You don’t have to be a marketing executive to build an effective job search, but you need to evaluate and know your own personal marketing strategy. A personal marketing strategy gives you a game plan for your job search.In a marketing campaign, marketers start by deciding what product they are going to promote or sell. In a job search, the product is you! The best products won’t be successful in the market without a solid marketing strategy and the same is true for your job search. Using your current resume as a base, make a list of your skills, abilities, and knowledge. Why would you hire you?
The next step in building a successful marketing campaign is to know your target audience – to whom are you selling? Make a list of the types of employers and companies who may be seeking an employee with your specific skill set. Are they all within a specific industry? Are there many companies that hire employees with your background?
How do you locate these potential employers? Use the internet, your local Chamber of Commerce, print and online classified ads, networking, recruiters, and other sources to make a list of actual businesses that may be looking for people with your experience and skills. Keep building your list until you have at least 20 – 25 companies. Now, using your own personal contacts from business, volunteer work, school, friends, church, other organizations you may be involved with to make a list of 20 - 25 people who may be helpful to you in your job search.
The fourth step in an effective marketing campaign is to contact potential customers or in this case, prospective employers. Generally, the best way to go is to send a resume along with a cover letter, especially if you’re responding to an ad. If you are working with a recruiter, they will most likely set up a meeting between you and the prospect. If the contact is through a friend or other contact, you will want to decide whether a phone call directly to the person doing the hiring or sending a resume is the best route. If emailing a resume, be polite and send a short introductory email requesting permission to send your resume as an attachment. Many people won’t open unsolicited attachments.
A crucial aspect of any job search is organization. Keeping track of all those names, phone numbers, addresses, and emails is important to do proper follow up. The Minnesota Department of Economic Security has a really neat website full of useful information as well as worksheets to help you organize your job search efforts.
Now that you’ve developed your personal job search marketing strategy and gotten organized, you can move forward. The next step is creating an effective, attention-getting resume package and preparing for interviews!