Advertising
Advertising

Use Marketing Techniques to Land Your Next Job

Use Marketing Techniques to Land Your Next Job

    Do these lines from job applications sound familiar to you?

    “I want to develop my skills in interpersonal communication…”

    “My objective is to gain experience in the industry…”

    “I have a strong work ethic and I enjoy teamwork…”

    Advertising

    This is how the typical applicant goes about presenting themselves to prospective employers, both in their letters and during the interview – if they get that far. Most applicants make the mistake of thinking that it’s all about them, and career advisers and how-to articles around the world reinforce this point of view.

    Getting a job is really a marketing challenge; you have to reach and sell to your target audience. It’s not about you at all – it’s all about how you can help the prospective employer to achieve their goals. They don’t care what your objectives are and what skills you want to develop, and they know talk about your work ethic and love for teamwork is pretty much obligatory – and if you’re a lazy worker who hates teamwork, they know you’re not going to come out and say it.

    So how do you land your next job while all your competitors for the position are sending in autobiographies?

    1. Research your target market

    The most important step in any marketing process is research, and the most important research is conducted finding out about your target market. In this stage, discover everything you can about your potential employer; information about the company, information about the director or the people in the department most likely to interview you, information about the location, information about their clients. Anything you can find can and will help you, and the deeper you go the better – you can almost guarantee that none of the other applicants will have this advantage.

    Advertising

    Call clients, search media archives, use the internet, even just a read through of the company’s website is better than going in blind. Knowing the names and ages of your interviewer’s children is probably getting pretty close to stalking, though, unless they advertise it on the web for some reason – know where to draw the line.

    There are two things you want to get from this process. The secondary goal is to gain incidental knowledge that’ll enable you to quickly develop rapport with individuals you’ll be talking to, thanks to your attention to detail. Details that nobody else is mentioning. In any competitive environment, standing out as unique (for good reasons) is a huge benefit – yet everyone insists on doing the same old thing.

    The primary goal, though, is to find out what these guys want. As a business, their imperative is to make more money, but the research allows you to find supporting motives to include in your pitch and reinforce it.

    2. Form a pitch that sells them the benefits

    Take your research and write a letter that, instead of focusing on what you want and how many courses you’ve done, sells yourself as the perfect fit for what they need – how you can make them more money or achieve other goals. In marketing this is frequently called benefits over features, which essentially means that when you explain how something can benefit someone’s life instead of simply listing the things it can do, you will be able to sell it much more easily. The latter provides the potential customer with an idea of what the product is; the former has the customer imagining how great it would be to have the product and plants the seeds of desire.

    Advertising

    The company is looking for a user interface designer for their e-commerce site. Their main reason for doing this is because conversions are low and they need to make more sales. Instead of telling them this:

    Since finishing my training in web design at XYZ University, I have designed online user interfaces for many clients across the globe. I believe I’m a perfect fit for your needs.

    You might say:

    I have consistently been able to design e-commerce user interfaces that have resulted in a higher conversion rate than previous iterations in all cases and online shops using my designs have conversion rates over 5% higher than the industry average.

    While the example text itself isn’t very polished, the difference in viewpoints is clear: don’t tell them what you’ve done, but what you’re going to do for them.

    Advertising

    3. Build a Relationship with the Client

    In this case, your potential employer is the client. In the first marketing class I took at university, after the lecturer had finished introducing himself and giving the obligatory life story, he said: Marketing can be defined as building a relationship with your customer.

    While I don’t think the man did much with his own advice, that definition has always stuck with me partly because it explained many of my own past, seemingly accidental successes up to that point, and partly because it allowed me to achieve new ones. The single best way to achieve what you need or want to achieve is to build a relationship with someone who can assist you.

    This is where some of that research you did – without stalking – can come in handy, but facts aside, you need to be genuine and honest and make an effort to communicate not as interviewee to interviewer, but human to human. It’s the human connections that make the biggest difference.

    You might not get every single job you ever apply to just by using this strategy. One thing I can tell you is that you’ll be having far more applications resulting in interviews and interviews resulting in new jobs than before – start measuring your conversion rate!

    More by this author

    Joel Falconer

    Editor, content marketer, product manager and writer with 12+ years of experience in the startup, design and tech digital media industries.

    How to Master the Art of Prioritization The Importance of Scheduling Downtime How to Make Decisions Under Pressure 11 Free Mind Mapping Applications & Web Services How to Use Parkinson’s Law to Your Advantage

    Trending in Communication

    1 30 Refreshing Routines to Boost Your Morning Motivation 2 Feeling Like a Failure? 10 Simple Things to Help You Rise Again 3 What Motivates You to Succeed in Life and Keep Moving Forward? 4 6 Effective Negotiation Skills to Master 5 5 Ways to Turn Around a Bad Day at Work

    Read Next

    Advertising
    Advertising
    Advertising

    Published on September 23, 2020

    6 Effective Negotiation Skills to Master

    6 Effective Negotiation Skills to Master

    I don’t know about you, but many times when I hear the word negotiate I think of lawyers working out a business deal or having to do battle with a car salesman to try to get a lower price. Since I am in recruiting, the term “negotiation” comes up when someone is attempting to get a higher compensation package.

    If we think about it, we tend to negotiate almost every day in a wide variety of things we do. Getting a handle on the important negotiation skills can be incredibly beneficial in many parts of our lives. Let’s take a look at 6 effective negotiation skills to master.

    What is Negotiation?

    First, let’s take a look at what negotiation is. Put simply, negotiation is a method by which people settle their differences. It is a process in which compromise or agreement can be reached without argument or dispute.

    Anytime two people or sides disagree on something, they are almost always looking for the best possible outcome for their side. This could be from an individual’s perspective or someone representing an organization.

    In reality, it’s rare that one side gets everything they want and the other side gets nothing that they are seeking. Seeking to reach a common ground of sorts where both sides feel like they are getting most of what they want is the key to being successful and maintaining the relationship.

    Places We Negotiate

    I’ve mentioned that we negotiate in just about all phases of our life. For those of you who are shaking your head no, I invite you to think about the following:

    1. Work/Business

    This one is the most obvious and it’s what naturally comes to mind when we think of the word “negotiate”.

    When you first started at your current job, you might have asked for a higher salary. It could be that you delivered a huge new client to your company and used this as leverage in your most recent evaluation for more compensation. If you work with vendors (and just about every company does), maybe you worked them to a lower price or better contract terms.

    Advertising

    In recruiting, I negotiate with candidates and hiring managers all the time to land the best talent I can find. It’s very common to accept additional work with the (sometimes spoken, sometimes unspoken) agreement that it will benefit your career in the future.

    Recently, I took over a project that was my boss was working on so that I would be able to attend a conference later in the year. And so it goes, we do this all day long at work.

    2. Personal

    I don’t know about you, but I negotiate with my spouse all the time. I’ll cook dinner with the understanding that she does the dishes. Who wants to mow the lawn and who wants to vacuum and dust the house?

    I think we should save 10% for retirement, but she thinks 5% is plenty. Therefore, we save 8%. And don’t even get me started with my kids. My older daughter can borrow my car as soon as she finishes her chores. My younger daughter can go hang out with her friends when her homework is done.

    Then, there are all those interactions in our personal lives outside our homes. The carpenter wants to charge me $12,000 to build a new deck. I think $10,000 is plenty so we agree on $11,000. I ask my neighbor if I can borrow his snowblower in the winter if I invite him over the next time I grill steak. And so on.

    3. Ourselves

    You didn’t expect this one, did you? We negotiate with ourselves all day long.

    I’ll make sure I don’t skip my workout tomorrow since I’m going to have that extra piece of pizza. My spouse has been quiet the last few days, is it worth me asking her about, or should I leave it alone? I think the car place charged me for some repairs that weren’t needed, should I say something or just let it go? I know my friend has been having some personal challenges, should I check in with him? We’ve been friends for a long time, I’m sure he’d come to me if he needed help. I’ve got the #4 pick in this year’s Fantasy Football draft, should I choose a running back or a wide receiver?

    Think about that non-stop voice inside your head. It always seems to be chattering away about something and many times, it’s us negotiating with ourselves. I’ll finish up that report that the boss needs before I turn on the football game.

    Advertising

    Why Negotiation Skills Are So Important

    Put simply, negotiation skills are important because we all interact with other people, and not only other people but other organizations and groups of people as well.

    We all rarely want the same thing or outcome. Most of the time a vendor is looking at getting you to pay a higher price for something than you want to spend. Therefore, it’s important to negotiate to some middle ground that works well for both sides.

    My wife and I disagree on how much to save for retirement. If we weren’t married it wouldn’t be an issue. We’d each contribute how much we wanted to on our retirement funds. We choose to be married, so we have to come to some agreement that we both feel comfortable with. We have to compromise. Therefore, we have to negotiate.

    If we each lived on a planet by ourselves, we would be free to do just about anything we wanted to. We wouldn’t have to compromise with anyone because we wouldn’t interact with anyone. We would make every choice unilaterally the way we wanted to.

    As we all know, this isn’t how things are. We are constantly interacting with other people and organizations, each one with their own agenda’s, viewpoints, and opinions. Therefore, we have to be able to work together.

    6 Negotiation Skills to Master

    Having strong negotiation skills helps us create win-win situations with others, allowing us to get most of what we want in conjunction with others around us.

    Now, let’s look at 6 effective negotiation skills to master.

    1. Preparation

    Preparation is a key place to start with when getting ready to negotiate. Being prepared means having a clear vision of what you want and how you’d go about achieving it. It means knowing what the end goal looks like and also what you are willing to give to get it.

    Advertising

    It also means knowing who you are negotiating with and what areas they might be willing to compromise on. You should also know what your “bottom line” is. By “bottom line” I mean what is the most you are willing to give up to get what you want.

    For instance, several years ago, I decided it was time to get a newer car. I say newer because I wanted a “new to me” car, not a brand new car. I did my research and figured out what type of car I wanted. I decided on what must-have items on the car I wanted, the highest amount of miles that would already be on it, the colors I was willing to get it in, and the highest amount of money I was willing to pay.

    After visiting numerous car dealerships I was able to negotiate buying a car. I knew what I was willing to give up (amount of money) and what I was willing to accept, things like the color, amount of miles, etc. I came prepared. This is critical.

    2. Clear Communication

    The next key skill you need to be an effective negotiator is clear communication. You have to be able to clearly articulate what you want to the other party. This means both clear verbal and written communication.

    If you can’t clearly tell the other person what you want, how do you expect to get it? Have you ever worked through something with a vendor or someone else only to learn of a surprise right at the end that wasn’t talked about before? This is not what you would call clear communication. It’s essential to be able to share a coherent and logical vision with the person you are working with.

    3. Active Listening

    Let’s do a quick review of active listening. This is when you are completely focused on the speaker, understand their message, comprehend the information, and respond appropriately. This is a necessary ingredient to be able to negotiate successfully. You must be able to fully focus on the other person’s wants to completely understand them.

    If you aren’t giving them your full attention, you may miss some major points or details. This leads to frustration down the road on both sides. Ensure you are employing your active listening skills when in arbitration mode.

    4. Teamwork and Collaboration

    To be able to get to a place of common ground and a win-win scenario, you have to have a sense of teamwork and collaboration.

    Advertising

    If you are only thinking about yourself and what you want without giving much care to what the other person is wanting, you are bound to wind up without a solution. The other person may get frustrated and give up if they see you are unwilling to meet them halfway or care little for what they want.

    When you collaborate, you are working together to help each other get what is most important to you. The other upside to negotiating with a sense of teamwork and collaboration is that it helps create a sense of trust, which, in turn, helps provide positive energy for working to a successful conclusion.

    5. Problem Solving

    Problem-solving is another key negotiation skill. When you are working with the other person to get the deal done many times you’ll face new challenges along the way.

    Maybe you want a new vendor to provide training on the software they are selling you but they say it’s going to cost an additional $20,000 to provide this service. If you don’t have the additional $20,000 in the budget to spend on the software but you feel the training is critical, how are you going to solve that problem?

    From what I’ve seen, most vendors aren’t willing to provide additional services without getting paid for them. This is where problem-solving skills will help continue the discussions. You might suggest to the vendor that your company will also be looking to replace their financial software next year, and you’d be happy to ensure they get one of the first seats at the table when the time comes if they could perhaps lower the pricing on their training.

    There’s a solution to most challenges, but it takes problem-solving skills to work through them effectively.

    6. Decision-Making Ability

    Finally, having strong decision-making ability will help you seal the deal when you get to a place where everyone feels like they are getting what works for them. Each step of the way you can cross off the list when you get what you are looking for and decide to move onto the next item. Then, once you have all of your must-have boxes checked and the other side feels good about things, it’s time to shake hands and sign on the dotted line. Powerful decision-making ability will help you get to the finish line together.

    Conclusion

    There you have it, 6 effective negotiation skills to master to lead a more fulfilling life. Once we realize that we negotiate in one form or another almost every day in every phase of our lives, we realize how critical a skill it is.

    Possessing strong negotiation skills will help you in nearly every one of your relationships at both the workplace and in your personal life. If you feel your arbitration tools could use some sharpening, try some of the 6 effective negotiation skills to master that we’ve talked about.

    More Tips to Improve Your Negotiation Skills

    Featured photo credit: Windows via unsplash.com

    Read Next