In my last three postings about Engaging in Your Job search, I provided a few recommendations regarding how to start your job search by (Part One) Clarifying your goals, values and where you want to go, and assessing your capabilities, competencies and development needs, (Part two) your resume, and last week I provided a few nuggets on using Social Media as part of your job search Today, my goal is to is to provide information about why a Marketing Plan is an important tool for your job search
At this point some of you might be thinking that finding a job is a lot of work, and wonder why you just can’t apply for jobs on-line and be done with it. Well, you can, but finding the right job for both you and your next employer takes time and takes work. Many people spend more time deciding what type of car to purchase than they do deciding what type of job they want. In reality, where will you be spending more time at work or in your car?
A Marketing Plan is a document that outlines a number of items:
What you bring to the table. It answers the question why should anyone hire you? In other words, your Value Proposition
Lists the sample job titles you are seeking
What work you do in plain language, in quick one to two word statements
For example, I obviously can explain at length about the job search (after all, this is my fourth post, with more to come) in my marketing plan, I would simply say “Job Transition Coach” or “Career Coach”
You can list “what” you do in what I call buckets with sub-buckets (see chart below)
I recommend to keep your “sub-buckets” to five-eight
Leadership: Team Development, Performance Management, Talent Management, Hiring/Firing
Are you even willing to drive? (meaning do you desire remote work, or being on a metro line?)
Next is identifying industries and companies within those industries. This might look something like this. (I recommend listing as many companies that you might be interested in.)
Public Sector: Federal Government, State of XX, XX County, City of XX
Arts & Entertainment: Acme Theater, Acme Football Team, Acme Baseball Team, Acme Stadium
Health Care: General Hospital, General Health Insurance Company, State Medicaid Programs, State/Federal Medicare Programs
There are a number of ways to find companies
You can find company and industry information at your local library (ask the Liberian for help)
You can purchase lists from brokers
I’ve had a number of clients tell me that the industry doesn’t matter. I respond by saying, “good, there is a meat processing plant in XX city that is looking for x job,” 99% of my clients respond with “oh, I don’t want to work there” So the answer is, that you really might not want to work in any industry.
Why is a marketing plan important?
At the very minimum, a marketing plan will help make you crystal clear about what it is you offer, what you do and what you’re looking for.
Using a marketing plan in a networking meeting (see my post next week), will help you with a planned conversation, and it will help the person your networking with to help you find what you’re looking for.
Imagine, you’re out for coffee with a friend who is looking for a job, and your friend tells you that they are looking for a job in accounting. You say, okay, leave the conversation and do what with that information? If you’re not an accountant, you have no idea if they are looking for a job where they make simple journal entries and pay bills, or if they are doing budget planning. You also don’t know what type of company they want to work in, are they a small company person or a Fortune 50 type of person. Etc.…
A real life example. I met with someone who was a Divisional Head of HR for a very large, multi-national organization. I’ve been in HR for my entire career, so I knew what this person did. He said that he was looking to be the head of HR for a mid-sized company. My mind went blank, first, what is mid-sized to me and mid-sized to him could be completely different. I also could not think of one mid-sized company. Then he provided me with a list of companies that he was interested in, and I was able to provide him with eight names of people to reach out to.
You can format your marketing plan to look however you’d like – it has to work for you. It can be used as a leave behind in a networking meeting, or as a guide for you and your conversation, or both, depending on who your talking with.
A Marketing Plan is probably the hardest document that a job seeker will put together, it’s also a very fluid document, as you talk to people, you might hear something that you’d like to add/change/delete. However, once it’s put together it helps provide you direction to where you want to spend the next part of your career.
Going back to the car analogy, what are all the things you think about when you’re about to purchase a car
Leather or cloth seats
Cash, loan, lease
Use this same methodology in your job search.
My next post will be about and networking (I know I said last week that networking would be part of this post, but it’s too big of a topic and needs its own space.)