Whether you are conducting a job search by choice or circumstance, the job search for alumni is a sales and marketing process.
- Sales involves having a strong understanding of your marketable features and how they create value for an employer
- Marketing is the identification and development of strong employment leads through targeted research and professional networking
Step 1: Define your Product—You
The job search starts with a look inside, an inventory of your personal values, interests, accomplishments and challenges. Through self assessment you will discover new career possibilities and enhance self-understanding.
- Explore assessment tools that can help you define your skills, interests and abilities.
- Complete an inventory of your transferable skills.
- Ask friends and colleagues to tell you what they consider to be your strengths and growth opportunities.
- Identify key accomplishments from your prior experience.
Step 2: Conduct Market Research
Up to eighty percent of available jobs are not advertised or posted on job sites. Researching and networking are the key to exploring the hidden job market. Research to find out what's going on in your industry. Identify companies, organizations or industries where your interests, skills and abilities are most likely to be needed.
- Use our online resources to gather information on companies and organizations.
- Determine if there is a local chapter of your professional association or a CWRU Alumni Chapter. Obtain a membership list for networking then join the group in person!
- Join the Alumni Career Network and begin networking to build your professional reputation.
- Locate a minimum of five new sources of information about potential jobs in your field.
- Visit your local Chamber of Commerce. Meet with the director and discover new developments, changes and trends in your area.
Step 3: Build a Marketing Strategy
Build a marketing plan that includes effective strategies such as networking, informational interviews, direct email, recruiters and job fairs. How you present, market or brand yourself is extremely important to your job search or career change.
- Develop a plan that incorporates clear objectives and measurable goals to track your progress.
- Make a list of people in your network. Your professional network should include friends, relatives, former coworkers and supervisors, CWRU alumni, and other professionals. Keep accurate notes and follow up.
- Update or create your LinkedIn profile.
- Build your brand and script out a 30 to 60-second pitch.
Step 4: Sharpen Your Marketing Tools—Your Resume and Cover Letter
Market yourself and abilities by fine-tuning your resume and cover letter. The sole purpose of a resume is to get you an interview, so it needs to look good, present a clear message and communicate value. Use a cover letter to personalize your resume and demonstrate that you know something about the company.
- Contact us to have your resume professionally critiqued.
- Review resume and cover letter tips and make updates.
- Consider the impression your resume creates for employers. Complete the following statement: I want the employer to know that I can _________, demonstrated by my ability to __________.
- Ask three different people to proof your resume and cover letter for clarity, grammar and punctuation.
- Identify the "decision maker" who can hire you and send a resume and cover letter to that individual in addition to following the directions of the job posting.
- Make a clear request for a meeting at the end of your cover letter.
Step 5: The Sales Call—The Interview
The interview is your sales call where you must be able to uncover the employer's needs and articulate how your skills will create value. Good preparation and practice are the keys to a successful interview.
- Research the employer so you can present knowledge and understanding of their work.
- Practice answering questions or mock interview to reduce anxiety before an interview.
- Check out Big Interview to practice!