When most people think of marketing, the do so in terms of brand, products, and services. Marketing is rarely acknowledged as a critical approach to market oneself, especially when looking for employment. When you’re on the job hunt, you need to think of yourself as the product that is being marketed and use all the marketing techniques you can get your hands on. The following are some useful tips about how you can apply marketing tools to position yourself as the perfect candidate for that awesome vacancy.
Obviously, your skills and previous experience must appeal to one or more specific target groups, but not all. So don’t waste your (and their) time by sending out massive emails to hundreds of potential employers. By doing so, your “packaging” will by default be of a very generic nature, and will put off those you want to reach out to in particular. If you’re looking for a job in marketing, send your resume only to corresponding openings, and state that specifically in your cover letter.
With no doubt, e-mail will be your single most important tool to distribute your résumé. Some people send out their résumés with a generic cover letter (if any at all) to tons of recipients who are placed in the BCC field. Seriously? You need to send your résumé and a proper cover letter to each single recipient, and while you’re at it, make sure to personalize the e-mail body message. “Dear Sir/Madam” might work but is not ideal. “To whom it may concern” is definitely a turn-off. If you really want that job, it’s worth the effort to do some research to find out who’s in charge of hiring and then send the letter to “Dear Ms. so-and-so.”
For the duration of your job hunt, you are the product, like it or not. So you better make sure your application is packaged at its best and stands out from the pack. Most importantly, never ever send in your résumé without a cover letter. The cover letter is your window of opportunity to intrigue the employer’s interest, so your attached résumé gets actually read. Do not use a generic cover letter. Demonstrate how your skills and experience will benefit the employer if you are hired. Talk about how your expertise can help the company in its challenges in respect to the position they are trying to fill with a good candidate such as yourself. Statements such as “I seek employment at a company that utilizes my skills” are cliché; they will surely land on deaf ears. This is the time and place to point out why you are the best candidate for the job.
Keep your résumé short and sweet. Remember that recruiters have to read lots of résumés, so a five-page CV won’t sit well. You can reduce the length of your résumé drastically by consolidating your major accomplishments into one section and then simply listing your previous positions. There’s really no need to describe in detail what you accomplished at each job as there will be lots of redundancies in doing so. And while we’re at the topic, here’s a no-brainer: Always make sure your spell-checker is turned on. If you’re applying in a language that’s not native to you, or you’re not entirely comfortable with, have someone review your grammar. Remember, first impressions are lasting ones.
Don’t include all your personal information. When you were born, whether you are married and have children or not, and what nationalities you carry is really nobody’s business. Just include your phone number and email address, so people can contact you to schedule an interview. You really don’t want to work for employers who care too much about your age or gender.
Designing the Ad (your Résumé)
Avoid using fancy formatting and colors. What may look nice to you might turn off others with different tastes. Use a standard font, avoid colors so your resume can be printed on a black and white printer, and keep a clean and tidy appearance. This will also reflect on your personal organizing skills. Your résumé has to be pleasant on the eye and promise a short reading time. Last but not least, never attach your résumé in .DOC format. Use PDF files only to preserve formatting and ensure a small file size for the attachment.
About the Author
Pinnacle Business & Marketing Consulting is a results-driven boutique consulting firm that specializes in providing clients with practical and pragmatic solutions to their business and marketing challenges.
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