It has always been my mantra. I’m not outgoing enough and it’s just not something I think I would be good at or enjoy. Then I found myself in the market for a job and to my surprise I realized that I WAS in sales – the product that I was promoting was me!
Thinking of me as a product seemed a little crass, but it opened my eyes to some philosophies that could prove beneficial in today’s job market.
I did some research on how companies market their products and found that most marketing campaigns are centered around the 4 P’s: Product, Price, Placement, and Promotion. The next step was to realize that in order to effectively market myself to employers, maybe these same tools could be used to set me apart from the thousands of other job seekers out there vying for employers’ attention.
In this case that would be you – the job seeker. When companies market their products they usually try to sell them based on the features and value they provide. That means you need to identify the core skills that you possess. You also need to be able to share them with potential employers in a way that will make you memorable and demonstrate the value you can bring. One “magic formula” that helps do this, is a CAR statement – CAR is an acronym that stands for Challenge, Action, Results. CAR statements should be stories that fit into approximately 30 second sound bites and give employers examples of your skills. My philosophy, if you want an employer to remember you, hit them with a CAR. 🙂
How much are your skills worth? This question can be very complicated to answer. Many products try to offer high quality at a great value. Taking a good look at your life style and knowing the bottom line of what you need to make in order to survive is a great starting point. To build on this, do some research on what average salaries are like for the type of position that you are applying for and in the geographic region where the position is located. There are many different sites that can be used for this type of research; some of my favorites include Texas Wages, Salary.com, and O-Net.
Where should you be seeking a position? Again, a bit of research will be required to determine which industries, professions, companies, geographic locations, etc. could benefit from your skill set. Make sure to check out information on the labor market at the Workforce Solutions site and strategically place yourself to stand out from the competition.
How do you advertise yourself? Once you have completed all of the background work above, it is time to start letting employers know you exist. As with any great advertising campaign, your promotional efforts should come from many different fronts and they should take advantage of the tools and technology that are available today! Develop a tagline, have an attention grabbing resume, a 30 second commercial, networking cards, and online profiles that all work together to demonstrate who you are and the value you offer. For more on these topics, consider taking part in job skills seminars offered by Workforce Solutions throughout the Gulf Coast Region.
The fact is that each and every one of us has our own unique talents. The question is, will you continue to use the same old boring job search methods that haven’t been working for you or will you take the time to creatively promote yourself the way you want to be seen?
Bobi Cook is a Regional Facilitator for Workforce Solutions in the Houston – Galveston area. She currently conducts job skills seminars throughout the 13 county Gulf Coast region utilizing her MBA and over ten cumulative years experience as a professional educator, quality systems manager within the automotive industry, and small business administrator to help job seekers develop and implement successful job search campaigns.