Self-Marketing: How to Be More Competitive on the Job Market
7 Self-Marketing Tips to Make Yourself More Competitive on the Job Market
Photo by Deniz Göçmen on Unsplash
When buying a product, here are some of the things you probably consider: what it’s made of, how much it costs, its value compared to its price tag, how quickly it can arrive, and how well it suits the intended purpose. Here’s one more thing (and this is big) – we consider how much the marketing around the product drew us in.
When hiring, an employer does pretty much the same. They evaluate every potential employee, but they’re not beyond picking an imperfect candidate because they were charming, or funny, or otherwise had great communication skills.
So, what are you supposed to focus on here? Building skills or building personality? In truth, you need to do both. If you want to make yourself a good candidate in any field and have employers vying for your attention instead of the other way around, here’s what you need to know when it comes to self-marketing.
7 Self-marketing tips to ensure you stand out:
1. Never, ever stop learning
There is never going to be a point in your life when you’ll be able to say “Well, that’s it, I know all that there is to know.” You can always learn something new. You can always invest in yourself. Workers who think they know everything and are too closed off to embrace new experiences usually have very limited expiration dates at their companies.
It’s in human nature to keep growing and advancing, and with new technological advancements and new world views all around us, stagnating in one spot is simply a recipe for disaster. A good employee is flexible, adaptable, and knows that there are always ways to improve and do something better. They grow with their companies and learn from their environments.
2. Use certificates to prove your skills
While employers like confident workers, those who have nothing to show for all their bragging are the very opposite of what anyone wants in their company. Since one of the best ways to make yourself marketable is to keep learning new skills, then why not obtain evidence of your knowledge?
No matter what kind of skills you have or plan to learn, you should consider getting a certificate that confirms your expertise. For example, if you’re a nurse you could get online certification for basic life-saving courses, or if you’re into web design you could become an Adobe Certified Expert (ACE) to show off your knowledge.
If you’re passionate about something, if you know it inside and out, then get a paper that proves it and no employer will ever doubt you.
3. Think of solutions rather than problems
A good attitude is very important. Rather than being a whiny worker who keeps complaining about problems and demanding funding to get them fixed, be the one to resolve them. Open up your mind, take charge, and bring a solution to the table instead of just piling on more issues.
Even if you don’t manage to smooth out every bump in the road, employers and colleagues will appreciate the positive, go-getter attitude. Why? Because it actually moves things along instead of keeping them stagnant.
4. Polish up your CV and cover letter
Put a spelling error in your CV or cover letter and get a 100% guaranteed rejection! Yes, employers will absolutely notice tiny details like those and they’ll consider you deeply unprofessional and even unintelligent for allowing yourself to let it slide. Think of it like this: you have all the time in the world to work on your CV and cover letter. It’s not like a job interview, where little mistakes and nervousness is to be expected because it’s all happening in the moment and it’s natural to be caught off guard occasionally. No, you have time to prepare, and if you don’t take it, it just makes you look lazy and sloppy. Here’s how to make sure your CV is neat and that it stands out.
5. Learn basic information and tech skills
There’s a mind-bogglingly huge number of people who don’t possess even the most basic informational and tech skills. They can’t make a simple spreadsheet, let alone understand how to use pivot tables, and things like basic slide presentations, pdf files, and text documents puzzle them.
These shouldn’t be such standout skills given that the world is becoming more reliant on technology each day, and yet it is. If you don’t know them yet, learn how to use the basic Microsoft Office programs because most companies require them.
6. Be assertive
Meek, quiet workers rarely get to stand out. If you want anyone to listen to what you have to say and notice your skills, you have to learn how to be an assertive communicator. Show your confidence, show that you know what you’re talking about, and don’t allow yourself to fade into the background.
7. Be a team player
Being assertive doesn’t mean taking on a domineering attitude and trampling all over your co-workers. A balance is always needed, so while you definitely shouldn’t allow yourself to be quiet all the time, you also want to give others a chance to speak up as well.
Be a good listener, be ready to compromise and help others, and learn how to work within a team. Being self-sufficient is certainly useful, but most work environments require you to be in contact with other people, which means you need to know how to form connections.
Here’s the gist: learn useful skills, prove that you have them with certificates and diplomas, and adopt a positive, go-getter attitude. Make sure your resume is neat and presentable, and know how to both be a leader and function within a team.
Does it all sound like a tall order? It might be, but the job market is more cutthroat than it ever was, and dedicating yourself to self-improvement is one way you can stay on top of it and earn yourself well-paid positions.