Tuesday, 17 June 2014

The Marketing and Sales of Jobsearch

I've been working on creating some rather time consuming non-article stuff for my business lately, and was watching a couple of videos earlier today on how to create better looking PowerPoint presentations over at www.m62.net when a small section of their "Why Present" video - aimed at salespeople to deliver better public presentations - I watched got me thinking: some of this translates as really good advice for jobseekers!

In one of the other video's I watched earlier it discussed that businesses and salespeople need to understand the difference between 'Marketing' and 'Sales' presentations, and as the presenter gave his explanation, I first connected the difference being the same within the job searching process thinking: 'The application phase of jobsearch is the equivalent to marketing, and job interviews are the equivalent of sales opportunities" - where the purpose of marketing is to find potential customers, and the purpose of sales is to generate a purchase transaction. Umm, the purpose of jobseeking is to find potential employers and then generate their interest in hiring you for their vacancy, right?

The particular section of interest within the video "Why Present" (which you can view here) discussed that all businesses, no matter what their 'wares', compete in the marketplace on a possible three things: price, service and or value. And once again, I started thinking: the same is true for jobseekers.

How is that true, you ask?


Although there are many positions in which the employer determines what rate they pay to position holders, there also exist employers and jobs that negotiate the starting rate or salary with the candidate too during the job interview or at the job offer. Of course, it depends on the type of job and industry you seek work in whether the employers pay fixed rates or are based on negotiated amount, but this is one of the things you should research when you look at applying for the type of work you want to do.

You could compete on price (accepting slightly less in order to snag the position away from a competitor wanting higher, or go for premium because 'they won't get any better than me! And I deserve to be paid more for my expertise').  The Employment Services industry had both fixed rate positions and negotiable ones depending on whether the company was not-for-profit or private enterprise.

When businesses go into business the ultimate service they provide to consumers (whether that is business to business or business to consumer) is the particular products or services they deliver. To be successful in their business operations, the business has to possess the right skills, knowledge, experience, abilities and licenses etc to be allowed to and capable of attracting customers to earn the income and achieve the desired profits. And, the more capable the business is of delivering to its customers what they need and want (building strong relationships and service expectations), the longer the business continues to trade and the higher the profits the business gains.

Again, I see that there is little difference between a business and a jobseeker, where the individual needs to possess the right core skills, knowledge, experience, abilities, qualifications, licenses etc to be allowed to and capable of doing specific tasks at a competent level, thus enabling the business to earn the income and achieve the desired profits. But, an individual also needs to be a 'good fit' within the business to make the employment relationship last.

Businesses that strive to beat their competition succeed in doing so when they focus on providing value to their customers.  That is, it is the additional factors that separate them from their competition that they willingly 'give' to their customers to encourage those customers to purchase more, remain highly satisfied with the business, product and transactions and or to return to the business in the future so that their business reputation and standing continues to grow.

Jobseekers don't always realise it, but looking for work / gaining a job is essentially always been about how they provide value.  Those that take the time to think about the additional skills, knowledge, experience, abilities, and attributes etc and demonstrate them to their prospects usually gain work quickly, because they inadvertently demonstrate their value just in the act of striving to beat their competitors.

Value Proposition

Back to the "Why Present" video, the message the company was imparting was Marketers need to present a clear message to their target audience with a value proposition: a "What's in it for them? and How will they benefit?"  For every feature the product or service has, good marketers must demonstrate how those features will benefit the prospective purchaser to make their life easier, reduce time or costs; and provide the justifications to help move the prospect towards a sales opportunity. The marketers goal is to find the right customer, so a sales opportunity is gained and the sales presentation can then helps the customer to consider buying this particular companies product or service over that of their competitors.

During your jobsearch, you need to act and present like a Marketer. That means, your job applications need to present a clear message to the target employer with a value propositions: "What skills can you bring to the business? and How will that benefit the employer?".  Your goal is to find the right type of customer - that is, the type of business who will want and need the service you offer; so you can move the prospective employer / hiring manager towards a sales opportunity.

The job interview IS your sales opportunity.  This is where you switch from marketing to sales and provide justification to enable your prospect to make the purchase decision to choose you over your competitors.

According to m62.net, there are only 4 types of Justifications:
1. Testimonials
2. Process
3. Technical
4. Logical

Can we use them in jobsearching?  We sure can, and do!

Testimonials are where other people who have used a businesses products or services declare, either written or verbally, in statement of appreciation and or recommendation the character, conduct and or value of the product or service received. In job searching, we call such people our Referees and References.

Process is where the salesperson explains to the prospect how the product or service they offer delivers the value stated - the how and why they should believe it. In job searching, the answers we give to interview questions like 'give an example of a time when...' is us fulfilling the 'process' justification.

Technical uses intellectual property to deliver a benefit. As jobseekers, we can't copyright or patent our trade secrets - like KFC's 11 secret herbs and spices, or Dyson's cyclonic vacuum system - but we can demonstrate our proficiency is using technological tools such as computer programs or providing evidence of qualifications and licenses held.

Logical is proof provided from reasoned argument, and as jobseekers, we can think about our skills and abilities and discuss how these provide benefit to the prospective employer and use what we say to show credibility and suitability.

So before you send off your next job application, review your resume and cover letter and think like a Marketer:

Who is your audience?  Easy: the employer(s) for the specific type of work you are seeking to gain.
How do they currently think and do? What are those employers looking for in their ideal candidate?  What basic skills, knowledge, experiences etc will they want the person to possess?
What do you want them to think and do after seeing your resume and cover letter? You WANT them to invite you to an interview!  You WANT them to believe that you might be the right 'product' for them.  You WANT them to grant you a sales opportunity, so you can convince them to accept your brand.  So they need to ask you questions; they need to phone you and invite you to meet with them. So, knowing the answers to the first two questions, you need to carefully consider: what details do I need to include / exclude so that they will want to interview me?

Examine your resume and cover letter - right now!
Do you have the right information in your resume and cover letter?  If you were your audience and received your resume and cover letter, would you want to invite you to an interview?

No?  Make substantial changes.  If yes, are you really sure?  Have you been getting invitations to interviews?

When you get a job interview, this is the chance to pull out your best salesperson skills and sell your product: you, as their ideal employee.  Would you purchase a product from a salesperson who is late and isn't well presented?  Would you purchase a product from a salesperson who doesn't answer the questions very well, who doesn't instil you with confidence that they are trustworthy, likeable, will do a really good job.

Become a good marketer and salesperson, and you'll have gained a job before you know it!

Char Mesan Resumes & Jobsearching
If your resume is not up to the job of getting your prospect to give you a call, you know you need to make changes so that it does.  If you need help with that, then please feel free to contact me; I have a range of different products and services that will help you and suit your budget and love helping clients get better, faster results!
You can use the contact form over in the right sidebar or can find me on Facebook.

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