I’ve always disliked the advice to “sell yourself” to prospective employers. It smacks of commodity-talk, like something you might buy off a grocery-store shelf. Do you really want to place yourself in that category with potential employers?
On the other hand, if you don’t communicate your professional value to those employers in an effective manner, you might as well sit on the couch eating candy and watching soap operas on TV. Either way, your job search (I use the term loosely) would be just as (in)effective!
So what can/should you do to attract the desired attention from employers, put yourself in the running to set up job interviews, and land attractive job offers?
For want of a better term, I suggest “target marketing” as a concept to try out. In a nutshell, target marketing is how companies build recognition and interest among the customer groups they’re most interested in doing business with. And isn’t that exactly what you want to do with the employers you’d like to work for?
In the first place, there are at least two key points you need to keep in mind:
Define your answers to those questions clearly and compellingly. This is no time for false modesty (which doesn’t mean you need to come off sounding like a conceited jerk!) Then focus your job search as strongly as you legitimately can on actions that relate to the points you’ve identified in your answers.
Even in this day of high-tech everything, you can include some low-tech tools in your job search campaign. Below are just a few of the possibilities you might want to incorporate in your job search plan:
In short, get your value message out to employers in the most effective way possible, as often as you can. Become an employer magnet for the target employers you want to convince to hire you!