What Is Job Search Marketability?
I know a man who is so outstanding in his field that he receives at least an offer every other month or so from his company’s competition to come work for them.
“Boy, if only we had a guy like that on our team,” someone may say.
Or maybe this person is already employed at the company, and every time the name comes up, it evokes the sentiment, “If only I had ten more people like that on the team …”
I also know a lot of folks with every bit of the talent and drive of the example above whose names never even appear on the radar screen. Maybe the boss they work for doesn’t like to lavish praise on their star players for fear of losing them to another company or demoralizing other employees on the team.
Maybe they work in such a specialized market that not many people talk about it.
Personal Marketability Is Akin to Product Marketability
Think of a product you may have purchased but instead you walked past several times or several hundred times without even taking notice.
Why did you finally purchase this product?
Did the market where you shop assemble a more elaborate product display? Did a friend mention it to you? Did you stop fast-forwarding through the commercials on your TiVo long enough to see this ad?
Whatever the reason, you did finally purchase it, and marketing was the impetus. Everything that is for sale must be marketed, I’m sure you would agree. Rarely is marketing not a necessity.
This also applies to us as individuals in our career paths. However, this type of “personal” marketing is not usually seen on a television commercial, or on a fancy display we’ve set-up on which to sell ourselves in the hiring manager’s corporate office, and we don’t wear labels that claim our outstanding attributes the way most of the products we use do.
My brand of laundry detergent tells me my clothes will be spring fresh if I use their product. My toothpaste of choice declares I will have a much brighter smile if only I’ll give it a chance. Get the point?
So here we stand, an excellent product ready to go to market.
Step one: A Great Resume (LinkedIn Profile; VisualCV).
Like the labels on our favorite products, the resume should promise the reader advantages the company is looking for; i.e., “your value into vivid words.” I am not a food snob, but quite frankly I will not buy the black and white box labeled simply “macaroni and cheese.” It may taste every bit as good as the nationally advertised brand in the colorful, information-filled box, but I’ll never know it because it’s boring and doesn’t provide any reason for me to want it.
Step Two: Positioning.
By positioning, I mean putting yourself where people who are looking for people like you are, well, looking.
I never go to the bread aisle in order to get ice cream. I can assure you no matter how hard I look it simply won't be there. So, if you are hanging about in the wrong aisle, how will anyone find you? There are many wonderful job search websites, networking venues, and so forth which will allow you to place yourself in the category where someone looking for ice cream will find you, unless, of course, you are bread.
Step Three: Be Available.Sounds simple, doesn't it? If my market runs out of a certain brand item, I will likely find an item that I consider close enough to what I was looking for and purchase that instead, versus leaving the store without it in hopes it may be available during my next visit. The problem is, I may decide I like this replacement product better and never search out my old brand again. Being available doesn't just mean physically in body able to materialize for an interview, but being mentally available as well.
For job seekers, “personal marketability” is creating an awareness – and in some cases a buzz – in the job market of you as a respected “brand name.” Achieve this by crafting your resume, VisualCV, LinkedIn Profile, Twitter strategy, etc. to highlight your “features and benefits” for your target market, positioning yourself for the best visibility, and making yourself available to the consumers in your marketplace when they are ready to purchase.
Stay tuned for future articles answering questions such as, “How you do you find your personal marketability? What tools and tactics are available to unearth your unique features and benefits? What rules of thumb should you follow to ferret out lean value statements? … and much more.
© Copyright Jacqui Barrett-Poindexter, 2009. Used with permission.---------------------------------------------