You might not think of yourself as a marketer, unless marketing happens to be your career field. However, the concept of marketing in general offers numerous parallels to a job search. Broadly speaking, business marketing is communication between a company and its consumer audience, designed to encourage certain behaviors or actions.
So, what’s job search marketing? To begin with, we could say that it involves a strategy (to achieve the desired goal–a successful job search) and then a plan to execute that strategy.
First, do you know what your specific goal is? That is, besides just getting a new job? A lot of other factors could refine that goal to make it clearer and more achievable. At that point you’re in better shape to define a realistic marketing strategy focused on your intended goal.
Here’s what BusinessDictionary.com has to say about marketing strategy: “A good marketing strategy should be drawn from market research and focus on the right product mix in order to achieve the maximum profit potential and sustain the business. The marketing strategy is the foundation of a marketing plan.”
I’ll talk about market research another time. For today, I’m focusing on the strategy and plan elements.
This means that you’re going to look at job search approaches that might give you a competitive advantage, because any good strategy needs to take into consideration who the competition is and what they’re doing or not doing. Otherwise, how are you going to differentiate yourself from the herd and capitalize on mistakes they might be making. That holds true whether their mistakes are based on omission (not doing something they should) or commission (doing something they should but doing it wrong).
In the world of business marketing, you can choose from a large number of marketing strategies. In fact, I just read an article titled “52 Types of Marketing Strategies“! You might consider that a bit excessive, and it’s perhaps worth noting that the article was published in 2013. However, if you have a few minutes, it’s an interesting and potentially useful read.
Obviously, no one (or one company) would be likely to use that many strategies or even close to it. On the other hand, here are a few that might be suitable for your job search marketing strategy:
Once you’ve defined your marketing strategy, you’re ready to start creating your job search marketing plan. According to the SBA (Small Business Administration), “A marketing plan includes everything from understanding your target market and your competitive position in that market, to how you intend to reach that market (your tactics) and differentiate yourself from your competition in order to make a sale.”
Translate the business aspect into job searching, and this is what you get:
Then hit the “GO” button and create that job search marketing plan.
P.S. Remember to incorporate measurable actions and timed milestones in the plan. If you neglect that step, your progress will be poor at best and maybe non-existent at worst.
[Part 2 of this topic should be published on or about March 25.]