By Trish Conheeney
How do you market yourself in the new normal? My kid says to me the other day, “Mom, nothing’s gonna be normal again”. Did I mention he’s 14? But other than my teen, I haven’t met a person who can say what tomorrow will look like without a ton of doubt in their voice. Even the usual mavens aren’t certain of anything. But like death and taxes, we can probably assume that for those unemployed, work will hit the shore. And for those underemployed, momentum will eventually come again. While that may not sound very encouraging, it is. It just may be time to rethink how to perform the current job better, or reconsider what’s next, but most important, how to best market yourself to create opportunities. So while everyone else is jockeying for the same roles and sending their resumes on autopilot through LinkedIn and Indeed, and speed dialing their recruiter—pause for a moment. Let your elevator pitch about yourself simmer on the back burner while you figure out the best way to communicate your value as if you were positioning a product for launch.
Let’s face it, you’re your own product and your very own marketing team, so develop a strategic plan to help you identify the best promotional channels to target your message, and ensure that your communication is clear, concise, and compelling. Yes, people have more time, but less time to waste with unqualified people. Companies are mining for gold and there’s no dearth of bouillon now, but talent still has to be discovered. With the world shaken like an Etch A Sketch board, it’s time to rethink core strengths, and how to articulate what their impact will be on a company in the future. Companies are lean, and while maybe not mean, they’re getting more “efficient” all the time. They need to roll with smaller sales teams who can cover larger territories. Client services need to upsell faster, juggle more accounts, and satisfy customers more proactively. Kind of like the Navy Seals, who are the elite of the elite—companies require the very best who will do what most others can’t or won’t. We have to get in shape.
So think about what you did for your past employers that may not be on your resume. Get specific in the telling of your story so you can illustrate exactly how you drove revenue, overcame obstacles, and saved dollars for your organization—-think like a writer here. This is your bio so write down the details. It’s your story and if you don’t tell it, no one will ever know about it. Maybe you’re the person at your organization everyone turns to when the ‘all hands’ conference call goes south, but your job title is Head of Office Comfort—and you’re responsible for ensuring everyone’s desk and chair are ergonomically correct–not tech support. While you might never bring that up to a future employer, you might now. Or maybe you’re a successful seller who also had the best track record for organizing all the sales events at your company because you’re an OTT entertainer with connections at every cool restaurant in Manhattan. You never know when a company is going to appreciate additional skills outside your title —-and now more than ever, organizations want people who are flexible, adaptive, open to taking on new challenges, and always thinking outside the box.
Demonstrate how you have done that, and don’t be afraid to talk about yourself in a way that might seem like you’re bragging. You’re not bragging—you’re simply trying to persuade a company who is being extremely selective that you’re the right candidate. The competition for great roles is keen, so dust off your story and start editing. Make every sentence pop. SAY MORE WITH LESS. Cut out the fluff, and add the meat. And remember, if you don’t tell your story, someone else will tell theirs — with more flair, detail and more relevancy to what that company wants and needs.