AAA – Choo! “Pass me a Kleenex please.”
I am sure that when you hear this statement you know exactly what product that I am referring to. However, the correct term would actually be facial tissue. Kleenex is a brand of facial tissue. Yet, the term “Kleenex” is how we reference this product whether you buy the actually Kleenex brand or not.
Genius, right? Kleenex has redefined their product in such a way that they have become the product and not just the brand.
Leading me to wonder… How can you become the “Kleenex” of your job search? How do you develop yourself to become the go to candidate?
So I ask you, “Do you have an effective “Marketing Yourself Plan?” “What on earth is a Marketing yourself plan?” This is a clear picture of your assets and values. Being able to market and articulate those things will help you to stand out, get noticed, and be remembered.
Having an education, degree, or certification is not enough
Your degree is only your starting point. Your “Marketing Yourself” Plan lays out how you are going to get yourself out there to let the right people know you exist and are someone they should seriously consider.
Don’t send a generic cover letter and resume that doesn’t tell your story
If utilized correctly these are ways you can really stand out from your competition. This is where you can be creative. Show you want “THIS” opportunity not “ANY” position that will hire you. Think outside of the box.
Waiting for things to happen is not a strategy
So, you posted your cover letter and resume on several of the job sites, where it basically goes into a deep black hole and you wait and wait. Did you research the companies before you sent your resume and cover letter to really get to know more about them and their leadership? Did you use that information to customize your cover letter and tweak your resume to show why you are a great fit? Did you connect with the key players via LinkedIn? Hope is not a strategy without action. The more you do to market yourself, the more activity and interest you create.
Go to more in-person networking events to build connections
This to me is the deal breaker. There is nothing that will ever take the place of meeting people in-person and making that kind of connection. The online world is an amazing bridge and compliment, but meeting in-person can leave a lasting impression about you and your personality. Having a business card, getting theirs, and following up in 48 hours through email and LinkedIn shows savvy and initiative.
Take your social media presence very seriously
The goal is to stay in touch, grow relationships, and market yourself personally and professionally. What is your online brand right now? Google yourself and you will see. Update and professionalize the social profiles you are active on (LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Google+). Make sure your pictures, data, and activity are current. Focus on the social networks that fit best for you and who you want to be connected to. Many jobs are not posted on job boards. Instead, they are among the people engaging online, so be there and benefit.
Get started on your ‘Market Yourself’ Plan
Start with No. 1 LinkedIn, with 238 million members in more than 200 countries around the world is a great starting point for you.
Be proactive about “moving your career in the direction you want it to go.” It’s the biggest, most exciting adventure of your life. Buckle up and enjoy the ride!
Read more about marketing yourself here
Adapted from an article written by Deborah Shane, author of #trusthewhy Fundamentals and Values Get You Through Any Cycle, on behalf of the Happy Grad Project.