Job searches used to be about finding jobs that matched your resume and submitting applications. But things have changed over the last decade. Job seekers can no longer just apply for jobs they match. Now, they must be excellent at marketing, too.
Knowing your audience, networking, and value propositions are all skills job seekers need today. Read the reasons why in this helpful post.
1. Applying for jobs online is no longer enough
Most people who know they are about to start job seeking will usually have the same idea: Look online and apply for jobs that match! Multiple studies online contain statistics showing how ineffective this method of finding work is:
- “Recruiters only look at resumes for six-seconds”
- “Only 2% of applications online lead to an interview”
When everyone starts doing the same thing, and it does not work, it creates a demand for people to get creative. So, many become marketers for themselves without even realizing it. They turn their job search into a marketing campaign.
2. You have to target your audience and favorite company
Going on a job search without knowing what you are looking for is a costly waste of time. You cannot find a job you are not sure you are looking for. Companies cannot market a product to a customer without knowing their audience.
If you try to apply for all jobs online with your new resume, you are doing something marketers call, “Spraying and praying”. You are hoping someone will find you while not knowing why you want to be found. It does not work.
Start with asking yourself these basic questions to find out what job you want:
- What is my favorite company I would love to work for?
- What are the usual job titles and descriptions that match my resume?
- What industry do I want to be a part of?
- What is my favorite kind of work culture?
From your answers, you can pinpoint the type of jobs and companies you should be searching for and the people you should be networking with.
3. You need an awareness of your network
Successful marketers send the right messages to the right people at the right time. In order to do so, you must have an awareness of your network.
The hard truth is that more than 80% of jobs never make it to a job board. They float around within your network and the people who work at certain companies. Having an awareness of what your network is talking about and doing is a great way to find opportunities within that coveted hidden job market.
In having this awareness, you will also apply for jobs less and have a greater hit rate when it comes to interviews. Some keys to having an awareness of your network:
- Expand upon the people already know
- Talk to family, friends, and those precious friends for life aka. college alumni
Search your LinkedIn list of 2nd-degree connections. Find who should be a 1st-degree connection. It is a guarantee that you are not connected to everyone you should be on LinkedIn. So, change that and get connected!
4. You have to be able to present your brand
Why is your brand better than anyone else’s? What do you do that no one else does and how does that make you valuable to a company?
You are going to find loads of stock answers to these questions online. Instead of copying answers, write your own. Show the bit of “you” that no one else gets to see until they hire you. Your personal brand is a value proposition for companies letting them know, “If you go with a competitor, you will be missing out on my brand!”
5. You need to be great at your CTA (call to action)
Much thought goes into every CTA, whether it be a blog link or a key phrase for a marketing campaign. The call to action (CTA) is used to motivate people into the desired reaction. For job seekers, the CTA’s purpose is to motivate a company into calling them in for an interview.
Cover letters are a great way to do this. Even though lots of people say, “Cover letters are dead!” they are still great to send when you know exactly who will read it. Therefore, a cover letter should show your personality and have a great (and brief) CTA.
Another great way to do this is by putting a CTA in your resume summary section or even in your job description.
6. You have to know the channels your network watches
Internet and social are still forms of media just like TV and radio. You have to know what channels your network is watching to get your message across. A popular statistic you will read is that “94% of recruiters use LinkedIn to screen job candidates”. In other words, “Recruiters watch this channel, having a perfect LinkedIn profile is important”.
Almost everyone, at some point, Googles someone to find out more information. If they Google your name, the first thing that pops up is a LinkedIn profile. So, if you are not on LinkedIn and searching for a job, you are not putting your personal brand on the best channel to get seen.
7. You have to understand the process of lead follow-up
All job seekers and marketers need a plan to follow-up with leads. If writing thank you notes and following up is just “something you do” because you think it is “nice”...you are ahead of the game. Unfortunately, most job seekers fail to follow up.
Expecting to reach out once and have success is a flawed plan. If you are not following up, saying thank you, or writing notes on LinkedIn to stay on people’s minds, you will surely be forgotten during your job search.