Monday, December 12, 2011

Job Seeking: Self-Promotion Marketing Errors and How to Avoid Them

When you are looking for a job you are in the business of marketing and self-promotion.  Just like any in other business, when a marketing strategy doesn't work, i.e. you are not any securing interviews, you may think that it is time to re-evaluate your strategy, and, you may be right.  Many job seekers who make errors in marketing themselves [their brand] have a lack of understanding with regard to how marketing really works.  Lasted below are some of the common mistakes in marketing and some suggestions on how they can be avoided:

1) Shotgun VS rifle.  Experienced marketers know that you can increase the intensity of your brand's appeal by narrowing the target audience.  It is better to be the first choice of 10% of the population rather than one of ten options for everyone.

2) Betting on logic and rationality. Hiring managers are human and they do not make decisions solely on the basis of the most logical choice. Emotion influences the majority of decisions, therefore you, as a job seeker, should try to ‘connect’ with your potential employers, by identifying common interests, backgrounds, challenges, etc., rather than trying to convince them that you are the best choice.

3) Believing that market research trumps everything. Market research can be flat-out misleading.  Market research is often stale-dated and some of the information you are able to suss out about your target market may not even be true.  Be aware of current events and read newsletters rather than government reports to find out about what is trending in your industry.

4) Getting seduced by the shiny and new. Fresh marketing tactics and tools are presenting themselves all the time; it is tempting to try to one-up the other guys with marketing collateral that is ‘fancier’ than the tools you are currently using.  Maintain your professionalism at all times.  All of your marketing collateral needs to be clean, precise and optimized for the best result.   Do not be distracted from what is working.

5) Advertising your aspirations. Potential employers are not in the business of supporting you and your aspirations; they are in the business of influencing their bottom line in a positive manner.  To increase your success rate of securing interviews, your marketing collateral should detail how you have saved money for former employers.

It is always easy to come up with reasons not to do something, surrendering to fear of the unknown. Not all of the self-marketing tactics you do will work, but with each mistake, you will be learning and growing.

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Copyright © 2011, Career Matters. All Rights Reserved. Permission to Reprint: This article may be reprinted, provided it appears in its entirety with the following attribution: Copyright © 2011, Career Matters. Reprinted by permission of the author, Mary Salvino. “Career Matters” is a blog hosted by Mary Salvino, Senior Consultant for SMART Career that is dedicated to those who are seeking advice on managing their career and future job opportunities. We welcome readers to share their experiences, post their comments or ask questions about career related matters. This blog is also dedicated to those who stand a little taller each time they picked themselves up after failing and those who gained the wisdom and humility from those experiences to help others do the same. For any questions or comments that are better addressed privately, please feel free to e-mail Mary directly at