I wrote my first blog post back in November 2008; problem was I didn’t have a blog to post it to at the time. The post was based on one that Seth Godin, the author and entrepreneur, posted on his blog, Marketing lessons from the US election, where he commented on the successful elements of the Obama’s campaign for the presidency. His comments really resonated with me as they relate to people in their job searches. With a few adaptations, below is what I drafted at the time. Read Godin’s post first; then read mine below. Regardless of your political persuasion, can you see the lessons for marketing yourself in your job search?
Stories really matter. People need to talk about their accomplishments rather than their responsibilities. Stories about what you’ve accomplished throughout your career add value to prospective employers. However, the stories need to be relevant and concise, to the point. If the audience can’t relate to the story it’s no good. If the story teller rambles on, they’re losing the audience and the story is no good.
TV is over. What Godin is talking about here is broadcasting. Tactics like direct mail are not effective. Hiring and HR managers are busy people and are selective about what they want to read. Saturating the airwaves / mail doesn’t do any good. While you need to employ technology more in your search, it needs to be strategic technology.
Permission matters. This is where social networks, like LinkedIn.com, come in. By reaching out to select folks on LinkedIn, FaceBook and Twitter, asking permission to connect with them and taking care of the list of connections, you build a network that can help in finding the next position. Frankly, this is where you ought to be focusing your job search efforts.
Marketing is tribal. By building the list of decision makers from sites like LinkedIn and nurturing the list, you identify your tribe. For example, PMPs (Project Management Professionals) know intuitively that their tribe members are other project managers with PMP certification. They know how other PMPs will behave, what processes they employ to do their work. Engineers are another tribe; as are IT folks (although with many “sub cultures” within them – developers, DBAs, network administrators, etc.). What about people looking to join a new tribe, those unsure about what they want to do next or knowing they want to do something else? Again, they can use social networks to identify tribes which they might want to join. Not create a new tribe, but find a new tribe. Identifying one’s tribe is critical to success.
Motivating the committed…By creating lists of decision makers who are asked permission to be on the list; by nurturing them and becoming a member of their tribe; by seeking their advice and keeping them apprised of the unfolding situation, you build a network of motivated tribal members who will act on your behalf.So how is your search campaign unfolding? Are you using marketing techniques that are effective or are you doing the same old, same old? And how’s that working for you?