In today’s market, it’s all about your individual brand and what you can do to standout from the other applicants and candidates for the positions for which you’re applying and interviewing. No, you don’t have to be a marketer to know anything about branding. But, you do have to know yourself and how to leverage your unique talents to make yourself standout.
In Business School, one learns the 4P’s of Marketing – price, product, promotion, and place. The same applies to your job search. YOU are the product. That’s easy. Or is it? Sure, you are the product and you identify yourself with a job title or some other set of labels. But, in reality, that doesn’t mean much to most people. What is it about YOU that makes you a special product? What unique skills, experiences, education, and the like do you bring to the table that makes you the unique product that you are?
How do you promote yourself? Shameless self-promotion does no one any good: it wastes the time of the people you’re promoting yourself to and it thus wastes your time. So, stop and think about how you promote yourself: do you attend mixers and networking events? Do you give to get? Do you “pay it forward”? Can you succinctly explain to others what you do and why you offer a good value without disparaging others and without being arrogant? Do you write a blog or industry publications?
Place or placement refers to being visible. In this case, because the product is you, we aren’t as concerned about shelf placement or lot placement or other physical placement, with the exception that like promotion, you have to be in the places where connections are being made. Those connections in turn can help you land a job or make referrals, and in the best case, even introduce you to a hiring manager. It can also refer, in this case, to your sense of being: your mental place. I’ve been unemployed and many people are unemployed today. It’s hard to always stay positive. I know. But, you have to be in a good mental place in order for your best traits to come out; if you’re not, and you are making connections in all of the right places, you’ve lost your chance to make a great first impression.
Finally, price. This of course is your remuneration in all aspects – salary, benefits, bonus, stock, and the like. Be sure you know what the market will bear; over the last few years, the market has shifted dramatically due to an abundant supply, in most fields, of people, and not a lot of demand. One way to convince a prospective employer of your price is to show your value – think back to the top of this article – the product – you and what you bring to the table. Be prepared to be confident (not cocky) and to explain your value.
Michael Trust, MPA, SPHR-CA, is a Certified Career Coach and a Certified Executive Career Coach, who helps people find their passion and fulfill their dreams as they relate to careers through his organization, Trustworthy Coaching®, www.TrustworthyCoaching.com. Mr. Trust’s Coaching, Business, and Human Resources experience spans twenty years, and he has had major roles in staffing in all of his Human Resource positions. In addition, he has coached individuals at all career levels relative to their career paths, job search strategies, business strategies, and related areas. Mr. Trust is also a member of the International Coach Federation (ICF).
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