Candidates today are plentiful. Jobs are few. If a job seeker wants to land, they must distinguish themselves, attract an employer who can appreciate them, establish their trustworthiness and prove their value. A successful job search is a marketing campaign that includes choosing target employers and developing a customized resume highlighting accomplishments that meet the decision maker’s needs.
Here are four ways to step up your marketing game:
- Tailor your résumé: You must design your marketing collateral and résumé to be especially attractive to your target employers. This means tailoring the content to address the employer’s needs, writing copy that is smart, focused and tight and adjusting the layout to emphasize the most important information. In today’s job market, individuals who differentiate themselves and position themselves within a market as the go-to first choice gain a competitive edge over others. They stand out as being skilled, talented, energetic, dependable and personable. Being average today doesn’t cut it.
- Be a specialist: Rarely is a generalist or jack-of-all-trades as attractive and valued as highly as someone with deep and unusual expertise. With far more talent available than open positions, companies demand the cream of the crop. To be among the elite, you must not only have all the right credentials, but also prove that you are not a hiring risk, will not have a costly learning curve, will fit into the corporate culture and be a good investment. Market dynamics entitle employers to be extremely choosy; they don’t have to compromise. They are hiring only A-players that match all their selection criteria.
- Show your success: The best way to build trust with a hiring manager is to show proven accomplishments. Rather than submitting a busy résumé that outlines features everything including the kitchen sink, provide only the best examples of relevant data and proven accomplishments. Hiring managers will not linger over a variety of experience spread out on a smorgasbord. Prepare a powerful summary that highlights qualifications that will interest the employer and build credibility. Your résumé should tempt the employer; leaving them anxious to learn more. A résumé should show that you will be able to solve the employer’s challenges and can be counted on to get the job done without a lot of supervision or ruffling the wrong feathers.
- Word of mouth: Personal referrals produce meetings for prospective employees. Candidates who have the right contacts will be recruited to new opportunities. Candidates who come recommended by a trusted mutual contact increase their chances. Use the inside knowledge that your connections share to prepare a stand-out resume that has all the ingredients that will attract the employer and enhance your desirability.
Take this opportunity to spruce up your résumé, highlighting your achievements and reminding your contacts about your skills and problem-solving abilities.
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Debra Feldman is the JobWhiz™, a nationally recognized expert who designs and personally implements swift, strategic and customized senior level executive job search campaigns, banishing barriers that prevent immediate success. Her gift for Networking Purposefully™ and expediting stalled job searches connects candidates directly to decision-makers, not HR.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED Debra Feldman, 2011