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Marketing Your Talents During the Job Search

National Employment Counseling Association
This is a document being prepared for the National Employment Counseling Association by Michael Lazarchick, PhD
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This document is designed to give brief tips for finding employment, combining philosophical concepts, with standard job seeking skills and marketing techniques. (November 2004 Draft)

Please give credit to Michael Lazarchick and the National Employment Counseling Association if you use any of this material.

Employers are people who will pay money for services or a product. They are also customers. Providing excellent customer service increases the number of potential employers. Employers might be a large business, a small group or even a single individual.

Jobs are things you do to provide a service or product for money. Generating income is only limited by the amount of creativity you possess. An ideal job is always worthy of pursuit. You may need a combination of survival jobs and self worth jobs while making the pursuit. In all cases you will be engaged in a formal or informal contract for services or a product.

Work Ethic is about fulfilling contracts. When you agree to accept a job for money, your work ethic is reflected by how you perform. Know why you are working. Your effort determines your self respect and is directly related to your health.

Ideal Jobs are those that an individual really wants to do that also return a decent amount of money.

Survival Jobs are those you accept to help you meet financial obligations.

Self Worth Jobs are those you accept to help you feel worthwhile and productive.

Who am I? What do I want to do? This is a spiritual question. Are you on the right path? What is your destiny? Assessment tools, tests, professional employment counselors and introspection, all can provide clues. You will know when you are moving in the right direction when it feels right and you find success.

Self assessment is essential. Keep a job search journal. Collect information, get organized and keep track of both actions and thoughts. Pay attention to the messages you are receiving from the universe.

You are the Product. What do you offer and how can it be packaged to meet the needs of a target audience? In other words, you need to develop an advertising campaign that makes you attractive to a potential employer. The task is to identify your favorite skills and abilities and place them into an attractive package.

Get another opinion. Get an objective, honest evaluation of your personality from a professional, a close friend or even people who have met you for the first time. How are you coming across? What is the first impression you are projecting? Along with your product or service, you are also selling your personality.

Marketing is about creating awareness, bringing you into the consciousness of potential employers, creating a demand for what you have to offer. If we accept that all those being considered for a particular job at least have met the essential criteria of the position, the question is, “What can make you stand out from the others?” If you have correctly identified your strengths and desires and found a suitable position, you will project incredible enthusiasm and positive energy.

Research your targets. What do you want to do or where do you want to work? Which employers are in need of your talents? What are the current needs within a specific organization? Learn to speak intelligently about their business. What does your ideal employer look like? Go shopping for an employer until you find one that suits your needs. Do you want a place to go into for work? Do you want to be a teleworker? Do you want to be considered self employed?


  • Applications – Study the application. What message do you wish to convey to the employer? The application is a standardized document. How you fill it out is compared to how others fill out the document. It will display how you deal with paper. Be neat. Follow directions. Be thorough.
  • Brochures – Develop a brochure displaying services or products you are able to offer.
  • Business Cards - They are too inexpensive and too easy to make to not have one available, even if you currently do not have a paying job. At minimum, you can advertise your telephone number, e- mail address and perhaps a special skill or slogan.
    • Collecting Business Cards: Write down on the collected business cards, where you met the person and perhaps something you talked about. You now have a document that allows future contact and facilitates a common point of reference. You always have the option of contacting them in the future and talking about what they do.
  • Elevator Pitch – If you were on the top floor going down, what would you say to a new potential employer who is standing next to you and says hello? How would you describe who you are? Develop a quality, short speech, covering a few special points about you and practice saying the words until they flow out naturally.
  • Articles: Sending a letter to a person who wrote an article in a newspaper or magazine you read, complimenting their work will probably be well received. Again, you never know when a future contact might be of value.
  • Resumes – Must be pretty (Pleasing to the eye) and easy to read (No extra words). Write your own or get help from a professional that will help you write your own. Be able to discuss everything written down on the document. The primary function of a resume is to get an interview.
  • Portfolio – Compile a portfolio of examples of the work you have performed, accolades or awards you have received or press clippings about who you are.
  • Trade Journal Ads - An inexpensive ad displays your name or what you do.
  • Yellow Pages – Many people go to the yellow pages to see if a business is legitimate.
  • Web Page – A presence on the internet also is an indication of being real.
  • Newspaper or Magazine Articles – Write an article about something you know. A published article looks nice in your portfolio.
  • Journal Articles or a Book – Publishing your words or research is a giant step towards recognition.


  • Positive Thinking - Develop confidence. Learn to speak and think positively about yourself and your ability. When you exude confidence you will receive the right type of attention.
  • Short Term Goals – Set daily and weekly goals breaking your long term objectives into progressive steps.
  • Time Management – Organize your schedule to ensure you accomplish your most important tasks.
  • Seek Out Opportunities for Further Education – Keep up with the latest technology, newest ideas. Ask about the employer’s plan for staff development.
  • Network: Meet People. Be interested in what they have to say. Spend time with individuals who are positive and keep up with the latest advances. Collect Business Cards, Respond to Articles you like. People are everywhere! Learn to say hello. Learn questions that will get the other person speaking. Listen.
  • Places to meet people:
    • Chamber of Commerce
    • Professional Conferences/Conventions
    • Community Meetings
    • Professional Organization Meetings
    • Clubs
    • Volunteer Work
    • Churches, Temples, Synagogues and other Places of Worship
  • Cold Call – Contact new potential employers to collect information and explore possibilities.
  • Research - Read the latest, breaking news for various industries.
  • Warm Calls - Contact people you know to maintain relationships and explore new options.
  • Direct Mail - Send letters or brochures to potential employers
  • Follow-up & Thank You Notes – Fulfill any commitments you have made. Thank everybody that has helped you or extended any kind of courtesy.
  • Join a Support Group – Hang around people who are positive and encourage your success.
  • Make a Game Out of the Process – Pretend that so many cold calls will be a new world record or that you are a production line supervisor and will receive an award for hitting a certain number. Create a Score Card. Turn rejection into another step toward the inevitable, mathematical success.
  • Reward Yourself for Making Progress – Pat yourself on the back for any positive movement. Give yourself a special treat when you hit your daily or weekly goals.
  • Learn to Negotiate - Ask for what you want, tasks that help you feel worthwhile and a decent amount of money. Explore the art of compromise. Know the average rate of pay for the job. http://www.salaryexpert.com/
  • Learn to Close - After a successful interview or at the right time in the process, ask for the job.
  • Pursue a Passion – Go after your ideal job. Pursue something you really want to do. You will exude genuine enthusiasm.