YOU Need to Become Your Own Marketing Manager
Looking for a job in 2021 will require a different mindset than in the past. Now more than, ever, YOU will need to become your own Marketing Manager.
Marketing is the process of getting people interested in what you can offer that is in demand. Watch this video from Seth Godin on the difference from advertising and marketing: https://bit.ly/395pMg2
When you’re job hunting, your resume will play a big part in your success, but you can’t just rely on it to get a call from an employer. It may be your #1 marketing tool, but there are many things that your resume can’t convey to an employer and surprisingly THEY are the most likely things that will get you an interview and get you hired. Figuring out how you can demonstrate your value and what you can offer is the key to getting a call for a job.
Anybody can write, “I’m super motivated” on their resume and cover letter. But when it comes to showing your motivation, actions speak louder than words.
If you send a resume with a generic cover letter and then fail to follow up with the employer, that doesn’t scream “motivated candidate.” However, if you take the time to craft a customized cover letter that shows your passion for your work AND the company, you’ll appear a lot more genuine and enthusiastic. Consider adding the recruiter or hiring manager on LinkedIn to make you stand out from the pack.
Your resume can lay out the facts, detail your experience, and demonstrate your expertise, but it’s still a difficult way to reflect your personality.
If you can get face or phone time with recruiters or hiring managers, it’s much easier to get some of your personality across and allow them to build a positive picture of how you’ll behave in the workplace.
How you look for a job can also distinguish you from candidates who may have a lot more experience than you.
One of the biggest questions for recruiters is “Why are you leaving your current job?” The answer to this question can change an employer’s opinion of you. You need to make it clear that you’re leaving for positive reasons. You can do this in your cover letter by stating reasons why your current role is not giving you the progression you need and having a direct conversation will allow you to convey your passion for progression and convince them that you’re moving for the right reasons.
Your resume can do a great job representing your past and present, but it usually doesn’t reveal your ambitions for the future. Employers and recruiters also want to know is, “Why do you want to work there?” The answer could have a significant impact on the success of your application. A candidate who shows genuine interest in a company and role will have a considerable advantage over somebody who seems to be applying just because they need a job.
When you are applying for roles, you need to show recruiters that you’re genuinely interested in the companies you are applying to. So, firing off the same cover letter template to hundreds of vacancies isn’t going to get the best results. You need to research each company and role you’re applying to as much as you can and show employers that you’re interested in the company and passionate about the job you’re trying to get.
Most hiring managers would rather hire applicants who’ve done their research, talked to people about the industry and have the core skills. To secure an interview it’s important to think first about how you can stand out from other applicants. From creating entire websites to recommendation-filled decks, when I applied for jobs, I always created collateral material filled with my ideas. Making collateral pieces takes time, but they increase the probability of your success more than just an application ever could.
If you’re a coder, code a plugin that could be useful to the company. Are you a designer? Take the brand’s logo and revamp it. On the hunt for a marketing job? Give your target company an audit of its digital platforms. You will likely be surprised how easy it is to stand out in a pile of lackluster applications. Some job searchers might advocate against doing free work, but I believe this initial work can help prove your value and help you negotiate a higher salary than if you hadn’t put in the extra effort.
So how can you stand out in a system when there are dozens of applicants?
Simple answer: Go past the system.
Whenever I was applying for a job, I would take a look through LinkedIn to see who my potential future boss would be. Afterwards, I would create a deck of recommendations of what I would do in my first months if I were to secure the job. Not only did this get me an interview, but it also showed the interviewer that I had done my research and knew what the position would entail. Chances are, most of your competition is just blindly applying on applications. Sometimes, I would even be as confident as to send my deck to the CEO—and to my surprise, it would work. Someone asked me if this is overstepping to not go through the normal process? Maybe? But who cares! I don’t feel that offering great insight is in any way an overstep. A good company should welcome hard work and insight from a possible job candidate. If they don’t, you probably don’t want to work for that company anyway.
Consider making a list of your top 10 dream companies you’d like to work for. Then visit their LinkedIn pages and take a look at the employees who work at that company. I you know anyone at the company, you should reach out directly to ask them about their experience working at that company.
Depending on how they respond to your email, you can then mention that you are looking to apply there and politely ask if they have any tips. Often times they will recommend you, since many companies offer hiring bonuses to referrals. If you don’t know someone at that company, you can see how many degrees of separation you are away and ask someone you do know for an introduction to someone at that company.
Now is the time to reconsider your approach to application and think like a marketer and how you can stand out and then get to work creating something that will truly impress an interviewer.
Modern-day job search is not like it used to be. Long gone are the days of applying for jobs online and getting calls for interviews. Depending who you ask, there’s only a 2-4% response rate for posted positions. Yet so many people start their job search this way because that is what they know. Essentially, what they are doing is marketing without a plan. Your LinkedIn profile, resume, and cover letter are your sales team. And they are going to help your ideal employer find you.
So, you really need to run your job search like a marketing campaign.
The Target Audience = Your Ideal Company and Position
You would never go to market without knowing who your target audience is. So why would you launch a job search without knowing where you want to end up? Every day I see people launch their job search by updating their resume and then blasting it everywhere. In reality, it pays to take the time to figure out where you want to be. What industry? What size company (staff and revenue)? Agency or Corporate? B2B or B2C? Once you have your ideal company in mind, find out what their pains are and how you can solve those pains. Then you’ll know what to highlight from your career that is relevant to your target company.
The List = Your Network
In marketing the list plays a big role in the success of your campaign. It’s all about sending the right message, at the right time, to the right people. In job search it’s all about your network. You always hear that 80% of job opportunities are not posted – this is what is called the hidden job market. The key to tapping that is your network. People you already know are much more likely to read and respond to your message. Now, you can take your list of target companies and figure out whom in your network knows people there.
The Unique Value Proposition = Personal Brand
Differentiation is essential for any product to succeed in the marketplace. Why is your product better, faster, easier than the competition, right? The answer is your unique value proposition. Well, in job search it’s your personal brand. Personal branding is an essential part of your professional life, no matter what stage your career is at. And everyone has a personal brand, whether they know or not. What are you known for in your industry? What makes you different? Lastly, every good value proposal needs support from benefits, not features. The same thing is true for your personal brand, especially when writing your resume. In this case, it’s your tasks that are the features, and your accomplishments are the benefits. Make sure you’re putting emphasis on your results (benefits) and quantify as much as you can.
The Offer (call to action) = Ask for the Interview
Marketers put a lot of thought into the offers you create for your campaigns. You want to motivate response or even a sale, right? Job search is no different. You want to motivate people to call you for an interview, so having a call to action (CTA) is important. The easiest way to do this is in your cover letter. Most cover letters end with something like, “Thank you for your consideration. Hopefully we’ll have the opportunity to discuss potential career opportunities.” You never want to be “hopeful” at the end of your cover letter. That just hands the power right over to the hiring manager who will inevitably say no thank you. Instead, restate the value you bring to the employer and then ask for the interview. So now, you have something that sounds like, “I am exploring new opportunities to contribute to Acme Technology’s marketing strategies. May we meet to explore your needs further and discuss what I can offer?”
Another place to incorporate a call to action is on your LinkedIn profile. Ask people to connect, visit your website, call, or email. You can put a CTA in your summary section and even in your current job description.
The Channel = The Delivery Method
Just like the Internet and social media have changed how you market, it has also changed the hiring process. Pushing out messages, like applying to jobs via online postings, no longer works the way it used to. Now, your marketing needs to pull people in.
You want to run a multi-channel campaign with your job search so you can attract your ideal employer. Your resume is no longer the star of your job search and often it’s not is it the first thing people see. They are going to Google you and look you up on LinkedIn. If you want to give yourself an edge create your own web portfolio and create a video bio. Some recruiters will automatically reject candidates that have no social media presence.
Lead Management = The Follow-Up
All marketers have some type of lead funnel, whether it’s a sophisticated automation system or a rudimentary process. Your leads from your campaign are hopefully not just sitting somewhere in a database. It should be the same way with your job search. Be sure to track your applications, interviews, and connections. This will help you be prepared when you get calls and want to follow up on your status.
Most direct response marketers survive with a 1% response rate.
The good thing about a job search campaign is you only need a conversion rate of 1.