To be successful in today’s job market you have to be able to market yourself successfully. Marketing is often seen as a business-related activity, but it is at the heart of every successful job hunt. We are all products attempting to sell our skills in the job market. It's important to understand what makes you unique and how to communicate that to potential employers.
Here is a simple 3-step process to guide you on how you can market yourself:
- Do a self-assessment
What is your unique selling point? What are your skills, strengths, or experiences? What do you wish to accomplish with them? Take some time to think about what path you want to take and what will make you stand out. Knowing what you want to do and what you can do is one of the biggest challenges college students face. In short, if you were a product, what product would you be and why?
- Develop your brand
Now that you have an idea of what product you are selling, it’s time to make it. Work on the different elements of your career portfolio: resume, cover letter, references, business cards, and a personal statement. Develop a basic statement summarizing your strongest and most unique points. Then, learn how to adjust it to different audiences. Carefully wording the statement and using the right terminology is a key point to remember. Basically, form an elevator pitch that really captures the essence of you.
- Sell your brand
You’ve got your product, now it’s time to sell it. Utilize your resources to network yourself. Career Services, professors, student organizations/clubs, industry groups, alumni, and social media are all resources that can help you expand your network. Remember to constantly practice, be proactive, and don’t get discouraged. This step takes time but it’s worth the effort. After all, it’s your future.
Successfully marketing yourself means knowing what your “buyer” wants and being able to show what you bring to the table in each type of situation. Knowing what to say and when to say it requires time and practice, so start right away and make the most of this time to develop your brand. Mastering this skill will take you a long way.
Amy Patel, Major Mentor 2016