In the game of chess, the very best players do not make their first move until they have planned their last. During job search, the same strategic logic applies. So before you start looking, it’s time to create a personal marketing plan.
If you find your job search is in a stall or not going well, it may be time to call “time out” and conduct some strategic planning. I’ve listened to job seekers talk about how their searches are “frustrating,” “depressing,” or “lasting too long.”
Perhaps that is because they don’t have a personal marketing plan to guide their moves.
Most job seekers leap into job search by adding their last job to their resume and posting it on a job board and waiting for something to happen. The more savvy job seekers understand that networking is an important component and engage with friends and family. Yet neither of these actions will work successfully unless there is a plan, goal or vision set up in advance.
It’s Your Move
How do you develop a plan, goal or vision? Start with your Marketing Plan. It is a simple document. It contains 5 sections:
Objective | This is a listing of 5 or more job titles you are searching for. (Use O*Net to research these)
Summary or Bio | Highlight your specific strengths, talents and experiences, but only those that are relevant to the roles you are pursuing.
USP or Value Proposition | Tell someone what problems you solve, who benefits from your work, and how you do differently.
Competencies | A list of work related processes or procedures required of the jobs you want (this is optional)
Demographics | Your preferred demographics (where you want to work). The type of industry, company size and geographic location.
Target Companies | A listing of target companies that fit those preferred demographics. (These do not need to be companies who are hiring, merely those that might employ those who do what you do).
Make Your Move Today
The act of creating your Personal Marketing Plan should force you to think about your strategy. It will provide you with options and insight beyond what you immediately thought of.
It is also an incredibly helpful document to use when you network. So, toss aside that tired resume. It really doesn’t tell someone what you want to do next. It talks about what you did in the past. The personal marketing plan is a future-oriented document. Use your Personal Marketing Plan to guide your conversations.
I have written and spoken about personal marketing plans a lot. I truly believe it is the single best document to have in your job search toolbox box.
For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at Career Sherpa.
About the Author: Hannah Morgan is a career sherpa, guiding new job seekers through the treacherous terrain of job search. If you are looking for no-nonsense advice, check out her site Career Sherpa. And follow Hannah on Twitter for the latest job search news and trends!