Case and point - client needed a part-time a sales and marketing administrator. I created a very detailed and specific job description and passed it on to a select crowd, so that we would not be bombarded by the masses for a part-time position. Since I was the lucky individual who filtered the responses, I realized too late that it has been shared with way too many non-ideal candidates. But I managed through it. However, after this little experience, I feel I could teach a class on marketing yourself to get the job you want. Marketing yourself is much like marketing your business - you have to show the potential employer that you are the ideal choice!
- Stop telling the company what YOU want. I had a lot of "I am trying to get out of automotive" or "I need this part-time job to make ends meet while I focus on my other business over here". Do you really think THAT kind of angle is going to get you the job?
- Focus on what you can do for that company. An employer is looking for a resource who is going to be experienced, dedicated and have potential. Make sure you show that link. Don't waste their or your time if it's not even close.
- Be clear about how the job fits into your background. A generic statement about how you want to be helpful and you are a people person doesn't even whisper "hire me" - it screams "I don't really know what I want or how I can contribute". Create a confident and assertive opening to your letter and resume.
- Customize your resume for the position. I saw so many "may-bes" but then put them in the "no thank you"pile because I had to connect the dots of how I could take their skills and use them for our position. Your resume should sing in harmony with the job description in both the written words and your work experiences - even if it's a stretch - make the connection!
- List your technical skills. It may seem obvious that everyone knows the MS-Office Suite of products (Word, Excel etc.) but never assume. The more detailed about every technical aspect of abilities you can add to the mix, the better.
After a painful process, we found a fabulous candidate with the right back ground - because her resume said so first, she then had a confident phone interview with good examples of her work, so that by the time we met her we were already hooked.
If this post helps just one person tailor their "personal marketing message" to get the job they seek, I am a happy marketeer!