Last week we discussed the creation of your personal brand. Based on that self-analysis and value development, I hope you were able to gain some greater insights about your professional career path and goals. Ideally, at this point you have defined your niche and are ready to implement a strategy. The first step in this process is to develop a marketing plan that will effectively reach your target audience: Your Future Employer.
Your personal marketing plan is a very important tool in your job search. It brings focus and direction to your job search and allows you to spend your time actually moving toward your goals instead of wasting time trying to figure out what to do next. It provides direction for your job search and guides networking contacts to provide the appropriate type of help that you need. Your personal marketing plan should contain the following:
1. Your Preferred Job Titles. You will want to have a large list of job titles to account for all of the different ways that companies label what it is that you want to do. Resources like O-Net can help you construct your list. It’s also helpful to search on LinkedIn; use the keyword search for words that are in your brand/field/niche, and check out the profiles of others who do the activities you want to do, for ideas of job titles.
2. Value Proposition Statement. This is simply defined as who you are, what you have to offer and what audience you serve. It can be shortened version of your professional profile statement (branding statement) or your elevator pitch.
3. Core Competencies/Work History Summary. This is a brief summary, highlighting your skills, experiences and key accomplishments that make you unique and valuable to an employer. This needs to be very specific and relevant.
4. Market Preferences. What industry do you want to work in? What size company fits your best? What geographic location would you be willing to work in? Answering these questions will further define and clarify your options. These are the factors and criteria that you will use to develop your target list of employers.
5. List of Targeted Companies. This should be a comprehensive list of companies that you have identified that match your professional goals, values and style. It is a list of organizations that you will target your networking efforts towards. You will focus your efforts on cultivating and developing relationships within these companies.
Once you have created your personal marketing plan, it is important to take a proactive approach in implementing your strategy and delivering your brand. (Next week we’ll discuss comprehensive company research, including finding the right people within your targeted companies to contact.) Reaching out proactively will give you the opportunity to get in front of more hiring managers. Keep in mind that companies prefer to hire candidates that are referred, and many of the best jobs never get advertised. Your personal marketing plan has to be very well crafted and thought out to stand out from the competition. Your weekly email includes a sample of a marketing plan to help you get started.