Simple Steps to Gain a Competitive Edge

Posted by Paladin on May 24, 2012

As seen in Susan Caplan’s book, “Marketing Yourself to the Real World.”

The Warm-Up (Marketing Yourself) – Marketing is about buying or selling a product or service in the market place. That is what you’re doing in your job search, except YOU are the product. Start thinking of yourself as two separate people. One is the personal side, and may not change much from what you are now. The other is your professional side, the one that is looking to start a career. And, yes, there is certain packaging that needs to take place to sell YOU in the professional world.

Becoming Purple – Remember, marketing yourself is about being noticed in the marketplace that you want to work. You want to be different from others. You want to make an impression. You want to become purple, (or whatever your favorite color is that stands out) instead of gray (or whatever your least favorite colors is that wouldn’t stand out.)

The Starting Line – Setting up your job search is like putting together a map. Think about it this way; if you wanted to drive from California to New york, you’d plot out your route ahead of time. Otherwise, you could take the wrong road or get lost. It’s the same with you job search effort. You want to make sure you have a finish line or a destination and a plan for getting there.

The Right Equipment (Your Toolkit) – Remember to have all of the necessary tools in your tool kit before you begin your job search. Always have business cards, a professional voice mail message and email address, a clean website that shows off your talents, a resume and cover letter, thank-you notes, a flawless elevator pitch, job search log and a time management schedule.

Packaging is everything – Maintaining a professional and clean appearance is vital in your job search. Be sure to have three interviewing/networking suits ready, including shoes and jewelry. Purchase an appropriate carrying case for your resume and other items.

Building Relationships – Begin your networking experience by making a list of all current contacts, including what their profession is and what company that work for. Also make a list of networking events and opportunities in your area. Research your school or professional organization for job opportunities.

Interviewing – Be prepared for the most important step in your job search process, the interview. Practice your answers to your interview questions over and over to be fully prepared. Also, be sure to get enough sleep the night before any interview and remember to follow up and thank interviewers.

Nix the Naysayers – Think about the individuals in your life who are a negative force, and instead of focusing on them, focus on the individuals in your life who are a positive force and encourage you to reach your goals.

Remember the Things Your Were Taught When You Were Little – Be nice, polite and respectful to everyone. Shake everyone’s hand when you meet him or her, with a firm handshake. Always look your best. Think about what you say before you say it.

For more tips on how to excel in your job search process, contact your local Paladin representative today!

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