How will you market yourself to prospective employers when you apply for a new position? Even if the demand for candidates is high in your industry, there is always competition for the best roles.
“Hiring managers – as well as recruiters – will screen for the technical skillset first, as it is not only what stands out most on a candidate’s résumé, but also vital to check to ensure each applicant fulfills basic key requirements,” says Cesar Gautier, Executive Manager with Michael Page.
“Saying that, often the differentiating factor in an interview setting, and ultimately when making your hiring decision, falls on aspects such as “soft” skills (e.g. communication & interpersonal skills). A key factor in some of the more technically driven professions is the ability to communicate on all levels, including non-technical personnel. These aspects weigh heavily in the hiring decision making process,” Gautier concludes.
Do you have the skills that make you stand out? Here are six ways to market yourself effectively, in order to get the best job offers:
1. Understand Your Audience
Get to know your potential new employer by doing market research to understand what they're looking for. Try to establish the skills, knowledge and types of applicant top companies value highly. Speak to existing or former employees to get an inside take on the company. At the interview make sure you researched the company so you can tailor your questions and answers to their recent business activities.
2. Sharpen Your Skills
Look at your skill set to identify any knowledge gaps that could hamper your progress, and try to take training in areas where you lack experience. Were you recently declined a job? Politely ask for feedback from the company or your interviewer about where your CV or performance lacked impact.
3. Identify Your Unique Selling Points
How do you stand out of the crowd? From the many positive aspects of your CV, select one or two that make you seem different and highlight them. This could be your mix of past work, the combination of your academic training and hands-on experience, or relevant and intriguing personal interests that position you as someone of interest. Use this unique selling point in your written applications and interviews with employers.
4. Remember to Sell Your Soft Skills
Candidates often assume their technical know-how is enough to secure them the best roles. Of course you should demonstrate them – and show that you’re well-rounded and have great soft skills, such as communication skills, leadership potential and lateral thinking.
5. Get Up to Date
Learn about advancements and developments in your industry – specific industry knowledge and awareness of current trends are always appreciated. Work on forming an interesting and wide-reaching view of the sector!
6. Build Your Network
The web has made it easier to connect with and maintain relationships with various people in your profession. Keep in regular contact with your network, and attend industry events to meet people and form real relationships – a fundamental and effective tool of self-promotion.