In a competitive job market, it is imperative that you stand out from the pack. Having the right skills and experience is not always enough to get that interview. To be noticed by employers, effective self-marketing is key.
However, self-marketing for a job can be tricky business, especially if you’re a fresh jobseeker or a worker planning a mid-career switch. Being the former means you’re new to the job search game while the latter puts you out of touch with the latest job search trends.
If you are scratching your head on what to do, have no fear because Workipedia by MyCareersFuture is here. We’ve put together some tips for marketing yourself effectively that will up your chances of landing that job you’ve been eyeing.
The bulk of the effort is before the interview
If you assumed that impressing the employer only happens during the interview stage, think again. There’s no denying that how you present yourself during an interview is important. You dress to impress and try to sell yourself to the employer the best you could to get the job.
However, if your preparation for the interview is focused only on what to wear that day, brace yourself for another rejection. While looking good for the interview is great, you need to be more than just eye candy to make an impression on your interviewers.
As the saying goes: Failure to plan is planning to fail. Well, the same way a product gets marketed to consumers. To maximise your chances of making a good impression during the interview, you must have your playbook ready beforehand.
Marketing yourself means you’re the product
Think of a soft drink that you have in your fridge. How did it get there? Before you even taste the drink, recall what attracted you to purchase it in the first place. Was it the packaging? Maybe the health benefits? Or perhaps the humorous way it was advertised on TV?
Similarly, in marketing yourself to employers, you’re the product, and the employers are the consumers. Therefore, it is critical that you do enough homework before turning up for the interview.
Below are some key questions you need to ask yourself:
- What are my potential employers looking out for?
- How would hiring me help with their business objectives?
- What makes me a better hire than others?
- How do I best communicate my strengths to potential employers?
Preparation is king… and queen
The job interview is a balancing game. Too confident and eager to showcase your achievements and you’ll come off as too cocky. On the other hand, if you’re too subdued and low energy in presenting yourself, you’ll appear as a timid candidate.
So, preparation is key! The more prepared you are, the more ready you are in turning up with the right mindset, energy, and knowledge to communicate with the interviewer.
Here are six great ways you to prepare yourself before showing up for the job interview:
1. Know the potential employer
If you’re a fan of the 80s cartoon, G.I. Joe, you’d be familiar with this quote uttered at the end of every episode: “Now you know. And knowing is half the battle…”
Cartoon wisdom aside, doing thorough research on a potential employer will help you to better understand the ethos of the organisation and the skills, personality and knowledge they value highly.
You can start your research by visiting the company’s corporate website and looking at the ‘About Us’ section. Identify the keywords the company used to describe itself. Subsequently, you can insert these keywords in your CV submission as well as verbalise them during the interview stage.
2. Know what you bring to the table
You may have the skills and experience fitting for a role you’re gunning for, but if you don’t make them known to potential employers, it’s the same as self-sabotaging yourself. Share with your potential employers what you can bring to the table!
You can do this even before the interview stage by making sure that your CV is updated with your current skills and recent achievements. This is not the time to be shy to list your accolades.
3. Know what to say
Qubits. Superposition. Gate Fidelity. Does any of these words mean anything to you? Maybe not unless you’re doing quantum computing. Having said this, the terminology you use can be important when applying for a new role.
When applying for a role, identify and understand what key phrases and buzz words are niche terms in the industry you’re aiming for. Pepper these terms in your CV and verbalise them during the interview stage. Impress your potential employer with your familiarity with the job.
4. Know how to behave and react
CVs and job interviews are serious stuff, but that doesn’t mean you have to be all stiff about it! Don’t be afraid to add a little flair and a personal touch to your application. Nobody is just a collection of professional skills; employers may be keen to see a more human side.
Your interests, passions and personal skills will be part of the whole package- so don’t forget to market yourself as a well-rounded individual.
5. Know the latest industry trends
The world of work is not stagnant and things change all the time. As a jobseeker, it is important to keep yourself updated with any developments and news in your industry. Read industry publications, influential blogs and websites – a good resource would be the Workipedia by MyCareersFuture site!
It’s always good to memorise at least one industry trend when turning up for an interview. You never know when an interviewer may pop a bonus question.
6. Know how to network
Job searching is not only about what you know, but who you know can also give you a headstart. If you’re not a fan of networking events, the web has made it easier than ever to promote yourself.
Whether you’re a jobseeker or gainfully employed, it’s beneficial to subscribe to social networking sites such as LinkedIn, Quora and Slack just to name a few, to connect with other professionals and uncover new opportunities.
Networking will help you establish credibility with your peers in the industry and nurturing connections will help you with your career growth.
Take your time to familiarise
It can be overwhelming to accomplish all six tips at the same time, so don’t be too hard on yourself if you feel that you’ve not been reading or networking enough. You don’t have to follow the tips in any order, so prioritise accordingly.
We’ve compiled a list of relevant reads for you to further help you better market yourself below!