An amateur jobseeker only thinks about searching for job vacancies and job posting online, send resume, and start the waiting game for an interview. After months of waiting and sending more than a hundred resumes in job sites, most job seekers still cannot find a job. Others settle for jobs that they are obviously underpaid.
Every job seeker including newbies deserves to get the job that perfectly fits not just their experience and portfolio, but matches their career goals for the future. To position yourself, a job seeker must apply the same bloodline companies and organizations use – marketing.
Why is marketing applicable to job searching?
In the point of view of any company, a product no matter how great or revolutionary will always end a failure due to poor marketing. Marketing expounds the features and benefit of a product or service and will influence consumers and buyers to purchase their product.
The same holds true to job seekers. How can you set yourself different from all the applicants with the same job title as you are, the same experience, applying for the same job?
Let this article show you how you can utilize marketing tools, concepts, and practices to give yourself an edge as a job seeker.
First, you need to get acquainted with the following key marketing terminologies:
• Strategic Marketing Planning
• Career Market Research
Strategic Marketing Planning for Jobseekers
For businesses, a marketing plan outlines the marketing efforts and goals within a specific timeframe like 12 months. A identifying goals, objectives, and all marketing activities and tactics.
For a job applicant, you can apply this kind of marketing planning in your own resume template, highlighting the following:
• Your career timeline – past, present, and future.
• Where do you see yourself in the future, for example, in 10 years?
• How can you achieve that goal in the next 10 years (as an example)?
• What specific actions should you do to materialize your plan?
• In case, your plan fails, what’s your plan B and C?
Market Research for Jobseekers
As a job seeker, your career market research involves knowing and understanding trends in your own industry. On the other hand, job seekers should collect intensive information about the company you are applying or interested to apply.
If you are a fresh graduate, where can you apply? What industries can you join that fits your skills and education? A market research also gives job seekers information on lucrative industries. Can you fit well in the sales industry? How about consumer or manufacturing industries?
So how will you know industry trends? First, you need to read and hit some books. One of the suggested literature is the Occupational Outlook Handbook, by the US Department of Labor. The handbook provides a review of different careers and prospects for job applicants.
Another way for a career market research is informational interviewing. What is informational interviewing?
Informational interviewing is a specific kind of interview with a key professional in an industry as your resource person. This kind of interview also seeks about trends and future prospects within the industry he/she represents.
Research on the companies you are applying, from their products to any current market news about the company. Include any information in your cover letter and resume as well as mentioning them during your interview will absolutely give any job applicant a clear edge over other job seekers. Any company will appreciate an application who spend some time to research and get to know about their company.
Marketing Matrix for Jobseekers
No need to feel intimidated with the term, marketing matrix refers to key marketing focus namely, Product, Promotion, Place, and Price – simply known as . These are factors that when addressed properly help an organization reach their objective, which can be applied to how you as a job seeker look and land the perfect job.
You are the product. Therefore assess yourself on how you can contribute to a company and the industry in terms of your skills, experience, and education and how you stand out from other applicants. Do you have additional skills like language skills that organizations look for and seldom found in other applicants? How about certification? You need to highlight these features.
Likewise, there is what they call (USP) and when you apply it in the world of job hunting, it is answering the question, “What makes you different from the rest?” Or “ Why should we hire you and not him or her?”. Can you answer this question in a job interview in a concise statement?
Job seekers also need to position themselves in terms of competitive advantage from your strengths such as interpersonal skills. Interpersonal skills are very important and should be highlighted not just in your cover letter, but during your interview.
Lastly, packaging. Intangible products, packaging can influence a target a market to buy a certain product over the other. As a job seeker, you need to present yourself properly from how you dress professionally to how you carry yourself.
What methods and tools do you use to get that initial interview to the final interview and ultimately, towards the job offer? Tools include a cover letter and resume template while others depending on their industry, add portfolio and samples of their works.
When applying to different companies, never give a generic cover letter or resume. Polish and edit them carefully according to the position you’re applying for. Resume templates will help to organize your resume and to be ensured that everything is filled in its appropriate place. It pays when you and cover letter to each application. The HR manager can detect if you are only using a generic resume template but will give you an edge if she/he feels that you are crafting your resume and cover letter specifically for the position they advertised.
Many marketers fail to address this important part of marketing and the same holds true among jobseekers. These are the people that can channel your promotion tools (resume and cover letter) to target (HR managers, hiring managers, etc).
As mentioned in the first part of this article, it is not enough that you send your resumes online. You have to be smart and identify other ways for you to hand in your resume.
Here are other distribution channels for jobseekers:
• Cold calling
• Job fairs
• Social media
• Company sites (career pages)
• Alumni centers
• Employment agencies, headhunters, etc
What is the most effective yet unseen distribution channel?
The answer is no doubt, networking. Most people, especially those who are already experienced employees apply for new jobs, not from job search sites but learned about the position from their friends and former colleagues.
Even for entry-level jobs, job seekers need to go out and network and isn’t all about job fairs or networking events. Parties, alumni homecomings, charities- these can be your networking venues. Talk to people, prepare your calling cards or ask for their cards.
How much does the product cost? How much should you pay for a service? Therefore, how much do you cost as a potential employee?
Price is not just about salary – salary is just a part of it. When asked about , you don’t just compute your rate but the whole package. Never undersell yourself yet have an idea on how much is the current rate in a particular industry and city (go back to market research), when stating your expected salary.
Think about compensation and compensation package includes salary and the following:
• Insurance (medical, dental, eye care, life, etc)
• Allowances (meals, travel, clothing, etc)
• Dependent care
• Vacation leaves
• Salary increase
• Leisure perks (gym, annual vacation, etc)
Compensation packages play when a job seeker has two or more offers. Therefore, do not choose the company that offers the highest salary, but the company that has the best compensation package.
Lastly, do not know how to negotiate your salary. You may know how much the company is willing to give you just to have you on their organization.
To position yourself on the higher tier of the job market, you need to apply the same marketing principles companies and organization practice that helped them in achieving their target revenues and profits. Consider yourself as a product or a service, or maybe a brand that you need to market, promote and sell to the industry that you want to join.
Read More: Are You Overdoing Your Job Search?