Knowledge Centre for recruitment

Marketing Yourself

Landing the right job is about persuading a prospective employer to trade their money and benefits for your skills and labour - in other words it's a simple business transaction like any other. Viewed in those terms landing the right job is like convincing a client or customers to buy your wares - i.e. marketing.

By taking a few lessons from the marketing textbooks you can increase your chances of finding the right job and getting the maximise price for what you have to offer.

1. Understanding your target market is one of the first steps in any good marketing strategy. There's quite a bit you'll want to know:

    • What do they really want? Most businesses wants their employees to be able to complete the tasks they are set competently, and if they're really honest, add value to the business by delivering over and above the job description. Convince them you can do both and you'll be onto a winner.
    • What's important to them and how do they judge it? i.e. they may value industry experience and so look for a relevant track record
    • Where do they look to buy? Do they use recommendations, recruitment agencies, ads in the paper, job boards?
  • You can be quite specific as well with each individual business you apply to:
    • Why are they recruiting? Growth, a new business, change of ownership or direction, unhappy with current staff, high staff turnover - all of these could be a reason to recruit and each would suggest they want something different from their ideal candidate.
    • Where is their business going? And can you help them get there?
  • The more you know about who your target market are the better positioned you are to meet their needs and land that job.
2. Creating your marketing message is about taking what you have and packaging it effectively for your target audience - in this case your prospective employer.
  • Use what you know from your research into your target market and target employers to tailor your message to directly address their needs and wants
  • What's unique about you? Chances are quite a few of your competitors (other applicants) will have similar backgrounds, similar education, job history etc... You need to find ways to make your application, CV or interview stand out but still be able to keep it professional.
  • Avoid the hype. ‘Waffle' and unnecessary hype only serve to dilute your message.
  • Can you prove it? As you might imagine, every applicant will say things like "I'm a string leader but also work well in a team" or describe themselves as ‘trustworthy', ‘professional' or ‘hard working'. When everybody says the same thing the smart employer takes no notice - they want proof. As far as possible back up everything you can with examples. Recommendations, awards won, qualifications, portfolios, customer/client testimonials - these all add weight to your message.
  • Deliver the message professionally - Get the basics right and ensure that your message will be taken seriously.
    • Typos might seem a simple, easily forgiven, mistake but they impact on the employer's impression of you as a whole.
    • You might be applying for a truck driver's post but a clean suit and tie creates an image of professionalism.
3. Delivering the message is about finding effective ways to communicate your message to your target market. You should select your ‘marketing' methods on that basis and ensure that every contact you have with a potential employer communicates that message effectively.
  • Recruitment firms - they are only a delivery mechanism, don't expect them to do your job for you
    • Give them the best message to work with, professionally presented
    • Choose ones with a track record in your chosen industry
    • Ask them about similar people they've placed or jobs they've filled like the one you're looking for
  • Your CV and cover letter
    • Creating a high-quality professional image
    • Personalise / customise for each position you apply for
  • Networking
    • Get your face and name known within the industry
    • Demonstrate through Word of Mouth the quality of your work, your personality etc...
    • Create contacts that can lead to interviews or news about upcoming positions or companies who are hiring
    • Ensure your contact know that you're looking, what you're looking for and enough about you to make your case - what you've done before, your strengths
  • Go direct
    • You may even consider sending your CV direct to potential employers or even calling their offices to enquire about vacancies
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