Marketing is a huge part of selling a product successfully. The same goes for selling yourself. Landing a job is about convincing an employer of the value of your skills and qualities. To do this you need a strategic, personalised marketing plan that throws the spotlight on your employability. You need to become a walking, talking advertisement of yourself!
Presentation is a big part of your marketing. Remember, first impressions count. Maintain your professionalism in unfamiliar environments.
- Address people you meet in a courteous, professional manner – they could turn into a potential employer or a helpful contact.
- Use a friendly, professional greeting on the phone and on your voicemail. An unknown caller could be a potential employer!
- Web-based communication is the most common form of business interaction. Avoid the trap of casual correspondence. Maintain a professional and formal style in emails. Use correct spelling and grammar, even if a potential employer does not. This could distinguish you from the pack.
- Use a professional email address.
- Consider different forms of technology to sell yourself. If you’re in a creative field, how about a digital/video portfolio or interactive résumé?
- Proof-read all documents you send to employers. This is a test of your communication skills.
This article contains edited extracts of a piece by Lee Miles (Editor, Australian Career Practitioner magazine), that first appeared in Graduate Opportunities 2009.
Recruitment agencies: how do they work?
Recruitment agencies play an important role in recruiting for graduate and entry level positions. Some graduate employers outsource part or all of the recruitment process to a recruitment agency. It’s important to understand how agencies operate as it’s likely you’ll deal with an agency at some point during your job search and will have to market yourself not only to the potential employer, but to the agency handling the recruitment.
A recruitment consultant works with both employers and job seekers to facilitate a successful match. The employer pays a fee to the recruitment agency when an applicant accepts a position. The applicant does not pay a fee to the recruitment agency for its services.
The agency may be responsible for every step in the recruitment process, from advertising the vacancy, short-listing candidates, interviewing, conducting assessment centres, reference checking and final selection. Or, the agency may only undertake some of these steps, for example creating a shortlist for the employer to then interview for selection.
Reputable recruitment agencies will be members of the RCSA (www.rcsa.com.au) and adhere to a Code for Professional Conduct. You can also find graduate-targeted agencies on this website.