10 Low Cost Ways to Market Yourself when you are looking for a meaningful work.

marketing job searchLooking for meaningful work can be tedious and expensive.  Of course you will want a top notch resume and that means taking the time to do it really well or spending the money to hire someone to help you to do it.  It is also important to get your name out so when people hear of an opening they think of you.  If you have some money to spend on your job search, spend it on a coach to help you stay focused and/or a resume writer.  The following is a list of ideas that do not cost much and help you to be top of mind with your network.

1.   Have a compelling response to the question “What do you do?” or “Tell me about yourself”  Make this, your elevator speech, brief and interesting.  If you only have 30 seconds, give them enough of an idea about what you do so that they seek you out to hear more later.  Even in a situation where you have more time, be brief but to the point and then allow them to ask questions.  Their questions will give you an idea of their particular interest.

2.    Join a job search group so you can network with other job seekers.  Other job seekers will tell you about jobs that they hear about that they are not a good match for.  You will also learn ways others have been successful in getting a new job or an interview.

3.   Use every social occasion as a networking opportunity.  Have some personal business cards made up with your name and contact information on it.  Put a short statement about yourself on the card.  It could be about your strengths, skills or a short statement about  the job you are looking for. When you meet someone you think can help you, give them a card.

4.   Offer to give a talk at a business meeting or teach a course at a school or training center.  Use your expertise to generate interest in you.  Once when I was between jobs I gave a talk on some technology that I had been selling at an industry conference.  I made a number of contacts and established myself as the “go to” person for questions on this technology.

5.   If you speak somewhere put an article about your talk in the newspaper and/or online community. Local papers and online communities are eager to print information about people in the area.  Introduce yourself to the editor or person at your local paper or online community who is responsible for press releases.  Find out the information required for the article and learn to write a press release.

6.   Join an industry association connected with your area of interest and participate in meetings if they have them locally.  Use the association to find people who have a job like the one you are looking for.  These people often are linked in to a network of others holding similar jobs and are alerted when someone is moving out of or on in their corporation.  Call or email a few to introduce yourself and if possible to set up calls or appointments to talk to them.  Think about what you are asking for (information not a job!) and what you might offer as appreciation for their time.

7.   Start a blog on whatever you are passionate about in the area of your work or even how you are progressing on your job search.  Let your contact list know about your blog.  Collect names of people and their email addresses to send announcements to when you add a post.  You will need to post regularly for your blog to be of value to others.

8.   Keep your LinkedIn profile current and strong.  LinkedIn is a professional social network that potential employers and recruiters will use to find information about you. You will want to be very clear in your profile about your strengths, skills and talents and the type of job you are looking for. If you have someone helping with your resume, ask them to help you with your LinkedIn Profile too.

9.   Create a unique brand that makes you memorable. Your brand makes it clear what your value to an organization is. What is it you want people to think when they hear your name?  What makes you unique in your field?  Frank Purdue did it for chickens!  You can do it for your brand!

10. Follow up, follow up, follow up.  If you go to a meeting follow up with the people you meet.  Follow up with anyone who spends time with you at a coffee or lunch appointment or on the telephone.  You can add them to your LinkedIn connections, write then a note, and call to thank them.  Once you have established a relationship find some ways you can work with the other person or spend time with them so that you will be top of mind when they are hiring or they hear of a job opening.

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