Career Success Through Self-Marketing

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Marketing shouldn't be limited to advertising companies. Finding a job or enhancing your current position requires good self-marketing skills. What is self-marketing? Basically, self-marketing is communicating your benefits to potential or current employers. Think of yourself as a "product" and explain to employers what differentiates you from other "products."

Why is self-marketing important? Landing a job or improving your current position requires effectively selling your skills, abilities, and knowledge to employers. How do you market yourself? Self-marketing can be accomplished through networking, resumes, interviews, and salary negotiation.

Reports estimate that as many as 85% of jobs aren't advertised. Networking is one way to get at the "hidden job market" ? those unadvertised jobs. Tell everyone you know that you are looking for a job. They just may know of someone who is hiring. Develop a contact list including: family, friends, friends of friends, acquaintances, co-workers, former co-workers, neighbors, doctors, dentists, and lawyers. If you live in a large city, chances are you can find a job search support/networking group to attend. Remember, more contacts equals more job opportunities.

Resumes are often your first contact with an employer. Your resume should highlight your skills for the job you want, not the jobs you've held. If you present yourself well on paper, you will have an opportunity for a face-to-face meeting with an employer.

Interviewing is your chance to really sell yourself. The interviewer is trying to determine if you're a good fit for the position and the company. Practice commonly asked questions. Be prepared with success stories that emphasize when you've effectively used your skills, abilities, and knowledge, leading to exceptional results.

Don't forget to send a thank you note after the interview. The thank you letter lets you express appreciation for the interview and strengthens your candidacy. It allows you to reemphasize your strongest qualifications, restate your interest in the position, and provide additional information not previously given.

Salary negotiation is a useful tool to ensure you are paid what you're worth and what the market supports. Negotiations can be conducted with your current or potential employer. In either situation, be prepared to talk about what credentials, skills, and accomplishments justify your requested salary. Besides money, other things that you can negotiate are: flex-time, extra vacation days, tuition reimbursement, and hiring bonuses.

Joan Runnheim, M.S., founder of Pathways Career Success Strategies []in Hudson, WI, is a career consultant who helps individuals reach their career goals by developing an effective career development plan or job search strategy. As a career advisor for,[] Joan has been able to reach out to millions of people with her career-related articles and advice.

For more information call 715-549-6432. Email:

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