Do you feel comfortable marketing yourself? Or, do you fear rejection, appearing boastful? Believe it’s impolite to talk about yourself? If so, you’re not alone.
To get your ideal job, you must promote yourself. If you don’t tell others what you can offer, how will they know what you can do?
Where to start?
1. View yourself as an entrepreneur. Think of yourself as a product to be sold, rather than a job seeker. Your ability to get the job depends on how your accomplishments and skills can benefit potential employers, and how well you communicate these benefits.
2. Develop a positive mindset. Focus on what you can offer and rewards you’ll receive. Believe in yourself, your product. Expect good things. Practice positive self talk. Use phrases such as, “I can . . .” Develop a positive support system.
3. Prepare. Identify organizations with which you’d like to work before they advertise openings. Know their needs, goals. Design resumes and other marketing materials to show how you can address needs. Write a different resume for each target. Show how your experience, skills and accomplishments match job requirements, and how you’ll benefit the organization. Demonstrate how you can make or save money, help people feel good, or expand markets. Prepare a portfolio illustrating sample accomplishments.
Target decision-makers to determine job openings. Request introductions, cold call or email. To capture attention, offer creative comments about the organization, and devise innovative solutions to identified challenges.
4. Be genuine. When you’re excited about a job that reflects your passion, possibilities arise. Similarly, when you’re natural and honest, marketing is easy, successful.
5. Toot your own horn. Keep people informed about recent accomplishments. Use “I” statements to demonstrate achievements. Express feelings and opinions directly, honestly, assuredly. Maintain eye contact. Hold your head high, shoulders back.
6. Network continuously. Networking should be mutually beneficial. Offer contacts assistance and ask for help. Word of mouth is the best marketing strategy. Ask people, who have contacts in desired organizations, to help you secure meetings with decision makers. Thank contacts. Timely, consistent follow-up is essential. Call or meet contacts periodically. Record contact activities.
7. Make effective phone calls. Cold call to ascertain job openings. Prepare by role playing before calling. Give yourself pep talks. After a 10 second introduction, ask whether the decision maker has a few moments. If so, refer to a series of written talking points including questions to ask, facts to present, and answers to prospective questions. Request a meeting. Also follow-up employment interviews to determine where you stand in the hiring process.
Use voice mail. Call busy people before 8:30, after 5:30 and during the lunch break. Leave messages. If they’re not returned, call back. Don’t leave more than three messages over a ten-day period. Call again in a month. If you don’t get responses, send emails.
Consider using voice mail as an advertising medium. Compose “commercials” revealing interesting facts about what you can offer.
8. Be visible. Get involved in community events such as Chamber of Commerce activities and professional meetings. You’ll get most value from a group if you become a member, and go to the same group’s events rather than new groups all the time. Volunteer.
Enhance communication skills. Practice giving presentations, conducting meetings and listening nonjudgmentally. Join your local Toastmasters.
9. Know how to work a room. Arrive relatively early. When meeting people, give a 10 second self-introduction, and a firm handshake. Discuss common subjects such as industry gossip or interesting things people have done. Move around. Before leaving, indicate your desire to meet again.
10. Look and act professional. Appear savvy, contemporary. Dress with authority. Tailored dark suits with crisp shirts are appropriate for both genders. Coordinate pieces. Wear flattering colors and styles, well-maintained shoes. Have hair styled professionally. Avoid strong fragrances. Radiate energy, enthusiasm, friendliness, confidence and competence.
11. Be patient. Know the difference between what’s really happening and what you think is happening. When decision makers don’t call at assigned times, it’s probably because they don’t have time. If people say they haven’t had an opportunity to look at your resume, they probably mean more pressing projects have come up rather than they’re not interested. Ask when to call back. Keep in touch. Persist.
12. Follow the examples of the Questers described in Questers Dare to Change Your Job and Life.