Career Marketing Tool Box: What’s In Yours?
As a rule, employers won’t find you by osmosis (“a subtle or gradual absorption…”) and not just because you’re a potentially great asset to their team. That means action is required on your part if you want to attract their attention. Before you start working on what that action might be, I suggest you do an inventory of what you have available. In other words, what’s in your career marketing tool box?
Your Career Marketing Tool Box
You might already have some handy-dandy tools in your box. On the other hand, you might find that you need to beef-up your tool box by adding items to it. However, the key initially is to develop a general plan to clarify your objective and identify the tools that will probably be necessary to achieve it.
For example, you might define two major types of career marketing tools to store in your tool box:
- Physical items, such as your resume, cover letter, and LinkedIn profile;
- Intangible items, such as interview preparation, networking, and online/offline research (information-gathering).
The next step is to evaluate what you know you have available and determine what, if anything, you need (or need more of) in your tool box.
Think about this example: If a construction worker arrives unprepared at a job site–that is, without his/her tools in order–the outcome is unlikely to be a happy one. At the very least, he/she won’t be able to complete the assigned work until the tools have been retrieved and are ready for use. Worst-case, the worker could wind up in the unemployment line, since employers tend to have a low tolerance for that kind of thing!
Get Your Career Marketing Tool Box in Order
A critical reason for companies to market their products is so they can capture the attention of prospective customers. By the same token, one way for you to catch the attention of potential employers is to figure out what will most readily speak to their self-interest (what do they really need?) and then build your plan around that. If your career marketing tool box is in order, you’re well ahead of most of your competition. If not, you have some catching-up to do.
What kind of shape are your physical tool-box items in? Do you have an up-to-date resume that really presents you strongly as a valuable asset? Would employers be impressed by your LinkedIn profile or would they bypass it because it’s ho-hum at best?
I recently read a post on one of my LinkedIn groups by a former recruiter, in which he commented that a lackluster or incomplete LinkedIn profile essentially turned him off. One of his first thoughts was, in effect, “How serious is this person about his/her career, if he/she can’t even be bothered to build and maintain a professional profile?”
And what about your intangible tool-box items? If interviews aren’t coming at you in sufficient numbers (or quality), have you been doing the kind of targeted networking that might help spark them? If an employer does contact you about an interview, are you ready for it?
Nothing New Under the Sun?
Maybe it’s true that there’s nothing new under the sun, and you’re already very familiar with what I’ve been talking about here. If so, you might already be well on your way to the next stop on your career success journey. However, if you haven’t given some serious thought to what your career marketing tool box needs and begun to take appropriate action, what’s stopping you?