Developing Your Marketing Strategy

Do you consider yourself a good salesperson? If yes, good for you—you will be putting your skills to work throughout the job search process. If not, get ready to become one—because in order to be effective in your job search, you have to become effective at marketing and selling.

Your "product" is you and your "market" is the segment of the employment marketplace that is a potential purchaser of your product.

Remember these two key points:

  1. No one knows your product better than you.
  2. No one can make the sale other than you.

If you don't market you, who will? Successful entry level job search is not just a matter of taking a few on-campus interviews and waiting for the offers to roll in. You need to fully prepare yourself for a highly competitive entry level job market.

Your competition is sitting next to you in class every day.

No matter what your major, no matter what field you intend to enter, you must be ready, willing, and able to market yourself. Just as it is difficult to market a product you do not truly believe in, it is difficult to market yourself if you do not believe in yourself. First and foremost, you have to believe in you. Don't expect anyone else to believe in you if you don't. How can an employer be expected to "buy in" to you if you don't buy in to yourself first?

Take a long hard look in the mirror. Don't look for the bad points—look for the good. Identify all the aspects about you and your background that differentiate you from others and make you an outstanding job candidate. Those are the attributes that employers want to see when they meet with you.

The reality is, it's easy to market a product you love. If you are enthusiastic about your work and your ability to complete the necessary tasks and activities, you will not even think of it as work. If you are doing it "just for the bucks," then you are just selling your services to the highest bidder. And eventually you will burn out.

In preparing to meet the needs of the marketplace, make sure you are comfortable selling your talents and skills to that market. The reaction from the other side of the desk to true passion and enthusiasm will almost always be positive.

Sit on the other side of the desk. Imagine interviewing yourself for the position you most desire. Would you hire you? If not, why would anyone else? Work on yourself, your appearance, your attitude, your passion, your enthusiasm, your professionalism, your product, before you bring your final product to market.

You never get a second chance at making a great first impression. Make sure your first impression is on the mark.