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5 Ways to Market Yourself in the Workforce

Today’s job market isn’t for wimps.

We are in the midst of a transformation in the American workforce. Layoffs, outsourcing and downsizing are among the fear-inducing words being thrown around, from America’s largest corporations to small businesses in our local towns. A college degree no longer guarantees a successful career, and competition is fierce. A well-rounded resume and great interview skills are always revered, but not always a sure thing. With that said, it’s your career, so what are you going to do to ensure you remain in charge of it?

A great place to start is by developing a great marketing plan. Since you’re marketing yourself, your plan should be clever, realistic, and results driven. Whether you’re currently employed but ready for a change or just looking for a job, your strategy will likely be the same:  Get the right people to notice you.

You’re fighting for yourself, so motivation shouldn’t be a factor. Here are a few self-marketing tactics that put the guerilla in guerilla marketing:

1. Give Your Resume and Cover Letter a Facelift

Your first line of communication with a company will almost always be with your resume and cover letter. Simply using resume and cover letter templates and plugging in your information isn’t exactly the most effective way to get noticed.

Think in terms of personal branding when creating your resume and cover letter. Your cover letter should sizzle! Talk about a couple of your biggest achievements. What makes you different from the 200 other job hunters applying for this position? Throw a relevant image or two on your resume. It looks cool, and it will make your resume pop.

Think outside the box when it comes to designing your resume and cover letter. You may very well turn a head or two.

2. Think in Terms of Targeted Networking

You can rely on traditional networking, but this puts too much power into the hands of others. Take control and think about approaching networking in a whole new way.

Start by locating your target companies: Which ones do you want to work for, and which ones will likely hire you? Next, identify exactly who you want to contact within the company, whether a manager, human resources director or department head. Next, scoop up as much information as you can about the company and about the hiring person you are targeting.

A personal letter to the hiring manager, including a request to meet with him or her – even casually over a quick cup of coffee – may be just what you need to get your foot in the front door.

3. Don’t Hesitate to Pick Up the Phone

So many of us rely on email exclusively, which can be a mistake when the inboxes of hiring managers are already inundated with resumes.

Instead of taking the standard route and running the risk of having your resume fall between the cracks, make a phone call. Instead of presenting yourself as just another job candidate searching for a position, consider what you have to offer the company and look for any opportunity to humbly and respectfully present your ideas.

4. Build Relationships Using Social Media

Don’t wait until you are out of work and looking for a job to begin building your professional network. Use social media platforms, such as Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook to communicate with other professionals like you.

There’s nothing quite as easy as networking from the comfort of home, and sharing knowledge with other professionals in your industry can put you at a distinct advantage when it comes to landing your next job.

5. Find Contacts in Unexpected Places

Read newspaper and industry journals, blogs, and newsletters to get the latest news in your profession. In doing so, you may even snag a valuable contact.

If you read something interesting, don’t hesitate to contact the author of the article, the person featured in the article or interview, resources the article directs you to, or even source citations that may be named in the article.

For example, say you’re a CPA or accountant and you’re researching ways to say up to date on your CPA requirements on AccountingEdu.org, a website full of accounting resources for savvy professionals. After navigating the site you’ll discover several worthy contacts all in one place – such as, local chapters of professional organizations, state-specific CPA associations, specific contacts within your state’s Board of Accountancy, and staff of the website. Take full advantage of career resource centers like this because most of them are well connected to industry contacts.

Guerilla marketing is all about shifting the power from others to you, and there is nothing more empowering than taking your career into your own hands. Have confidence in yourself and your ability to sell yourself and your unique set of skills or talents. You’re a self-branding superstar; now go make a name for yourself.

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