Create a Promotional Introduction for Your Market
Depending on your chosen profession, the Marketing Flyer Technique can be a creative method for reaching your target market. The format can vary based on the type of standard communication specific to a particular industry, so it usually ties in with a specific theme. The best format is one that is standard and recognizable as an accepted industry format. The following techniques are all variations of the Marketing Flyer Technique that have been used successfully in a variety of industries.
The Marketing Flyer Technique
A marketing flyer can be highly creative and fun to work with and distribute. If well written and designed, they are often passed to several people within the target company. The key to success in development is to write for your market—what works for an ad agency may not work with a management consulting firm. However, if you use items with standard appeal within your chosen industry, you will likely be a standout.
A word of caution in using this approach: some few will ridicule deviations from the standard resume/cover letter approach. If your approach is poorly conceived or shoddy in appearance, you may garner nothing more than a laugh. But if you keep to the high standards of your industry, you will get some raised eyebrows and possibly much more. It may provide you with the key for unlocking the doors that bar your entry.
Keep in mind that if you wince at this type of approach, you should probably avoid them and stick with traditional methods. If it is out of character for you and inconsistent with the type of company you are seeking to attract, take a more conservative approach. If, on the other hand, you have a creative bent and your target employer is open to a creative approach, this may give you an outlet for getting inside otherwise inaccessible companies.
The Front Page News Technique
This technique works well for those in publishing and other creative fields. Create a one-page newspaper with yourself as the headline and sideline stories. This technique requires a great deal of creativity and technical expertise, otherwise it can come off as a sappy stunt. Your objective is to create a page of professional copy, just as you might on the job. Your headline story could be your pending graduation, with sideline stories including reporter interviews with your key references, and possibly even a reference to the targeted employer under the business section.
A journalism major recently used this technique and re-created the exact format and headlines of the paper to which she was applying. They were very impressed and granted her the interview over heavy competition.
A spin on this technique: a graduate who was seeking a job in desktop publishing was asked by a prospective employer if she had experience with PageMaker (which was the in-house product of choice). She replied that she had extensive experience with Quark (on a Mac) and that she was confident she could pick up PageMaker in a very short time. She trained herself on the product and developed the "Front Page News" sheet with PageMaker as proof of her new expertise, including practical illustrations of some of the more complex formatting techniques. She presented the page as a "show-and-tell" item at her interview—and had a job offer in hand before the day was over!
The Product Introduction Technique
This technique works well for those in the Business Administration and Marketing fields. Write a standard product introduction in the format of a press release or a product brochure. The kicker is that the product being introduced is you.
A Marketing major wrote a sales brochure introducing a product that was currently under production and ready to be introduced to the market, including full specifications about himself as this new product. He ended up getting a job as a Marketing Representative with a Fortune 500 manufacturer who had previously not replied to his inquiries.
The Product Advertising Technique
A way to vary the Product Introduction Technique is to develop a technical product specs ad about yourself which follows the industry format for such an ad. This technique works well for the technical fields, such as Computer Science and Engineering.
An Information Systems major used this technique in developing a Wired-type ad about himself, including all the standard "speeds and feeds" column comparisons of his features with the competition.
The New Delivery Technique
This technique works well for those in medical-related fields. Although it's not what we might call a "professional standard" in the field, it is nonetheless a well-recognized form of communication. What is it? A birth announcement—with the major headings modified to reflect the focus. Instead of delivery hospital, list the college you are graduating from. Instead of attending doctor, list your department chair. The Vital Statistics section becomes your Vital Skills section.
A pediatric nursing graduate moving to a new geographical area wrote a birth announcement to communicate her "new delivery" to the area, including her vital statistics and abilities. She eventually had every hospital in the city fighting over who would make the best offer.
The Tombstone Technique
This technique works very well for Finance and related majors. Write a tombstone ad similar to those you would find in Barron's or The Wall Street Journal that are used for listing an initial public offering or corporate bond offering.
A Finance major used this technique to get attention (and a job offer) from a large brokerage house in the heart of Wall Street—even though he was in Oregon!
The Audit Certification Technique
This technique only works well with accountants seeking a career in public accounting. It is written in the same standard format as the audit certification statement made by a public accounting firm after an audit. The twist is that this is written about an accounting grad, "certifying" their background and skills in the industry. It is then signed by either a fictitious "Partner-in-Charge" with the firm or, better yet, the academic head of the School of Accounting at your college.
If you need a template for development, you will find one in nearly every annual report of publicly traded companies. Some creativity is inherent in the use of this technique, but don't get too flashy—just the concept is about as flashy as most conservative accounting firms can handle. It works best for small to medium-sized firms, which often encourage more unconventional approaches to the market and would value a true spark of creativity.