Tuesday, August 11, 2009

What Document is as Valuable to a Job Seeker as a Great Resume?

All job seekers know the importance of having a resume and most job seekers know how to create a great resume. There are not many job seekers, though, who know there is a piece of marketing material that is as important and valuable as a great resume: a one-page marketing plan.

The purpose of the marketing plan is two-fold. The one-page document forces you to concisely state what you are looking for in your next industry, company, position, and in what geographic area. The process of creating the plan helps you identify your top skills, your competitive advantage, and a list of 5 – 10 target companies.

The second and main purpose of the marketing plan is to provide the information needed so your friends, family, and network buddies can help you in your job search. The people in your network do not memorize what you are looking for. They have lives of their own and probably know more than one person who is in a job transition. Help them by giving them a one-page summary of the key points to listen for as they are out and about. Encourage them to post your marketing plan on their refrigerators or by their desks so they see it frequently. Seeing it often will help them remember the information. As they are talking with other people and hear a company’s name that is on your list, they will remember to introduce you to the person who has a contact there.

As a job search coach, job seekers frequently offer me their resumes, not to review it but so I can help them network. The resume does not help. The resume states what they have done, not what they are looking for. The market plan, however, gives me a list of job titles and target companies that I can use.

One job seeker shared his marketing plan with me and said he was told to use it as the cover letter when sending out his resume. Ah – no! Do not share your marketing plan with your target companies. When you are working with your target companies, they should believe they are the only company you desire.

How to Create a Marketing Plan

The header of the marketing plan should be the same header you use on your resume. This is now your letterhead and should be used on all job search materials, giving you a professional look.

If you used a career summary on your resume, you should use that here. If you don’t have one, summarize in less than 5 lines the portion of your experience that highlights your competitive advantage.

Table of Core Skills
In a table with 3-5 columns, identify the major categories of your core skills and a few (1-3) brief accomplishment statements that support those skills.

Elevator Pitch
In this section document the parts of your elevator pitch: the industry, the position (with the various titles assigned to this position), and the geographic area you are considering.

Target Companies
Overwhelmingly statistics prove that networking is the best way to find and secure a job. Since it takes time to network into any one company, you do not want to use the shotgun approach and spread yourself too thin. Identify the top 5-10 companies that you want to work for. Research companies so you understand who is expanding their business (you want them on your list) and to know which companies are struggling or letting people go (you don’t want those companies on your list). Remember too that most of the available jobs are in smaller companies. Your job as a job seeker is to work your network, find and contact people in these companies, and let them get to know you. The rapport you build gives you advantage over the faceless people represented by the thousands of resumes the company received via the internet.

Create your marketing plan and freely share it with the people in your network and save your resumes for the target companies.

To receive a marketing plan template, e-mail Judi@RightChanges.biz with the subject line: marketing plan template.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for this great advice, I will implement it asap.