Career Calling

November 30, 2010

Sell What the Market Needs

Any successful company that sells a product knows its market.  It knows who wants to buy its products.  Job seekers need the same kind of knowledge.  They have to step back and think about themselves as a product.  What do you have that employers want?

Be analytical.  Make a detailed list of your skills, professional knowledge, experience, and achievements.  What makes you different?  What will make you valuable to a potential employer?  Go over the list with two or three people who know your career.  Ask them what they think.  Look to them for advice about what kind of companies you might approach about a new job.

Be sure that your resume reflects your most important selling point.  You can highlight what makes you unique in a summary or profile at the beginning of the document.  You can also list any unique skills or certification before you begin describing your work history.  One of my client is a fluent speaker of Chinese (Mandarin).  We highlighted that skill on his resume, and he was contacted by several clients looking for a sales professional with that unique language skill.  Other clients have emphasized technical skills or career achievements as a way to attract an employer’s attention.

Too often job seekers simply think of their career as a timeline, a work history.  If you don’t frame that history in a way that makes it easy for employers to see what you have to offer, they will often push your resume to the recycling bin.  A good job search works just like a sales campaign.  Your job is to sell the product – you are the product.  Start selling!

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