Selling Yourself in a Competitive Job Market – Here’s 6 Key Moves

blog image

No one else will “blow your horn.” You have to get over your shyness; you have to get over the idea that promoting yourself is somehow gauche; and you have to accept your own value before you can promote that value to anyone else. In this competitive job market, there are 6 moves you need to make right now if you want to be the selection when that attractive position opens up.

Develop Your Brand

You are a product and you are also the CEO of the company that is selling this product. You have to think this way. If you had a product to sell, what would you do to spread its brand, to get it noticed, and to convert “lookers” into customers? You do the same thing for yourself.

  1. Target your audience. Who do you want to notice you? Where are these people who need to get your message? You go where they are. Get a LinkedIn profile, update it all the time, and promote your achievements. Get on Facebook and other social networks. Join online groups related to your profession.
  2. Develop a portfolio that highlights all that you have done so far. Put it on LinkedIn
  3. Get a website – You can write your own story on your site and allow others to see both the personal and the professional you.
  4. Blog – You can have your own blog or post on others’ blogs. You can promote great ideas related to your professional niche. You can become rather an “expert” on some things. And when you get ready to product that resume, you can provide links to those posts.
  5. Get “published.” You can produce an e-book or an e-guide and put it on your website

Recognize the Two You’s and Shift Gears

You have a split personality when you are in the job market. While no one is suggesting that you be “false,” you do need to recognize that you have different “gears” of behavior dependent upon your environment. When you are relaxed with friends and family, your language is certainly the same; your dress is casual, even sloppy if you want; your whole demeanor is casual. And here’s the important part: you allow your flaws and your weaknesses to show.

Your professional personality is the “super” you – unflawed, capable, confident, and a great actor. You dress professionally and you get that haircut. You speak with confidence and using vocabulary and sentence structure that is befitting of your career.

Your social media accounts need to show the professional you as much as possible. Certainly, you can have photos engaged in hobbies and other activities (charitable work and such), but make sure that the professional you is highlighted.

Be Persistent

As you network, engage others, and promote yourself, don’t let up. Keep contacting those people who might be in a position to recommend you for a job opening. Stay in touch. Tell them that you are still looking for new opportunities. Don’t let them forget about you.

Be Unique

What about you is different from other contenders? What have you accomplished that has shown persistence, great talent, skill as a problem-solver? Even if you trained and qualified for the Boston Marathon, something totally unrelated to your professional career, what does that demonstrate about you? You can set goals and do what it takes to achieve them; you are persistent and focused. These are all qualities that potential employers admire, and you have the actual proof of them, not just the words.

Interview Sales

When you do get that interview, do some solid preparation.

  1. You need to sell your benefits not your background. Prepare statements that will show what you bring to the organization, not what you have accomplished at other organizations. You can prove those benefits by your past achievements, but the focus has to be on the benefits.
  2. Show passion and enthusiasm for the position and for yourself.
  3. Sit up, talk straight, look confident, keep eye contact, and smile

Join Physical Network Groups

In your local community, there are professional networking groups that meet at least once a month. Join as many as possible. When you have relationships with lots of professionals, even those unrelated to your career niche, you are someone who comes to mind when other business acquaintances of theirs need someone with your background. And their recommending you is the absolute best reference you could ever have.

No one else will “blow your horn.” It’s up to you. Are you ready to make these 6 key moves?