Self-Marketing In A Changed
by Kevin T. Buckley,
Hiring managers are more selective now.
If you have recently been downsized or restructured due to the economy, it's important to understand how to position yourself and target your approach to reflect the needs and expectations of hiring managers.
Equally important, especially if you have not had to look for a job previously, there's the need to adjust how you present information to a potential employer to gain their attention.
There is more competition in the marketplace so you need to modify your approach accordingly. The time you save the recipient of your message from hunting for information is time spent reviewing your qualifications.
Your most important tool aside from your resume is the email message that accompanies it. As recruiters, we see hundreds of messages daily, and many of these are not serving those who sent them properly.
You are wasting an opportunity to create buyer interest if you do not fully utilize your e-mail introduction.
I see countless messages that are essentially blank, with no telephone number for follow-up and no reason why the person is writing. If you are taking the time to send a message, say something about your experience and make it easy to contact you.
What you need to do in an e-mail message:
- tell the reader why you are writing
- put your telephone number in the message
- be concise, relevant and focused
What you need to avoid in an e-mail message:
- long, rambling paragraphs
- a lot of personal information not related to the position
- no contact information
The fewer jobs there are, the more people there are to apply for them. This means that hiring managers have very little time to spend reviewing your message. You need to capture their interest immediately.
Hiring managers often skip blank messages and concentrate on those that have some bearing on the position posted. You literally have only a few seconds to get them to stop, review, and hopefully consider your resume.
There is a real advantage to you to paste a copy of your resume text in a message even if you are attaching a document. Having your resume instantly accessible when viewing your message increases the chance of creating buyer interest.
Create a customizable introductory message in your email program Drafts folder that you can copy and use when applying to jobs. Don't just send out a generic message, customize your appeal to match the position requirements. It only takes a few minutes to do this but you increase your chances of a follow-up exponentially by taking the time to address their expectations.
A blank message with a resume attached conveys to the reader that the sender doesn't care enough to take the time to make a proper introduction. This is your first and often only opportunity to make the human connection. You don't have their eyeballs for long; what should they be seeing?
For a hiring manager to actively consider you, their needs and expectations must be addressed, and there must be a logical reason why you should be considered for the position. Look at the position posting. What are the two or three essential issues or requirements? How does your experience relate to those needs? Why should they hire you?
Every word, every phrase and every sentence that you use in your message must be relevant, concise, and focused. You must generate buyer interest. You must capture their attention enough that they mark you for follow-up by e-mail or telephone.
Don't assume when you are responding to a position which has a number or code that the person receiving your message knows which position the code or number relates to. The employees of companies that post multiple positions don't always know those numbers off by heart. It is a very good idea to put the position title as well as the number in the subject line of your message so that there is no confusion.
An issue with third-party job board postings is that these postings, which are captured off a primary site like a recruiter's website, often do not have all of the information about the job description available. You are safe to assume that the most complete information will be found on the recruiter' s job board.
General job boards like the government' s Jobbank are useful to review. They have certain limitations however regarding the amount of information that can be posted. There aren't a lot of options to customize job positions. Again, check the recruiter' s website for the full job description. Copy and paste the title of the job in the subject line of an e-mail message.
Sifting through these posting responses to find the right people for consideration is a time consuming task. Many of these responses will have little or no information in the e-mail message. You automatically set yourself apart from other respondents by identifying the job title, inserting your telephone number and the reasons why you should be considered in your email message.
You should consider the possibility that your name will be checked on the popular social networking sites like my space.com or facebook.com to see what is on your profile. We have seen candidates rejected because the client did not like what they saw on the candidates social networking profile.
If you are looking for work, make sure that there is no information on your social media that could jeopardize your chances of obtaining the job that you want. These sites tend to contain a lot of personal information which people wouldn't ordinarily share with a potential employer. There may be activities depicted that employers could find inappropriate.
If you have a track record in business or industry, consider posting a profile on sites like Linkedin. Having a profile on these sites gives you a certain visibility to companies that are searching for your experience or skills. It also conveys the impression that you are serious about your career and are open to being contacted for job or networking opportunities.
Google specific job titles to obtain the names of job boards and recruiters that represent them within their area of expertise. What comes up in search engine results when you enter your own job title with the city that you live in? What industry Associations are linked to your position title? Industry associations often have a membership site or directory of members that list people to consider networking with.
These are some points to consider in the current job market.
The key idea to take away is that anything you can do to save time in the preselection process, and stimulate buyer interest in the recipient, while clearly communicating why you should be considered, is time well-invested in your future.