OK, this week the topic of my meanderings seems to be focusing on content. Since I have a weekly newspaper column and three industry blogs that are pretty widely read, and am also working on my first novel, it's safe to say that I consider myself a writer and understand content.
Late last week I was shocked to see a global corporate careers website with job titles that were misspelled. (This led to a blog on recruiters not being hypocrites when it comes to resume errors.) Then over on LinkedIn, in a group that is targeted at writers and publishers, one of the group members posted a link/discussion topic to a blog she had written on marketing to your audience.
So, here's the thing. If someone is giving me advice on how to create a workable marketing plan for my industry, I expect the article/blog to be *targeted*. If you are giving advice to *writers and publishers*, you don't suggest that they:
"Define the solutions your product or service offers: Do not tell people about the features of your product or service, tell them how your product or service will help them solve a problem that they are experiencing"
Um, we are writers and publishers. Selling printed/online media. We don't NEED to define our solutions or offerings.
So here's my point. If you are marketing or selling *anything* you need to know your audience. I've said over and over that your resume *must be targeted* to potential readers. Guess who that is? RECRUITERS AND HIRING MANAGERS. And what do they care about? Can you demonstrate that you know how to do the job/s you are applying for?
You have 10-15 seconds in a resume to let me know you can fulfill a need I have. Hopefully, that need is fairly well defined in the job description. That means you need to provide concrete examples in your work history that demonstrate an understanding, industry knowledge, and some expertise in the job I am trying to fill.
Moving on to a phone screen, which is where you have the chance to give me some great detailed examples of your fitness for the job. I've been working on some sales/biz dev positions the last few months, and one of the most common reasons candidates are being rejected is because they cannot answer basic questions about developing their contacts. One example was "so if I was to ask you who you know at ABC company, what would you tell me?" The first candidate said "I'd have to check my business card file." Another said "I know the executive admin to the VP over in that division."
Another question a hiring manager used as an example was about a candidate who stated on her resume that she managed a large event for VP's and CEO's of leading industry companies. The manager asked her to tell him how she went about securing the acceptance of the high-level attendees. She didn't answer the question, just started throwing names out there. (Guess what message that gives? Someone else actually got the attendees there.)
These are specific examples of fumbling that can cost a candidate a job. And these are basic questions related to how you do your work, the basics of your industry, and your chance to make (or break) the impression from your resume. Marketing isn't just your resume. It's also how you verbally interact with people and demonstrate your professionalism. In this competitive market, it's all in the details.
Helping Those Who Help Themselves
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