Job seeking is a tough, time-sucking activity that is a lot of work for very little reward – but alas, it needs to be done. Whether you are looking for a different role or a new opportunity, there are three things that professionals always seem to skip when hunting for a new job; three things that are essential if you actually want to land the position that you want. To help you find (and secure) a new role, there are three top-secret job searching tips. We covered “getting clarity” in part one of this blog series, so now we move on to tip number two. By the way, this article comes from a fragment of our The Secrets of Job Seeking In Professional Services Virtual Masterclass If you want to listen to the whole masterclass, join Progress to Partner for just $1 and get access to the full recording.
Secret 2: market yourself effectively
In order to sell yourself effectively, you need to market yourself effectively. Sounds a bit weird when you say it like that, but just think of any product or service – to sell it effectively, you need to understand the market and market it effectively first. This is why this is our second secret out of our top job searching tips. The first piece of job seeking advice that we gave was to get clarity on what you want, where you want to go, and what you have to offer. As part of that process, you should have written 6 key lists; lists of your experience, the areas where you have specialist knowledge, technical skills, non-technical skills, achievements, and personal attributes. With your lists, you can then begin to market yourself effectively as you know what you bring to the table that gives you both internal value (within the firm) and external value (within the marketplace). You can use these to raise your profile and get your name known.
How to raise your profile
Raise your profile, build your online reputation, get your name out there…all these are common among the job seeking advice for professionals. But how do you actually do it? How do you get your name out there and in the process, market yourself effectively?
LinkedIn is a goldmine
The biggest of job searching tips that we could give you is to utilise LinkedIn. The platform is home to 660 million users in more than 200 countries and over 30 million companies, so if you use it right, potential employers and opportunities will come to you instead of you having to chase them. So how can you raise your profile and market yourself effectively on LinkedIn? Here are a few ways that you can do both:
- Write your LinkedIn profile from the perspective of a partner or a recruiter. What would they want to read? What would they want to see? What would make them think you’re a good person to have as part of their team?
- Get involved with your professional body. If you join the committees etc for your professional association, this is a great way to raise your profile through that network.
- Be active online. One of the best ways to raise your profile and to position yourself as the expert in certain areas is to write good content, share good content and ideas, and comment on others posts and group posts to get your name out there. You can even write articles for relevant industry journals.
- Create your own YouTube channel. Demand for video content is increasing (apparently 54% of consumers want to see more video content from a business they support), so try to record short and useful pieces frequently.
- Build your network. Spend time making connections and fostering relationships via LinkedIn because it is absolutely essential to build your network online and also more widely. Everyone knows someone who knows someone where there could be an opportunity for you.
Perfect your marketing materials
If you’re going to market yourself effectively (and raise your profile in the process), you need the right marketing materials that each do what they should. We’re talking about your CV, your cover letter, your LinkedIn profile, and your one-pager. These are essential documents that you need to perfect if you want to be successful in your job seeking. To help you get them right, here’s a quick guide to help:
Your CV needs to convince whoever is making the hiring decision that you are the perfect person for that particular role. The only catch is, that it needs to do this in about 30 seconds. When it comes to your CV, the top piece of job seeking advice for professionals is to make sure that you have a really strong professional profile. This ‘executive summary’ usually takes up about a quarter to half of a page and this is where you pitch yourself and what you have to offer. Remember those lists of technical skills, non-technical skills, achievements, and personal attributes? This is where they come into play and you need to choose which are the most relevant and beneficial to use here (Tip: check the job description!). This paragraph is then followed by your career history. Most people focus too much on their responsibilities and not enough on their achievements, so for each job role, try to list a few key responsibilities and achievements for each. Towards the end of your CV (which is usually around 2 pages long), you will then cover your education and professional qualifications, starting with the most advanced. With the current pandemic, it’s definitely worthwhile mentioning any I.T and digital skills that you have throughout!
Your cover letter
Whether it’s a cover letter, a covering note or a covering email, the key to this piece of marketing material is to go into a bit more detail about how your skillset aligns with the role, what you can bring to the team, and why you want the position. Your cover letter is the first thing that the recruiter or highering manager will read about you so you need to make a memorable impression. List between five and seven key reasons why you think you’re ideal for the role that’s on offer so that the reader has a better understanding of your suitability.
Your LinkedIn profile
The most important sections on your LinkedIn profile are the 120 characters immediately below your name and then your summary section. With your 120 characters, you need to immediately catch the eye of the recruiter or potential employer. You need something that stands out and makes the person want to stay on your page to find out more. This is where you then need to perfect your summary section. You want to show your skills in a memorable way and you want to pepper this text with keywords that you want to be found for. As well as these sections, you need to show a bit of your personality in the About section of your profile and remember to include your specific areas of expertise throughout your profile. Read: The right (and wrong) way to stand out on LinkedIn and win work and find new opportunities
A one-pager isn’t a necessity, but it’s good practice. If you create a one page Word or Google document that says “This is me, this is my level of experience, my expertise, and this is what I’m looking for and why I’d be an asset to another firm,” this will help you massively when it comes to communicating with recruiters or the person hiring AND with your network too. Essentially, you are getting clarity about yourself in a concise way so that you can communicate better and market yourself more effectively!
For more job seeking advice, read: A definitive guide to job hunting for lawyers, accountants, and consultants (part 1)
Know what you can offer
To market yourself effectively, you need to have clarity (step one) on what you want and what you can offer as well as what your potential employer will want from you. Once you have these lists, you can then use them to create your marketing materials. Marketing yourself effectively is all about treating yourself as if you were a product or service, so bear this in mind when raising your profile online and when you’re job seeking. This should help you be more successful in your efforts as it enables you to think outside the box of “well what am I good at?” – and that’s why it’s one of our top job searching tips! For more job searching tips (and the other 2 secrets to job seeking), see part 1 and 3 of our blog series or join Progress to Partner for just $1 to get access to the full recording.