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How to Market Yourself in a Job Search

Hannah Mason
Job Search

How to Market Yourself in a Job Search

Hannah Mason • Jan 24, 2022

What’s Your Marketing Strategy?

Recently, retail in the UK reopened after a 3 months closure due to Covid-19. The scenes were astounding – huge queues spiraling around street corners, full of people eager to browse their favourite shops and buy something.

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Primark Attracted the Biggest Queues

With many news outlets reporting on whole streets full of eager shoppers, blocking roads and entrances to other stores.

This got me thinking; why would someone wait in a queue to buy something in one shop when they could purchase a similar product at another shop without having to wait in line? After all, aren’t we a generation of convenience, unable to wait?

Well, here’s the thing, a marketing strategy that consists of ‘our store is empty, no-one is shopping here, please come in’ would never work.

Why not?

For two reasons; people want to buy the product that best meets their needs, even if it is not the most available product. Primark has done an amazing job of building a loyal fanbase who love their affordable products, a customer base that would rather wait to buy from them, than take their business elsewhere.

They believe that when the reach the end of the queue they will find what they are looking for in the store. The other reason is because of social proof. Many experiments have been done that show we trust what the crowd is doing.

It’s the reason you think that a busy restaurant must be better than an empty one. If no-one else wants something, then you think it must not be worth wanting. Conversely, if a hundred people are queueing to get into somewhere, then you think they can’t be wrong!

What Does This Have to Do With Your Job Search?

The reality is, a lot of job-seekers market themselves like a shop with a marketing slogan “come in, we’re empty”.

Many people send messages to employers such as; “I’m available immediately”, “I’m available for any job” or they advertise the low salary that they’re expecting.

But, just as shoppers buy the product that best meets their needs, so employers want the person who is best for the job –not the person who is most available. What’s more, by reinforcing your availability, you send the message that other companies aren’t hiring you, and this negatively impacts an employer’s impression of you.

What Should You Do Instead?

You need to market how you can meet the employer’s needs. If a company is looking to hire, it is because they have a gap to fill, they have a problem that needs solving, a need to be met.

By working out what that need is and presenting yourself as the best solution, you rise to the top of the applicant pool. If you do a really great job of this, then employers may be willing to wait longer for you and pay more to get you on board.

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There is another lesson that we can learn from Primark, and that is the power of a brand. Primark have always been clear on what they are known for - we all know what their brand is associated with. They are top-of-mind with their customers. As a job-seeker, you can leverage this power of branding too.

Defining Your Brand May Be Easier Than You Think

Ask yourself; What do I want to be known for?

What do I want people to associate with my name? What makes me different from my competition?

Once you’ve established what you uniquely offer, these messages can be incorporated into your CV writing, job interviews and your LinkedIn profile.

And here is where it really can pay off; if you create a strong personal brand online or within your industry, are regularly sharing your expertise and networking and becoming more and more associated with what you want to be known for, you will find yourself in a position where employers want to hire you without you approaching them.

Of course, this takes time, but for those who consistently do this, it pays off.

Wouldn’t it be great if you had employers lining up round the street to hire you instead of being that empty shop wondering how to attract just one buyer from the crowd?

In Conclusion, Be a Primark:

▶︎ Show that you offer what the consumer wants, lead with what you have to offer

▶︎ Leverage social proof by not advertising your availability as your main marketing point

▶︎ Define your brand and be consistent across platforms