7 Tips for Marketing Yourself

You might have a flawless resume, all the qualifications in the world and years of valuable experience but that doesn’t mean you're going to get the job.

No matter what industry you’re in, the job market is tough to crack, with tens or even hundreds of candidates in the running for any one position at a time. So to maintain a competitive edge, you need to be able to market yourself effectively.

If you can create a strong professional image, it will act as a powerful ace up your sleeve to get on the radar of potential employers. And if you can successfully carve a positive reputation within your industry, the opportunities might even come to you. 

1. Know Your Audience

When marketing yourself professionally it pays to be specific to attract the right roles. You need to know exactly what job you want and have an idea of which companies you want to work for.

Look at the employees of the companies you aspire to be part of. Scan their profiles on the company websites and research their LinkedIn profiles. Note their key characteristics and skills, see where yours align and focus on highlighting them.

When building your profile, you are essentially establishing a brand for yourself and in all circumstances, the most successful brands are those that resonate with an extremely targeted audience.

2. Mind Your Digital Footprint

Many recruiters will use hiring software that links any social media profiles that use the email address you’ve applied from. For this reason, you either need to set up a uniqe professional email account for job applications or ensure that your social media channels are squeaky clean. The latter is recommended, as many recruiters admit to independently researching candidates online. This means removing any questionable material, such as embarrassing selfies, drunken photos or potentially offensive posts. 

3. Create A Following

Speaking of digital presence - to be known by top recruiters and employers, you’ll want to be visible online. Create a following on social media, focusing on LinkedIn and Twitter which are the best for establishing professional connections. Use these profiles as platforms for sharing and discussing industry news and trends and getting to know other key figures.

Also consider blogging as a way to create a voice for yourself. You can easily set up your own website, but if you don’t have the time or resources, you can also share posts easily on LinkedIn or Medium. Blogging is an excellent way of creating authority and showing potential employers that you are passionate about your career and it becomes a kind of online portfolio too.

4. Get Professional Accessories

To accompany your social media accounts and blog, you might want to invest in some professional headshots that will make your channels seem a bit more polished and give your connections a better view of who you are. Having a good corporate headshot helps you to project a professional image of yourself.

In addition, you might also want to have some business cards made that include your key details and contact information. This makes helps people remember you from networking events and allows people to contact you easily if they need to.

These professional accessories aren’t necessary but do provide an advantage as it’s a powerful way of showing employers that you’re dedicated to securing a job.

5. Have A USP

You can spend, time, effort and even money trying to market yourself, but if you don’t have anything special to sell, your endeavors will be pointless. Always have a USP (unique selling proposition) that makes you stand out from the crowd and gives recruiters something to remember. 

For example, if you want a job in Digital Marketing and you are particularly talented at Search Engine Optimization, then call yourself an SEO specialist, write blog posts about SEO and tweet about SEO so that employers think of you next time they need someone with that particular skill. This also helps ensure that you end up doing a job that are capable of and have potential to excel at.

6. Get Endorsements and References

Being recommended by other figures within your industry is a really powerful way of gaining credibility. Ask any of your previous managers or bosses for a review which you can use for job applications, put on your LinkedIn profile or include on your blog or website.

Potential recruiters are much more likely to trust a personal review over the skills and experience you have listed on your resume.

7. Network

Networking is the most effective way of building connections and growing your personal brand. You can network at professional events, or if you’re not able to attend these, you can network online by following and communicating with other industry names on social media. However, a mix of offline and online networking often works best to make yourself more memorable.

Engage in discussions, join industry groups and contribute as much as possible. If you have connections within your industry, you are twice as likely to hear about career opportunities and be recommended for them.

Bio: Written by Lana Richardson, journalist and content marketer, specializing in career advice and working life tips. Lana is the current blog editor for NIParcels.com.

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