Want to know why the global marketing industry is now worth $1.7 Trillion*? Because if you build it and market it, they will come (emphasis on the “and market it”).
This is not just true for businesses but also for people looking for employment. When you’re out looking for a job, the product you’re marketing is YOU!
Oh, I hope that didn’t send you into a panic. Don’t worry if you’re not Seth Godin. I will teach you a few basic marketing ideas today to help propel you toward your career goals.
Build Your Storefront
The good news is I can do the first steps for you (or maybe I already have): get your resume and LinkedIn in order. Not only do you need to be ready to pounce when the time is right, but crafting these marketing pieces will also help you articulate your value.
Once your “storefront” is in order, it’s time to market your “brand” to get people to look into the window! But who do you want to attract?
Create a Target List
It helps to identify where you’d like to work. You can do this by crafting a “target list” of companies. If you don’t already have some in mind, search for “Best Places to Work” in a specific geography or by including the words “Fully Distributed” or “Fully Remote” if you want to work remotely.
Once you pull up those lists, start exploring. Which workplaces seem to match your values and interests? Your list could be 15 or 50, but if it’s 50, you’ll be doing a lot of research to pare it down.
Identify Your Champions
Once you have your target list, figure out who can be your champions. On LinkedIn, you can look up the company names and see who works there. Maybe you have some 2nd or 3rd connections and can worm your way in through them. Maybe you can get in through a vendor you work with or an alumni group. Be creative. Who do you need to connect with, and who do you know who knows them?
Be Aggressive but Not Too Direct
Referrals are 4X more likely to get hired, so being referred to someone internally should be a top priority for your job search. However, when trying to open up that “in”, be tactful. Start a conversation with your connection. Talk about what you’re looking for in a new place of work and the value you think you can provide. Ask questions. “And, oh, do you think X company would be a good fit for me? I noticed you know so-and-so there…” Let them make the decision to refer you.
Job Boards Are Important, Too, But…
Recruiters appreciate resumes that come in through job boards, so don’t completely discount online applications. You can and should apply for jobs that interest you through job boards and company websites. Assuming you’ve optimized your resume for the job description and submitted a high-quality document, the next step is to reach out to the hiring manager or recruiter via LinkedIn or email.
Through LinkedIn, start with a message that states you just applied online, why you love the company, and how you believe you will create value. Then, attach your resume and cover letter (make sure you address your cover letter to that person).
Perhaps you don’t have LinkedIn Premium or are struggling to connect with the person you want through that site. There’s a great little tool called www.apollo.io that pulls up people’s email addresses and phone numbers when you look them up on LinkedIn. Use it to connect with recruiters and hiring managers via email. You never know the best way to get in touch, so you might even try both.
A strategic way to drive traffic to your LinkedIn profile is to position yourself as a subject matter expert. First, build your knowledge in one specific, indispensable area of your field. Then,
- Join relevant industry groups (on LinkedIn, Facebook, etc.) and post questions, ideas, or comments on other people’s posts a few times a week.
- Join Clubhouse groups and provide insightful contributions.
- Reach out to podcasts and offer to share your expertise. Often, podcast hosts are contacted by people pitching books. They’ll appreciate that you’re not pitching anything and just offering ideas!
- Go to conferences, meetups, and in-person meetings. You could find affinity groups through Meetup.com or networking events through chambers of commerce / trade associations. Volunteer to do something for the event to become even more involved. It’s a great way to meet allies!
The fact is that 45% of employees are sourced through referrals. Building and leveraging your network is a long-range strategy that requires tenacity and grit, but those are the same attributes needed to thrive in today’s fast-paced workplace. Might as well start honing them during your job search!
Need additional support or an accountability buddy? Let me know. I’m happy to help you kick around ideas, organize your strategies, and stay on target to succeed in your job search.
* According to a survey by Redburn and PwC.