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How to Market Yourself to Potential Employers
Louise Campbell, Managing Director of Robert Walters, Ireland shares some insights and tips on how to market yourself with differentiation, present yourself as a winner, and emerge at the winning end of a new job, or a new industry.
1. Put on your sales cap
Think of yourself as a sales person whose livelihood is dependent on the sales of your product, except that in this case, you are tasked to market and sell the best product you have - you. That is what searching for a job is all about.
The most effective marketer knows how to position his/her product and advertise all the benefits that are relevant to the needs of a buyer. Similarly, to close the sale and wow the employer, you need to expound on the benefits of the product - your strengths, work experience, industry knowledge, contacts, skills, abilities and successes, and quote examples that matter most to the company's objectives or vision. Relevancy is the key word here even if you are seeking to work in a new industry. It is important for you to critically evaluate the key transferable skills you possess which will add significant value to the potential hirers.
2. Be a networking guru
Actively participate in local and international business or industry forums to expand your contacts, and gain access to invaluable information through the exchange of market updates, insights and commentaries that take place between the members.
Network constantly and aggressively, but stay focused. Attend various business and social networking events to increase your profile, and contribute actively to these platforms by sharing your success stories, interesting case studies or market insights that you have gathered from the course of your work.
Be aware of market and industry trends so that you can build your strengths in the hot areas of specialisation, or discuss issues intelligently with potential employers or other contacts you have made at the networking events.
3. Know the company inside out
One of the best ways to stand out from the rest of the job seekers and impress your potential employers is to show them your knowledge of the company and the industry. Make it a personal mission to find out as much as you can on the companies where you are keen to work and do as much due diligence as you can on its senior management, history, products, services, successes, significant projects, partners and most of all, its competitors.
Demonstrate your commitment and sincerity by asking concise, focused and clear questions about the company. The employer will see you as someone who is keen, proactive and really serious about the job and the organisation. Such an approach can help to establish your credibility and increase your profile above the other candidates.
4. Moving forward
Many people tend to focus too much on presenting their past job responsibilities instead of showcasing their prior achievements and accomplishments to prospective employers. One of the secrets to marketing yourself is to use your previous work experience and successes to convince the potential employers that you possess the knowledge, expertise and skills that their company and industry need to help move them forward.
Instead of relating what functions you were responsible for, share how well you have performed in that role. Tweak your resume to highlight a success rather than merely listing a responsibility. By doing so, you come across as a forward looking, visionary and results-oriented candidate, which is essentially what every employer and headhunter is looking for.
5. Work with a reputable headhunter
Specialist recruitment consultants from reputable search firms can help highlight your most compelling transferable skills and build a strong case for you to hirers. When you work with headhunters, you will also receive invaluable career consultation and advice, as well as professional coaching to help prepare you for interviews. A good recruitment consultancy can open up new career opportunities in the fields you desire, and provide a selection of potential jobs from the high profile organisations or new industries that they represent.
6. Testimonials and referrals
Testimonials and referrals are an excellent way to market yourself. Having someone else's endorsement on your personality, capabilities and performance is an extremely powerful selfmarketing tool. Third party testimonials are extremely powerful as they take on an objective stance and give you higher credibility. What makes testimonials and referrals so believable is that you are no longer blowing your own horn, but having other people doing it for you - willingly.
Start saving emails and written comments from your colleagues, superiors, clients, customers and business partners that compliment your work efficiency, professionalism, contribution, skills and abilities or anything that is highly positive and reinforces your strengths. Use your testimonials as success stories when meeting prospective employers or list them down as quotes in your resume. They serve as a strong summary of your accomplishments without you appearing to brag, and give hirers a quick snapshot of your profile. Business and social networking events are the most ideal platform for referral-building as they will often provide you with the maximum number of contacts, leads and other opportunities.
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