Next week visitors to BODYGUARDCAREERS will be treated to an interview with Bruce Alexander. One of the crucial statements he makes is about the importance of “marketing” yourself.
What exactly does marketing mean, you may be asking.
Marketing means how you package and present yourself. Have you ever noticed how when you go to the store you find yourself drawn more to a certain item simply because of the way it LOOKS-well, that principle needs to be applied to your employment tools: The Resume and The Cover Letter.
Most people think their tools are great. They’ve used a template from a book for their cover letter, copied someone else’s resume format, and think they’re good to go. Not true. Template cover letters are painfully apparent and mark you as a rookie. The resume format you’ve copied may be dated, or badly done to begin with!
The resume is more than just a list of your past jobs and duties while on the job. You can use your resume as part of your strategy to obtain the interview. The resume must be formatted correctly, free from grammatical or spelling errors. Margins, fonts, bullets, type size, as well as the layout of the resume are all very important things to consider.
The chronology of items on the resume is important-the requirements of the position you are seeking may dictate that your training appear first, or last. Your resume may need to be changed slightly for each position. Perhaps your resume is not leading with your strengths. Have you indicated your career goals? If not on the resume, is that information clear in the cover letter? Is there some other work experience that could be beneficial on the resume that is missing? Do you include too many jobs? Is the resume too long? Too short? Is it clear but concise? Does it look like every other resume?
People think cover letters are just reiterating what appears in the resume. This is a misconception, andÂ a lost opportunity to communicate other information about yourself. It is a chance to share who you are as a person and not just as a potential employee. Your personality, style, attitude and professionalism all come across in a cover letter. It is the key that unlocks the door to your resume. A poor cover letter will not entice an employer to continue to invest time in you, and to review your resume.
In short-ask yourself if it is really representing you in the best possible way. Consider hiring a professional in the field to assess your materials. The fee is a very minor investment in your career.
Marketing is also about making people aware of who you are, and making it easy for them to contact you. You may want to consider developing a simple website. You need to have cards printed. You need to have effective, interesting cards printed so they will not be thrown into the trash.
Lastly, marketing is also about how you package and present yourself at networking functions-and if you don’t attend networking functions, then you are missing out on another marketing tool! What is your manner at the function? How are you dressed? Do you make the most of that opportunity? Bruce Alexander has some outstanding insights on networking that he shares in the interview.Â Heed what he says. He is a man who has been working non-stop and has achieved a level of success that is truly inspiring.