How are you going to get your fantastic skill set and experience noticed by people who make hiring decisions? Are you going to send out paper resumes and wait for the phone to ring? That’s so 20th century!
It’s a new world for today’s job applicants, so you’ve got to employ the latest tools for marketing yourself. Having a solid, well-composed resume is still important; the key is to use available technology and the techniques it offers to motivate employers to want to take a long look at that resume and you, the person it represents.
How to Brand Yourself to Employers
One of the 21st century’s best practices for being successful is branding. It is creating an identity for yourself that you can actively market during your job search.
Branding answers the questions, “Who are you?” and “What do you have to offer?” It delineates your competency and character and the ways in which they set you apart.
Competency: Let’s say you’re looking for a job in engineering. Your competency will be determined by how well you did in the engineering program you completed, your success in specific work projects, your professional achievements and awards, etc. The goal is to brand yourself as an engineer of the highest caliber and don’t be afraid to share that with some humility.
Character: What was an afterthought a few decades ago is now a prominent part of how companies evaluate prospective employees. Are you a positive person with a great outlook on life? Do you give back to your community through tutoring at-risk students or working at a non-profit? Employers are looking for givers, not takers, and those who add energy, not drain it.
21st Century Marketing for Job Seekers
Before the digital age, an employer would collect resumes, select a few finalists and set up an interview during which they’d see the applicant for the first time. Those days are over!
Studies show that a majority of employers are getting a first look at potential hires through networking and social media such as Twitter, Facebook or a personal website. Connecting through LinkedIn is an increasingly important 21st century job search technique.
Networking: Meet and greets sponsored by the chamber of commerce or the local accounting society are 20th century, though they can still be effective today.
Networking in the 21st century also involves making contacts at charitable or social events, alumni gatherings, seminars, tradeshows and other non-traditional networking events.
Social Media: Studies show that decision makers are looking at Twitter and Facebook during the hiring process. Use these media wisely to present the image you want employers to see.
Highlight your competency and character while also presenting yourself as an authentic person. If you try to come off as perfect, you’ll actually come off as fake.
Website: Building a personal website and starting a blog or vlog (video blog) can be an effective marketing tool. Use the site to demonstrate your competency and character as well as your grasp on the field in which you’re pursuing work.
Post about current news and trends in the blog with links to helpful material. In other words, don’t make the site all about you; produce a website with content that is useful to those viewing it.
LinkedIn: Networking by connecting to others through LinkedIn can be a powerful tool in your job search. Make connections with others in your industry, fellow alumni and those with similar interests. Be sure to link to anyone you’re sending a resume to.
How you approach your job search says much about how you’ll approach your job once you get it. Put enthusiasm, energy and hard work into it using 21st century job search techniques, and potential employers will love what they see.