In today’s world of social networking, marketing yourself has become both easier and more important, but, it is important that you present yourself to the world as a cohesive and desirable package. If you aptly do so, you may find that you have more opportunities open to you in both your professional and personal life.
More and more recruiters are looking to social networking sites for future employees. This means that both your LinkedIn profile and Facebook profile should be employer ready. What does that mean? Your work info on LinkedIn needs to be up to date and in general your LinkedIn profile should serve as an advertisement of yourself. It should make company recruiters want to contact you and should give a bit of your background. As far as your Facebook goes, your public information should frame you in a professional light, you don’t have to be wearing a suit in your profile picture but it should be an image you would want a future employer to feel comfortable with. More and more companies are relying on social networking as a recruiting tool. By getting your name out there in a positive manner you are more likely to have success in your job search. But, you may ask, how can you market yourself in face to face?
First and foremost you need to present yourself as a knowledgeable individual. By doing some background work prior to an interview, meeting, or even a lunch with an old friend, you’re more likely to be well received. By preparing your ideas and conversation topics you’ll be better articulated and your overall argument will carry more weight. When dining with an old friend, if you have taken just a few moments to recall your last few conversations, you’re more likely to have a meaningful talk and less likely to have awkward pauses. Preparation is truly key. This is not to say that you should have flash cards with specific points you need to hit, you should of course be natural, but a general knowledge of what is going on is necessary.
In addition to being prepared you should know how to sell yourself. You should be able to discuss your educational, volunteer and work background in a way which best presents you to current and future business contacts, which includes employers. Your background is what is going to distinguish you from all of the other candidates. A good way to do this is to ask yourself the following questions: ‘Why would ‘X’ company want to hire me? What differentiates me from the rest of their potential candidates? Why would ‘X’ company want to do business with me as opposed to somebody else in my profession? How can my background help me to succeed in ‘X’ position? Unless you know how to answer these questions, you’re not marketing yourself in the strongest manner.
Once you know the answers to these questions, make sure your resume reflects them. Your resume should be very clean and clear-cut, it should only include the most important details, and should play up each and every one of your strengths. A recruiter should be able to quickly look through your resume and know where you work, in general what you do and what your technical skills are, in addition to of course your educational and regional background. If all of that info is presented in a convoluted manner it is unlikely they are going to take the time to untangle your resume, even if you are a highly qualified individual. But self-marketing isn’t just a skill needed for those looking for a job move.
In fact, self-marketing is an activity which can benefit every aspect of your life. How you dress, your personal appearance and what you say greatly effects who you become friends with and who you date. Because of this it is important that you present yourself each and everyday as you would like to perceived. This is not to say you need to spend a lot of time getting ready or that you need to say intellectual things all the time, just that you should spend some time figuring out who you are as an individual and how you can best get that to come across to others. If you are confident in what traits make you an individual and have an idea of how to present yourself as a cohesive and intelligible package you will probably find more and more that opportunities open up to you.