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It may sound strange to some people, but this unemotional approach can help you: Consider yourself as the product when looking for a job. If you don't market a product, nobody will notice it. However, this doesn't mean you are lifeless and should put aside all human traits – on the contrary. It is just about using two conventional and effective marketing strategies.
At first, you must find out in which niche you want to position yourself and who your target audience is. What are your strengths and weaknesses? Which opportunities do you have and which threats do you possibly have to face? In this context, we speak of a SWOT analysis.
Once you’ve established where you’re heading, it’s time to work out how you’re going to get there. This involves refining your product (you, the jobseeker) and also your promotion strategy (how you’re going to get the attention of employers and recruiters). The Four P’s (Product, Place, Price and Promotion), a popular marketing tool, are suitable for this purpose.
You are the product. Make sure that you’ve got all the necessary skills and that you understand your unique selling point. Refining your product means not just assessing and upgrading your skill-set but also refining your interview style and making sure that your social media profiles and your resume/CV (extensions of you, the product) are closely aligned and tailored to the skills and competencies you’re offering.
A good way to look at this is: What are the problems that you think your target employers may need solving, and how can you help them? Make sure your messaging is clear online and offline.
There are some quick wins you can gain from refreshing your resume/CV. Make sure that you always tailor it to the job that you are applying for and that you answer the job specifications advertised. Your ultimate goal should be to answer “yes” truthfully to the question, ‘Are you a desirable product?’
What do you think you are worth and is this estimation reflective of your experience and ability? Use our tool for salary comparison to find out how much you are worth. You can use this to help you apply for the jobs that are most relevant and realistic to your expertise – miscalculating your potential salary can be a waste of your time, whilst it’s also good practice to keep up to date with market trends
In normal marketing terms, ‘place’ refers to the prime location for the product to be sold i.e. the middle shelf at a supermarket or on the front-page of online retailers. You too can promote your skills and your experience on multiple platforms, including recruitment agency databases, job boards, professional social networks and in person (e.g. networking events). Are you visible across all relevant online and offline platforms? The easier you are to find, the larger your audience will be.
This is the most important element of your marketing mix. You might have all the credentials required to excel in your dream job but if you’re not getting your message out there then how do you expect to be hired?
You need to work on your messaging and then put this into action across the various channels available to you; ‘Place’ deals with where you promote yourself, ‘Promotion’ concerns how you optimise these platforms.
Make sure your messaging across all online and offline platforms (those mentioned in ‘Place’) are aligned. You don’t want to be saying one thing on your LinkedIn and Xing profile and then something completely different on your CV. This mistake happens quite often. There are a few common traps you need to avoid when shaping your messaging; not exaggerating your expertise is one of them. Create a plan of action which involves networking on LinkedIn and Xing and shouting about your expertise, keeping your social profiles fresh and relevant, updating your CV regularly and attending networking events where pertinent.
If you want to secure the job of your dreams, you need to do more than just sending a few modified standard applications and e-mails. Simply searching job boards for vacancies is no longer enough. Job hunting requires strategic and proactive action. This means that you have to develop your own brand and market yourself. In the end, you can only be successful when differentiating yourself from the competition through a professional self-marketing.