Self-Marketing Strategies to Land a New Job: What Parades Teach Us

26 Mar

When was the last time you pulled out the folding chairs, grabbed a blanket and a thermos, and headed down to watch a local parade? I had the privilege of taking my family to the Festival of States Parade in Saint Petersburg, Florida last night…..one of my favorites since I was in middle school. My children love to catch colorful beads and candy, while I am the recipient of brochures, flyers, and coupons passed out by local merchants participating in the festivities.

Today, we’re going to talk about five self-marketing strategies that will get your name in front of hiring managers and decision makers. These are “out of the box” ideas; but in a tough economy, you’ve got to self-promote constantly. It’s time to place your personal marketing strategy to the head of the parade, and march!

1. Know who the hiring managers and decision makers are at your target companies.
Many job candidates fall prey to the web application; and don’t ever take the time to find out who they would be working for! Yes, it’s going to take some extra work – but you owe it to your career to find out who you’ve got to connect with. Call the company, talk to HR, use the social networks, Google search the organization, visit their website; do whatever you have to and find out who will ultimately decide to hire you.

2. Put yourself in front of the hiring authority outside of the office.
If you’ve done your research, you know that Mr. Hiring Manager is a member of the local Toastmaster’s club that meets every Thursday night. Ms. Decision Maker may have a passion for volunteering at the local dog shelter. The company you want to work for may have a huge community event next week. This information is easily found on the web. Attend that Toastmaster’s meeting, find out when Ms. Decision Maker will be at the shelter, go to the company community shin-dig – and introduce yourself to those people who can hire you.

3. Join local networking groups, and go to the meetings.
Hiring managers, HR, Recruiters, and influential individuals are constantly networking to continue up the ladder. When you want to connect with them, just look at professional clubs that meet in your area. Most of all, remember to engage with other members, and talk about job leads they may be aware of.

4. Have a personal “elevator pitch.”
Can you articulate to Mr. Hiring Manager who you are, what you do, and what you want? Here’s an example: “Hi John, my name is Christina, and I help people land their dream job in 60 days or less. I’m looking for new project that will utilize my recruiting and writing skills. I understand your company is opening a new training development office locally. I’d love to hear more about that.”

As you can see, an elevator pitch is a teaser. Your goal is to say “just enough” to strike up a relevant conversation. Notice too, I didn’t look desperate by asking whether he had open jobs. An elevator pitch is essential in the self-marketing game.

5. Your calling card is calling!
When you have the opportunity to rub elbows with decision makers, do you think they are likely to remember you after the conversation? They might, depending on their overall impression of you. Let’s take our self-marketing to the next level, and make sure they can’t forget you – by having professionally printed business cards with your name, contact information, email, web resume address, and a one liner version of your elevator pitch. You don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars to have high quality, personalized calling cards anymore, either. You never know when you’ll meet your next prospective boss….so have them with you at all times.

Parade watchers are a captive audience. When you incorporate the “parade mentality” into your job search, you create a win-win situation that will land you your next opportunity. Are you doing everything you can to make a captive audience of the hiring managers at your target companies?

 

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