Jobs are hard to find.
There, I said it.
Finding a job in an industry that you actually “want” to work in is one of the most difficult aspects of today’s professional market. There are people far “over-qualified” for the specific job they are currently filling, and there are 1000 other candidates just like you scouring the pages of LinkedIn, Monster.com and Jobs.com looking for the next big break. The most difficult aspect of job searching is that if “you” happened to find a great looking job, “they” have found it as well.
In this day and age, everyone has to be a marketer. You may not necessarily be marketing a “good” or a “service,” but you need to be marketing “yourself.”
Marketing yourself does not always mean finding new and creative ways to make yourself look more qualified than you really are; in most scenarios, it’s about selling yourself and proving your value based on the skills and opportunities you have already been given.
Do you have 5+ years of industry experience? Do you have a history of being a high performer under stressful situations? Do you have the skill base necessary to lead a company if every other employee seemed to vanish in a single day? The trick of marketing yourself is to prove to those that would be hiring you, that you are, in fact, the best value in the market. No one is hiring a graphic artist that can only do print media; you need to be able to create interactive media that will go viral. No one is hiring a writer with a decade of experience writing very targeted press-releases; you need to be able to write blogs, SEO indoctrinated online content and google AdWords.
The time of a single faceted employee has come and gone; so how will YOU adapt to this change?
The easiest thing that you can do as a job seeker is to already have a job when looking for new opportunities. No matter the field that you find yourself working in, there will be transferable skills needed to help you “market” yourself to your next employer. Think that working in the food service industry is leading you nowhere? Think again. Sales companies love to hire people that have been in the food service or hospitality industry. Bartenders, waitresses and front desk personal know how to please customers and “Upsell” when appropriate. Think retail is a dead end job? Corporate entities love it when people are able to experience how management works and can take away things they felt should have been done better. Retail managers and key leaders have already proved themselves past “entry level,” and employers see that.
In the end, when it comes to being hired for a new job, it is about what you can do for the company that will be paying your salary, not what they are going to be doing for you.
Here are 5 tips for helping market yourself in new and creative way:
1. Create an interactive Resume: Blogs, Tumblr pages and Instagram accounts are great for sharing recipes and posting pictures of your pets, but they are also the first thing an employer will stumble across. Make sure your social pages reflect the type of employee you would be as well. Organization and creativity are key, but still feel free to showcase who you are and the interests that you have.
2. Continually be involved in something outside of the workplace: Business owners love to see a strong work ethic, but if every post is about your job or your business, it won’t seem like you are very well balanced. A new company is going to be investing a lot of time and money into you – they need to know you are not going to snap.
3. Have hobbies: Do you like playing golf, deep sea fishing or restoring old cars? Chances are a future employer will also share a passion for similar hobbies. Being able to hold a great conversation during a job interview is just as, if not, if not even more, important than what is on your resume.
4. Practice, practice, practice: Do you want to claim that you know how google analytics works? Well create a website and then a GA account and make yourself an expert. Want to showcase your media creation skills? Play with iMovie and Windows media player until you can easily create fun and creative videos at the drop of a hat.
5. Be passive aggressive about what you can bring to a company: I do not man passive aggressive in a negative way, but in a very carefully carried out way. Make sure that your employer sees everything that he or she would like to see, even if they are not specifically looking for it. Try to get articles posted on other people’s websites, try to get your photo in the local newspaper or create a business page on Facebook touting something special about the local community. It is not about telling the world and the powers at be that you are an expert – prove it to them.