Landing your dream job during an economic downturn can seem an impossible task. Here are some tips.
Author of several books, including Six Steps to Job-Search Success, Caroline Ceniza-Levine suggests job-seekers take cues from luxury brands.
In an article on www.forbes.com, Ceniza-Levine argues that some luxury brands continue to do well even in a down economy because of the way they diffentaite themselves from other brands. She suggests job-seekers do just that by:
Knowing what prospective employers want.
"How well do you know your prospective employers? Who are they hiring and where are they looking for candidates?” she asks.
Personal branding specialist and author of Branding & Marketing You, Donna Rachelson suggests some self-reflection. “When hunting for a new job, there are two critical questions one needs to ask: What makes me different to everyone else who will want this job?” and “How can I add value to the organisation in the context of the position they’re looking to fill?”
Move focus from price to value.
Like an expensive cream that costs more but last longer and delivers more benefits, educate prospective employers on your value proposition. Quantify why hiring you will be more cost effective or more profitable than the alternative. Use numbers to back-up your work, Ceniza-Levine says.
Rachelson agrees. “Before you step into an interview, you must do your research. You need to figure out what your unique selling proposition (USP) is – the competitive advantage that sets you apart from others with similar experience and expertise – and you need to understand how to convey the value you can add to a company so that you can market yourself to employers.”
Market yourself in a way that matches your value proposition.
Rachelson suggests highlighting impressive projects you’ve worked on in your career rather than simply listing your skills on your curriculum vitae. “Visit the company’s website and make sure you understand how you can provide value-adding solutions to challenges the business is facing. For example, you might be a Chief Information Officer and from your research you see that the organisation where you want to work is looking to expand its footprint into new regions. If you have expertise that could help the company in this regard, perhaps in this case it’s years of experience in optimising sales and distribution models, this is a fact you need to highlight,” Rachelson says.
Ceniza-Levine, on the other hand, discourages realiance on the curriculum vitae. “Job seekers are still relying exclusively on the resume, when other modes of communicating make more sense,” she says. By maximising social media to market yourself as a marketing executive, for instance, you are demostrating a critical skill set required in your profession, Ceniza-Levine says.“Does your presentation – your networking pitch, your dress, your marketing material — match what employers expect, need and value?” she asks.
Rachelson also recommends job-seekers do some leg work before starting the jobs search.“Before you start making job enquiries, ensure that you understand how others perceive your personal brand, especially if people are going to give you references. You need to make sure you know what they are going to say.”