, by all means apply. However, you should also be proactive and research companies in your industry.

On a side note – you should master the ability to answer the question, “Why should I hire you?”.

Find companies that are a good match for you in terms of industry and, if location is important to you, geography. You should take this a step further and learn as much as you can about business culture. This refers to the overall atmosphere and philosophy that exists within the company’s offices. You may be more comfortable in a smaller company with a very casual corporate culture.   I have personally found these types of companies to be the most enjoyable to work at.  You will also get more experience.  Conversely, you might prefer a more conservative and traditional environment. Either way, you will make a stronger impression when you apply to companies that are a match for your own personality.   Seek out companies in areas where you are passionate or feel nobility.

Branding Step #4:  Network -In and Out of Your Comfort Zone

Networking is important whether you’re currently seeking a job or not.  This is a fatal mistake of many career professionals who get “stuck”.  Many of the best positions are filled by word of mouth rather than by the company publicly advertising. There are now more ways than ever to network, both on and offline. It’s best to meet people in as many different ways as possible, even ones outside your comfort zone. If you currently do most of your networking online, start to attend live events and make yourself talk to people. Regardless of the environment, don’t be overtly self-serving, as in asking “Is your company hiring?” Focus, rather, on making contacts and exchanging information. Networking should be seen as a long term strategy, not as a way to get a job immediately, though this is possible.

Effective networking helps you make a stronger impression on potential employers. It’s human nature to feel more comfortable with people we’ve already met or who have been introduced to us by someone else we trust. When you have a contact with someone you’ve actually met, even if it’s only through emails, you have an inside track at that business that gives you a real advantage over other applicants.

This is an area where I would specifically set personal daily, weekly, monthly goals. (metrics)  It is not always the smartest person in the room who gets added to the team – but the best networked person.

Branding Step #5:  You Are The Product (Brand)

Marketing yourself to be more appealing to employers is similar in some ways to marketing a product or service. Today, it’s essential to think of yourself as a brand, even if your goal is to work for someone else. With the job market shifting so quickly and competition so fierce, you have to do everything possible to market yourself in a way that’s compelling and unique.

Do you have a system?  Do you have a plan?  Today’s most successful professionals develop these tools and are highly focused.   Thank you for reading the article – click here to contact me for my free CAREER DEVELOPMENT PLAN.  I will happily send you the template.

 

Bruce

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