Seeking A Job Requires A Marketing MindsetWhen you respond to a job opportunity, don't try to sell yourself. Now you're probably thinking: "What? Are you nuts? Of course I have to sell myself!"
But think about it. Your goal as a job seeker is not to present yourself in the best light as you see it but, rather, to show the potential employer how you can meet his or her needs. That's marketing, not sales.
When a company creates a new job or someone leaves and an opening occurs, the hiring supervisor (consciously or unconsciously) creates an image or template of the ideal candidate in her or his mind. Your need is to try and figure out what that idea is and help the employer recognize that you fit the image more closely than anyone else.
How can you do this? Carefully read the job posting or classified ad. Most people drafting a job description tend to think of desirable history or skills in an unconscious order of priority. If you hear about the opening in some other way, ask for a job description before you upload your resume.
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Do some research (again, a marketing function) on the organization with an emphasis on the areas of its core businesses. And take a look at how the organization historically has positioned itself in the industry. Check out their Web site. Ask for a copy of their sales brochure, an annual report, and/or copies of their customer and employee publications. Ask your friends. Ask friends of friends who are working there. Work your network. This researching phase not only helps you to build your "positioning," but equally important, it enables you to discover if this is a company with a culture you'd want to work in.