Let me save you a bit of time and share what I have learned over the years about marketing myself in job search.
I get it… job search can be scary, self-esteem squashing, overwhelming and at times bewildering. But, it doesn’t have to be all that with the right focus and mindset, plus a great marketing plan. When you take charge and create a plan, then it puts control back into your hands. In order to control your narrative, let’s think like a public relations firm would when launching a new product. You are the product. What makes you great and who can benefit from your skills? Now let’s take those answers and create a marketing plan to find and target those people that can benefit from your skills or that know people who can benefit from your skills.
There are 3 networks of people in your arsenal that should be in your area of focus initially:
- Your personal network – these are your friends, your neighbors, parents of your kids’ friends, people you see often at places you go.
- Your professional network – people you have worked with either at the same company, or they were vendors or even competitors.
- Your groups network – these groups could be sports groups, church groups, exercise or hobby groups, professional groups, volunteer groups, etc.
See, what most people do when they are suddenly unemployed is go straight to job boards and start applying to jobs, but that plan has about as much success as musical chairs, and in reality actually less success. So many times, people dismiss their own networks because people don’t give much thought to people they already know.
Let’s look at your personal network first. Do you know what the parents of your child’s best friend does or the companies they work for? What about the neighbor two doors down… what do they do? How about the lady you met at yoga or the guy who you see out on the golf course on Saturdays?
#1 – start identifying everyone you know personally and find out what they do and where they work.
#2 – Let’s look at everyone in your professional network.
- Look back at all your past jobs and identify key people that you worked with or supervised or who supervised you. Take this list and look them up on LinkedIn then reach out to each one to connect and catch up either via email or phone.
- Identify key people at vendors or competitors you worked with in the past, then look them on LinkedIn asking to connect and reach out to each one as well.
- Go thru your LinkedIn connections and group people by industry and jobs. Identify those you do not know well and reach out to them via messaging, email or phone.
One of THE biggest mistakes people make is assuming people don’t know anyone other than people in their own industries. You have no idea who everyone knows.
#3 – Identify all the groups you are in… meaning structured groups and those that may not be official groups.
- Start talking to people in those groups more and find out what they do, where they work and who they know.
- Likewise, connect with them on LinkedIn.
By diving down deep into your networks and learning more about who you are connected with will help people get to you know much more as well. Chances are your next job will come from someone your connections know and who knows you. By strategically marketing yourself to a wide variety of people in different areas of your life, your chances of being in front of the right person at the right time now will significantly increase.