The how and why of marketing oneself for potential employers
Millions of people worldwide leave university every year, many with the same degrees, having read the same textbooks, heading out into the world with the same dreams.
But what can you actually do when you leave university?
In this article, I’ll outline the top three ways you can market yourself.
Not just to an employer but as an individual who loves what they do, has the increased possibility of self-employment success, and whose value and skill others come to know, love and trust.
If you think that by the time you finish your four-year degree you’ll leave to immediately find a comfy job in your field with a salary, benefits and ample time off, you’re wrong. This is not the world we live in anymore.
The world we inhabit is a much more complex sphere that requires us to adapt our skills to the needs of others.
You might say it’s a ‘service over self’ kind of thing.
Someone I work with really embodies this philosophy. Instead of a university education, she spent seven years in college.
She’s been a private chef, dietitian, author, death doula, server and gardener.
Her full-time week of work never consists of the same thing each day.
This philosophy also serves other, but it comes from a place of recognizing that you are already valuable. Instead of becoming a person who is a useful tool for others, you become a person who is valuable because of your purpose.
She earns respect through her competency and value as a flexible, skilled professional and because she gets variety in her day through doing what she loves.
She’s a happy person that people love and trust.So, my first tip for marketing yourself is to focus on your skills set.
By recognizing where you are strongest and are working on these skills, you change the philosophy you show up with in the world.
Let’s call the old philosophy ‘philosophy A’ for ‘alright’ and this new one ‘philosophy B’ for ‘better.’
Philosophy A is asking yourself what degree and experiences you can get to be the top choice worker for an employer.
Your value is based on how you can serve others.
That changes over time. It’s not stable.
Philosophy B is asking yourself what strengths you can capitalize on and what weaknesses you can improve upon.
This philosophy also serves others, but it comes from a place of recognizing that you are already valuable.
Instead of becoming a person who is a useful tool for others, you become a person who is valuable because of your purpose.
My second tip for marketing yourself is to find your ‘why.’
You’re here for 4 years. You could be doing literally anything else in these 4 years. Why are you here?
Having a ‘why’ statement to reflect on is important for two reasons – You aren’t always going to be motivated to push on.
If you’re constantly trying to figure something out in your head and haven’t found a way to articulate it well to yourself, you aren’t going to be able to wrap your head around it well enough to ask questions and problem solve, not for yourself, not for others.
Having a ‘why’ reminds you of exactly what’s important about what you’re trying to accomplish.
Secondly, there are so many useless activities we engage in that we aren’t consciously asking ourselves about.
Having a ‘why’ makes you pause and ask yourself if what you’re doing is really that important.
My third tip for marketing yourself is to communicate clearly and efficiently.
If you’re the kind of person that can say exactly what you mean, answer questions directly, form questions clearly, speak with precision and accuracy and listen to others, people recognize you as a force of authority and respect your opinions on the matter.
This may be the third tip but it is my number one way of becoming more respected as a person.
Speech is our most potent tool to accomplish any major feat.
It isn’t just important for teamwork; it’s important for our internal dialogue.
If you’re constantly trying to figure something out in your head and haven’t found a way to articulate it well to yourself, you aren’t going to be able to wrap your head around it well enough to ask questions and problem solve, not for yourself and not for others.
These tips aren’t supposed to help you look sexy to employers, although you will if you follow them.
They’re meant to make you the kind of person that other people talk about and whose time is valued because of your professionalism, attitude and dedication.
Stop selling yourself short and start securing success.