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As a marketing professional with 15 years of experience under my belt, I see a lot of parallels between effective job search strategies and effective marketing campaigns.
After all, when you’re looking for a job, you’re marketing yourself to employers.
Here’s what marketing can teach you about getting a job quickly.
Let’s start here: marketing is all about conversions.
To illustrate, here’s an example of a conversion journey you’d expect to see in a typical small business.
As a consumer, you’ve probably travelled through one of these many, many times in your life:
Marketers build these journeys to manage the flow of leads in the business while ensuring that the business runs as profitably as possible.
Job Search Is Also All About Conversions.
When you decide to get a job you become a “product” that travels through stages of a conversion journey.
There are variations, of course, but you can expect your path to finding a job to look something like this:
Regardless of whether you’re selling t-shirts to teenagers or applying for jobs at Deloitte, conversion journeys have the following in common:
- They have a number of clearly defined stages.
- Each stage has a conversion rate, measured by the percentage of people expected to progress to the next stage.
- The final stage is the ‘Buy’ stage; it’s the last conversion and the the reason for the funnel’s existence.
- Your goal as an marketer is to sell your inventory by generating last-stage conversions.
- Your goal as a job seeker is to obtain great job offers by generating last-stage conversions.
You can also make a reasonable argument that dating life is about conversions, too. Think back to your single years – didn’t you have some “leads” that you were trying to “convert”?
Humorous interlude aside, let’s now look at the numbers – and why all this matters.
Let’s say you’ve decided it’s time for a new job. Ideally, you want to have 3 good job offers on the table to choose from. Assuming a 20% conversion rate across each stage, you’ll need:
3×5 = 15 job interviews
15×5 = 75 job applications
More importantly, if you were to apply for 5 jobs per week, you would need to maintain this effort for almost 4 months to get a job.
The same parallels apply to marketing. Making 3 sales at 20% conversion rate across each stage means having 15 sales conversations and the need to generate 75 leads.
Is There A Better Way To Get A Job?
If you want to generate more last-stage conversions, or you want to generate them faster, you have two options:
- Add more leads.
- Increase your conversion rates.
Newbie marketers and job seekers tend to gravitate to the first option.
Marketers buy more traffic. Job seekers apply for more jobs.
Of course, this approach immediately runs into the problem of relevance. Beyond a certain point, there simply isn’t enough relevant, interested leads for you to capture (or, in the context of job search, there are not enough suitable open jobs to apply for).
This leads beginner marketers to make the worst mistake of all – they begin to target less-than-ideal leads.
Meanwhile, their job seeker counterparts begin to apply for less relevant jobs, jobs that they’re not quite qualified for, or jobs that they feel lukewarm about.
The Professionals Take A Different Approach.
Experienced marketers and job seekers alike focus their efforts on conversion rate optimisation – because they know that the ROI is far greater.
For example, if you were to increase your conversion rate at each stage by just 10%, here’s how the above numbers would stack up:
3×3.333 = 10 interviews
10×3.333 = 33 applications
It’s not difficult to increase the efficiency of each stage by 10%. And yet, this effort will lead to you getting a job 100%++ faster, with less stress and less effort.
How To Get A Job Faster.
We’ve now established that the best strategy for getting a job quickly is to increase your conversion rates.
The obvious next question is – how to do it?
Most often, job seekers get ignored because their resumes, LinkedIn profiles and cover letters don’t speak into the needs of recruiters and hiring managers.
In other words, they lack a concrete, meaningful UVP (Unique Value Proposition) that is clearly articulated across their career marketing documents.
Your Value Proposition Is Your Brand Promise.
Your value proposition is your critical career asset. It needs to position you as someone who uniquely gets commercial realities of business decision-makers and has the skills to solve their deepest problems.
- It’s not about saying how good you are.
- It’s about showing people how good you are with a demonstrated and sustained track record of excellence.
To define your value proposition, you must align each of your career moves into a cohesive narrative, using every role and various points of interest to their best, and most relevant, advantage.
You’ll know you’ve succeeded when your value proposition does two things:
- Enables an interested party to place your experience into context.
- Provides a convincing answer to the most difficult, yet inevitable question: why you?
By the way, would you prefer for a top branding professional to craft a sharp, impactful value proposition for you? Our Sydney- and Melbourne-based resume writers specialise in crafting value proposition-centered resumes for senior business leaders.
Tools To Seal The Deal.
Speaking of time and focus, once you define your value proposition, you’ll be ready to update your resume and LinkedIn profile.
1. Your Resume.
Clear a weekend on your calendar, eliminate distractions and make the time investment.
Cosy up with some strong tea and start by reading our guide to writing a professional resume.
Before we move onto LinkedIn, one last pro tip on crafting your own resume: outsmart the technology.
Most companies use a technology called an ATS, or Applicant Tracking System, to review resumes of job applicants.
Used to be, an ATS did a cursory screen for keywords. Today, thanks to AI, they are sophisticated robots. And their main objective is to deliver the top 20% of applicants for any open requisition to their human recruiters.
How can you avoid winding up in the other 80%? Check out our post on writing a resume to beat the bots.
2. Your LinkedIn Profile.
Much like the relationship between an email campaign and a landing page, your resume and LinkedIn profile serve two distinct purposes when you’re marketing yourself for a new job.
My advice? Resist the time-saving temptation to make them mirror images of each other.
Whereas your resume is a fact-based, tightly sequenced document, LinkedIn is your chance to share your story and your personality (professionally, mind you).
Don’t try to get a job until you’re crystal clear on what your next career move should be, and why you’re the ideal candidate for that type of role.