At its core, what we do as marketers is build awareness and create sales opportunities. Unfortunately, when it comes to our own career trajectory—or even job security—we forget to turn those skills around and use them on ourselves. When trying to land that dream job or go from individual contributor to management, the first step is to know your goal (landing that awesome gig) and create a marketing plan for yourself.
Just like you would do for a new product or feature launch, take time to understand your audience and personas and learn what would take to build their trust and give them what they need. Maybe you’re looking at a startup that’s willing to take a chance on a scrappy first-time manager for a lower-than-market salary (with an agreement for a salary review at six months); maybe you’re going for a more established company that’s more likely to hire from employee references (hello, personal network); maybe getting to the next level means letting your enthusiasm shine through by outlining how your personal goals roll up perfectly into the mission and vision of the company.
If you think about a marketing funnel or a job search, what is the persona of the audience we need to build trust with? Hiring managers. And what are the pain points of this audience? Could be lower hiring budgets, lack of available talent in a geographic area (thank you, Zoom), a constantly changing business strategy, or simply a need for fresh ideas. Join marketing discussion groups and ask hiring managers what it would take for them to consider someone like you for a position with fill-in-the-blanks experience. It could be as simple as showing a willingness to go above and beyond. From there, create a sales funnel with you as the product.
- Use your professional portfolio and social media channels to establish who you are and what you do.
- Go the extra mile on your resume and cover letters to show that you’ve done your research and are, indeed, a trustworthy candidate.
- Once you have their attention, nurture them with industry knowledge and questions that showcase your strategic abilities.
- Close the deal by restating your enthusiasm for the position, reiterating the impact you have as an employee, and showing a willingness to negotiate.
Yes, marketing yourself into a dream job takes lots of work and sometimes the lead time is loooong, but you know exactly what to do. Let’s get to work!