Whether you’re interviewing for a new job, seeking a promotion, or trying to land your next big role, knowing how to promote your expertise and value is crucial to unlocking new opportunities. Having the ability to showcase your digital footprint not only builds your brand but it supports you in your job search.
Approximately 250 applications are sent for a corporate job opening position on average. Platforms like CareerBuilder, having over 80 million active job applicants, and Indeed with 225 million resumes, makes it more difficult to stand out from a sea of job seekers all vying for the same end goal. With the competition becoming louder than ever, being equipped with the creative toolkit to market yourself and bypass the noise is crucial to landing your dream job.
There is no one-size-fits-all strategy for marketing yourself. Every job market is different, and so are the ways you can help yourself stand out from the crowd. You don’t need to be a marketing guru or have a huge budget to promote yourself. You just need to know how.
Here are 4 easy steps:
Self-Marketing Tips: How to Market Yourself & Land Your Dream Job
Step 1 – Craft a memorable elevator pitch
Knowing how to promote yourself means being able to share your story confidently. This will help you at networking events, during interviews, and more. That’s why it’s important to have an elevator pitch. An elevator pitch is a brief overview of a topic that any listener can quickly understand. Your pitch can be used to introduce yourself, an idea, a product, or a company. If used properly, this short speech can help you make a strong first impression on potential employers and business partners. An elevator pitch can assist you in making meaningful connections with new colleagues, expanding your network, or finding employment. When crafting your elevator pitch, aim to:
- Have a clear goal before you share; what are you hoping to achieve? Is now the right time to use your elevator pitch?
- Keep it short and sweet — no more than 30 seconds in length. Your pitch should be compelling enough for someone to ask questions about it after hearing it for the first time.
- To help you get started, try this structure:
- Introduce yourself. Who are you? Suggested time duration: 5 seconds
- What do you do? Suggested time duration: 5 seconds
- Where have you had the most impact or growth in your career? Suggested time duration: 10 seconds
- Why have you initiated this conversation? Suggested time duration: 10 seconds
- A clear understanding of your why inspires you to tell your story with influence.
- Is there a purpose behind your interest in the conversation, and how does it relate to your personal story? I.e., you’re looking to try something new where you can add more value.
- Communicate your skills and experience, but focus on what is most relevant for the conversation.
- Include concrete examples that illustrate why your expertise is unique or valuable (and ensure those examples are relevant to the person you’re speaking with).
- Practice with friends and family, and make sure to time yourself.
- Explore elevator pitch tools to develop your story further.
You should practice telling your story until you feel comfortable doing so and until it comes to you with effortless ease and flow.
Step 2 – Identify what makes you unique and highlight what you bring to the table
41% of employers say they might not interview candidates if they can’t find them online. Having a personal brand means cultivating an intentional and conscious effort to influence, inform and impact the public perception of who you are, what you can offer in your respective industry or area of expertise, and why you offer it. Your unique attributes include appearance, personality, experiences, creativity, skills, goals, hobbies, habits, passions, palette, and perspective. These elements make up who you are and how you’re different from anyone else. Knowing your worth means, you can advocate for yourself more effectively.
Here’s how you can start influencing how potential employers perceive you:
- Update your current resume to showcase your recent accomplishments.
- Write down a list of 10 unique aspects about yourself that falls under one or more of the mentioned categories. (appearance, personality, experiences, creativity, skills, goals, hobbies, habits, passions, palette, and perspective.)
- Interview friends and family and ask what they love most about you.
- Conduct personal brand research typing your name into Google to explore what’s out there that’s attached to your name. Upon your findings, ask yourself – “Does this align with my unique attributes?” If the answer is no, go straight to the source for options in account deactivations or to update the outdated information on their platform.
- Create new industry-relevant profiles to boost your organic search findings and redefine your internet presence by researching community Meetup groups, Slack groups, Linkedin groups, and other aligned social platforms to reannounce a fresh digital presence.
- Enhance your bio to highlight your strong suits and areas of expertise and include 1-2 short-term goals. Make it fun and personable to fit multiple social platforms.
Step outside of yourself to examine themes or patterns in your values, talents, and passions to get in touch with what makes you special.
Step 3 – Put out content that positions you as a leader in your ideal space
You’ve already communicated your why and what you specialize in – knowing how to translate it to your professional network also creates room for meaningful collaborations and job opportunities. Social platforms like Linkedin offer you plenty of share your expertise. For example, if you’re looking to break into freelance writing, you could focus on articles related to your niche while building relationships with influencers in the same space. This way, you’ll learn what types of content resonate well with readers and gain insight into what kinds of stories they’d enjoy reading. In addition, you’ll develop connections within your chosen industry that will open doors to future opportunities down the road. To get started,
- Create a professional portfolio or website if you haven’t yet.
- Tailor content that aims to inform, solve a problem, or address an issue you need help solving.
- Apply your industry knowledge to your content to showcase as projects for potential on-the-spot interviews.
- Explore resources to best serve your content production needs, like Canva, Hootsuite, and Medium.
- Take note of what other industry leaders are producing in your space. What are they missing in their content, and where can you recreate it for your audience to add more value?
- When thinking about what to create, use research tools and social listening to keep up with social trends to get your work in front of the right person.
- Create a schedule to maintain a cadence in your content production that will nurture your audience to be informed about your latest projects or creative ideas.
Once you’ve got some quality content under your belt, it’s time to start getting noticed. Start by making a list of relevant publications, influencers, or hiring managers in your industry and reach out to see if they’d be interested in having a conversation or collaborating. Then, follow up with an email pitch highlighting your qualifications, including examples of your previous work, and explaining why you think the partnership would make sense or why you’d be a good fit for the company. Don’t forget to include a link to your online portfolio or website and provide any additional information they request.
Step 4 – Build your network to tap into new opportunities
Your social capital and ability to build authentic personal and professional relationships are your portfolio’s most important assets. Networking is about mutual collaboration, co-creation, partnerships, shared resources, and fruitful relationships that carry longevity. Start small. Take some time to identify opportunities where you could use additional support and find ways to contribute to the lives of the people around you. For example, if you run a tech nonprofit or volunteer at a local school, you might consider joining the board or becoming involved in fundraising. Perhaps you could join a UX design group or mentor aspiring designers if you love creating new things. Or maybe you enjoy coding, so you could start hosting hackathons for your network.
Here’s how you can cultivate your network to speak for you while you begin to speak for yourself:
- Get to know the people in your network. Start with those with the same values or who can offer insight into a subject you’re interested in.
- Understand what industries they work in and how your experience can add value to their network.
- Set up time for coffee chats or share community events with shared interests.
- Comment on posts and engage with your network to demonstrate your skills and knowledge to others in the industry while making new connections.
- Constantly share your achievements, whether a passion project or a work-related project you led; make it a priority to keep your network in the know about how you are evolving as a professional.
- Find your references; they already exist. These are usually mentors and current or past managers who would vouch for you when you need recommendations or would like an introduction to someone in their network.
- Vet and connect with 5 new people monthly on your social platforms. An easy way to do this is to reach out directly after a meeting, social event, or social media interaction. When vetting, consider related industry professionals, tenure or experience, and shared values.
In addition to expanding your network, establishing relationships with your contacts helps strengthen your brand online. People trust brands that they feel comfortable recommending to others. So, whenever possible, use your network to endorse you and your projects. Doing so will benefit both parties as long as you’re transparent and genuine. Your network will gain exposure for themselves, and you’ll generate more leads and opportunities.
Polish up your personal brand to boost your career in tech
Jobs in the tech industry are projected to reach 178,000 net new roles at the end of 2022. Now is the best time to land your dream tech job; the better you can speak to your accomplishments, expertise, and potential, the better your chances are. We get that building your personal brand is time-consuming and comes with some trial and error, but it’s well worth it. When you get it right, you will start to land new job opportunities, rewarding collaborations, and purposeful connections that will support your career growth.
Remember: You are the ultimate catch, and any company would be lucky to have you. With that in mind, marketing yourself through your personal brand will help you reach the next level in your career.
Learn more about how you can be your best advocate and land your dream job in tech at one of our career development workshops.