The BEST job search tool is your personal marketing plan. This document lays out and prioritizes your job search. It enables you to focus your energy and activities in the right areas and to position yourself as someone who is a valuable resource and “must hire”.
This is what a personal marketing plan looks like.Sample-Marketing-Plan-New
Your personal marketing plan serves two purposes:
- It helps you zero in on the roles and employers that you want to target in your job search.
- It helps people you meet with to understand what you are looking for and makes it easier for them to provide the right, meaningful information.
The act of creating your personal marketing plan also helps you get clear about what you are looking for and why you believe you are a good fit for the roles you are pursuing.
Investing time early in your job search to build a personal marketing plan allows you to create an action plan:
- Find and talk with people who work for your target companies
- Stay focused on jobs that align with what you are looking for
- Uncover new information and jobs that are related to your targets
Learn more about how to use your personal marketing plan here.
How To Build Your Personal Marketing Plan
Unlike the resume, there are no expectations around what your marketing plan should look like or contain. That means you can build it any way you want. But more importantly, build it so it helps you stay organized and helps the people you meet with understand what you are looking for and how they can help.
Preferred Job Titles
By defining the job titles you are interested in, you learn about the different job titles being used today. Often, companies use different job titles to describe the same role. For example, customer service might be customer support, sales support, or something even more creative. Build a list of all the variations of job titles you’ve seen on job boards. Keeping them all in one place helps you stay organized and informed. There are some helpful tools to use such as Onet and My Skills My Future you can use to construct your list.
This is optional. It is a good way for you to list the parts of the job you most enjoy doing and have been successful doing. For example, if you love the client/customer interaction part of your job, list that as a preferred function. This section serves as a way of differentiating you from the other people who do the same job. No two people have the same set of strengths within the same role.
Your positioning statement or pitch conveys the value you provide. It may be a shortened version of your personal branding statement or your elevator pitch. Whatever you say here is a concise statement summing up the problems you solve, how you solve them and who you solve them for.
Summary of Qualifications
This is a mini bio referencing the skills, experiences and talents that make you good at what you do and desirable by employers in your industry. It is not a laundry list of everything you CAN do. Nor is it a generic overview. This has to be very unique to you. If you’ve already written your resume, you can use what you wrote there.
What are the skills you want to make sure you highlight? What do you know how to do that is important for someone to know. Be as specific as possible. This is optional, as any of the sections of this document.
A picture is worth a thousand words. Perhaps visually showing your career path will help someone connect the dots. Your job in this section, should you chose to use it, is to show the correlation between the various jobs/positions you’ve held. It is small and one of the least important parts of your personal marketing plan, in my opinion, of course.
- What industry do you want to work in?
- What size company is the best fit for you?
- Where would you be willing to work?
By answering these questions, you define and fine-tune your options. This is the criteria you will use to create your target list of employers. Every company on this list must fit the criteria you’ve established!
This post walks you through how to find target companies. When you go directly to the source of opportunities, you will hopefully get there ahead of the competition.
Get Your Personal Marketing Plan eGuide
- 4 samples of personal marketing plans
- 35 pages of instructions and samples in an electronic (pdf) format
- Databases and resources to help you identify target companies
- Sample scripting for introducing your personal marketing plan
- Instructions on how to use your plan to keep you job search on track
Hannah Morgan speaks and writes about job search and career strategies. She founded CareerSherpa.net to educate professionals on how to maneuver through today’s job search process. Hannah was nominated as a LinkedIn Top Voice in Job Search and Careers and is a regular contributor to US News & World Report. She has been quoted by media outlets, including Forbes, USA Today, Money Magazine, Huffington Post, as well as many other publications. She is also author of The Infographic Resume and co-author of Social Networking for Business Success.