The job world, to put it lightly, is SWAMPED! Making marketing yourself more important than ever.
Recruiters during prime season (typically spring) can receive up to 250+ resumes.
I know exactly what you are thinking..“OH MY GOSH! How am I ever going to get an interview going up against those odds?”
Don’t fret. There are plenty of ways to market and prepare yourself for the job search and guarantee you are standing out to recruiters.
It’s time to stop wracking your brain, losing sleep, and spending hours trying to determine what you might be doing wrong because I am going to show you exactly where to start.
You know you have the experience. You definitely have the skills. You’re an expert, after all. Now we need to make sure the recruiters see that as well.
The Importance Of Marketing Yourself
You may be thinking..“What’s the point of this? Isn’t marketing only for entrepreneurs and big businesses?”
I am here to tell you – nope, absolutely not!
Why do businesses market their products? It isn’t because they think it looks cool; it’s because they want their audience to SEE IT. Marketing draws attention to whatever the company is trying to sell.
So, why should you market yourself? Well, because we want recruiters to SEE YOU.
Branding yourself (if you do it right) is a great way to make you stand out from the competition. It makes you appear like an expert, showcases your expertise, and separates you from everyone else.
Learning how to pitch and market yourself can be – will be – the difference between no callback and guaranteed interviews.
Obviously, You Need a Unique, Tailored Resume.
How is your resume holding up?
Does the format make sense, have you covered all of your achievements, does the writing flow…? Is it tailored correctly for the job you want?
Recruiters spend 6 seconds looking over a resume before deciding if its worth even reading and dropping in the ‘interesting’ pile… That means you have 6 seconds to impress.
Don’t panic! I know some of you might be thinking you don’t have any chance of getting past the recruiter now…but that’s precisely why this article exists.
Here is what you should and shouldn’t put in your resume.
- Achievements and Professional Summary.
DROP THE OBJECTIVE. Instead, stick to a professional summary that covers your most important achievements, skills, and expertise.
- Relevant experience for the job.
Recruiters are going to want to make sure that you have relevant work experience and have worked for similar companies.
- Relevant education/certificates.
Recruiters may require specific degrees or certificates depending on the job.
- Clean and easy to read through.
If your resume is disorganized and hard to read, it will be thrown out!
- Proper tenses, spelling, and punctuation.
If a recruiter spots a lot of typos or unnecessary information, your resume will also be thrown out. It makes it look like you don’t care enough to make sure your resume is relevant and easy to read.
- Keywords and verbs that stand out.
Don’t use the same boring sentences like…
I did this…
I also did this…
IT’S BORING. Instead, try using interesting verbs like engineered, customized, formulated, etc…
- Very Personal Information.
Don’t add your race, sex, religion, family members, etc… (Unless required.)
- Cuss Words or Vulgar Words.
This one should be common sense, but avoid talking about how kick-ass you are on your resume. Keep it a little more pg.
- Hobbies and Interests.
The recruiter wants to know your work experience and education. Not that you like to make cute little puppy bows on the weekend. AVOID – unless it applies to the job.
- Unrelated Experience.
If it’s irrelevant, forget about it. The only exception is if you have little to no experience.
- Hard to read fonts/colors.
If it’s hard to read, unorganized, or too flashy, the recruiter will throw your resume out!
What’s more embarrassing than getting caught in a lie and losing an excellent opportunity?
Clean Up and Promote an Outstanding Online Presence.
70 percent of employers use social media to screen candidates during the hiring process – making marketing yourself vital.
That’s A LOT! That means that your social media pages are the perfect place to start branding yourself – especially your LinkedIn profile.
So, be sure to clean up anything you don’t want recruiters to see like vulgar posts, embarrassing images, or damaging information.
Make sure you are an ALL-STAR on your LinkedIn profile (this can land you 300x more views than those who aren’t) and have marketed yourself in a way that stands out to recruiters when they click on your profile. Here’s how:
- Add an engaging, personal banner.
A banner can really complete the look of your LinkedIn profile and give you an opportunity to introduce/pitch yourself right away. Use a personal photo or image you like and add your profession, skills, contact info, or a call to action to it. You can use Canva (a free, online image design software) to help you create this.
- Upload a profile picture.
This makes things personal. The recruiter can get a feel for who you are this way, and if you have clients, it can really build trust.
- Add a headline/pitch.
Use the headline section to build a pitch that stands out! Whys should the hiring manager consider you? Add your expertise, years of experience, and two of your most advanced hard skills.
- Create an About Summary.
This is where you get to introduce yourself! What do you do, why do you do it, and why should they hire you? What can you do for them?
- Flesh out your experience, education, courses, etc.
Add anything that you find relevant in your job search.
- Add your most developed skills.
In the skills section, it gives you an opportunity to add the skills you are most experienced with. Be sure to cover everything your career might look for and require.
Create a Pitch.
A marketing pitch can be the way you introduce yourself on LinkedIn, your resume, and especially the interview.
Depending on the job you are applying for, the pitch may change, but you need to consider the skills, experience, and personality the recruiter is searching for.
Develop a 3 sentence phrase that can sum up why you are the perfect candidate for the job.
If you are applying to be a graphic designer, your pitch may go something like:
“Hello, I am an experienced graphic designer who has worked for [Company] and [Company] accumulating 12+ years of experience. I have developed natural abilities to collaborate with executives and clients, lead a team, and customize unique, well-developed designs within a deadline. I can bring to your company expertise in coding, website design, social media marketing, and the ability to create branding designs from scratch.”
Now, this really sells to the recruiter exactly why they should hire you for their graphic design team. You need the pitch to carry substantial evidence of why the company will benefit from hiring you.
Use Achievements and Stories.
During an interview, the recruiter is going to ask your many behavioral, skill-based, and experience related questions.
(You can find a free interview cheat sheet by traveling to my profile and looking near my ‘About’ section)
Examples of these questions are, “how do you work in fast-paced, deadline-driven environments” or “when is a time you experience a setback, and what did you do to work through it?”
Have your anecdotes ready for questions like these.
Before the interview, you need to be preparing for what stories you can tell to answer questions, achievements that will awe the recruiter, and skills that you know the company is looking for.
This is why RESEARCH is vital if you plan on marketing yourself successfully during interviews.
Network. Network. Network.
Who you know can be the difference between being accepted for your dream job and rejected…
In fact, a referral can speed up the amount of time it takes a recruiter to hire and improve your acceptance rate.
So, networking is a MUST.
If you can get a referral from someone within the company you are applying for – or better yet get in contact with the recruiter – you have just improved your odds of getting an interview tremendously.
So, how can you begin networking right now?:
- Engage with people on LinkedIn or other social media platforms.
- Grab a coffee with a key player in your industry or someone you would like to get to know.
- Research who works for the companies you are applying for and start a conversation.
- Go to hiring events near you.
- Give away some kind of free value that helps your network.
Apply Somewhere Daily.
I know I have said this many times before, but the job search IS a FULL-TIME JOB!
If you are hoping for success, you need to follow all the steps above and apply to a new job daily. If you can muster it, try applying to 5 job posts a day!
The more you are putting your information out there and making yourself available, the greater your odds of landing yourself a job interview (and really…that’s the hardest part.)