You have probably been often told that your resume is your product. And whoever told you that was not wrong. But the question is: how can we look at our resume like a product? What does that really mean?
It means that you can actually apply several business tools, usually known for assessing and improving a business product or service, on your own resume. Some of them are really well-known and some are not, but in the end this is a simple yet detailed process that can boost your career. If you really take your time analyzing your resume like a specific product in a big market, you might succeed. I will list some of them and it is up to you do define which one is more useful, but why not try them all?
Often called The 4 Ps, Marketing Mix, establish a simple model of thinking about your business (read resume) with 4 main goals: product, price, place and promotion. Let’s briefly go through all of them and how can you think of each one and apply it to your resume.
PRODUCT: The first step when starting a new business usually takes two forms: You either have a specific product that fits a specific need, or you identify a certain need in a specific market and you will brainstorm about which product/service can fulfil that gap. In this case, you are the product you are selling, so before starting to build your resume you should think about who you are and what is your professional identity. Write down and brainstorm about your skills and your strengths. Then, take a look at what the market is looking for and try to match your brand with the market you are targeting.
PRICE: In Business you have to define a price to the product you are selling. When it comes to the job seeking, you are not asking for money every time you provide your resume (wouldn’t that be great tough?) so the activity of building a resume and deliver it to the market does not have to involve money. But it can. There are two situations that can involve paid services: hiring a certified resume writer to write your resume and paying for getting your resume available in a specific job database. In the first one you have to options: you can write your resume by yourself or you can paid for a resume writing service, like Impressive Resumes, and have a stand out resume made by a specialist. On the second one you can apply for jobs for free or you can join those job communities who ask for a membership fee. We can also look at the Price as how much is your salary standard. Right there you are setting how valuable you are, and you should really invest your time defining your price, because this will reflect on the next two Ps: place and promotion.
PLACE: Place answers to the question: where will your product be available? And here you have to choose and to think how you want to do it. There are plenty of options: you can sign up for online job recruiting websites like Monster, Career Builder and Indeed; you can apply on the Jobs section directly on a specific company’s website; you can send a spontaneous application directly to an e-mail address; you can register yourself in a Recruitment agency; you can go knocking on employee’s door and deliver you resume in person; you can use social media like Linked In and Facebook to get in touch with job offers and/or job hunters. And of course you can try all of the above, as long as you keep your application a personalized process and not act like a spammer.
PROMOTION: And last but least, you have to communicate your brand, your product with your customers. There are several ways of doing this, in business you have advertisement, direct marketing, selling force, public relations, word-of-mouth, etc. You have to apply these while selling yourself and your skills. You already know the traditional ways of promotion yourself: your resume, your cover letter, your interview, your selection criteria, your online applications. There are your marketing materials and the ones you have to work on in order to send the right message to the right customer. Just like Nike takes a lot of time putting a TV ad all together for selling a specific product you have to do that with these marketing materials. So work really well on your resume, make it personal and incomparable; write your cover letter depending on the job you’re applying to, try to tell a story with it; prepare yourself for the interview and stand out from the crowd; and be aware of your online reputation, this is one of the most powerful marketing materials you have right now.
After this you will be able to answer this question:
Do I have the right product sending the right message at the right place for the right price?
PS: We were supposed to write a whole article about all marketing materials but while we were writing this one down we realized that are too much content that cannot be left out, so we’ll be posting the other marketing tools next week. Next one: SWOT Analysis.