Usually when you hear the word “marketing” you think of commercials and big businesses, but marketing can be equally important to individual jobseekers. The 30-second commercial, also known as an elevator speech; résumé, cover letter; and thank you note are 4 marketing tools that you will need to create. These tools will promote your most important product — yourself.
Create your 30-second commercial
The 30-second commercial is a prepared presentation of your qualifications. It is designed to enable you to tell others who you are, your skills and accomplishments and what you want to do in the future.
The idea is to say a lot about yourself in a few words and in a short amount of time. When do you use it, you might ask? Any time you attend an event, or some other type of meeting with networking opportunities.
Your commercial should provide the following:
- I am... (Your name)
- I want to... (The job position or industry in which you want to work)
- I can... (Your skills and accomplishments)
Create a great résumé that stands out
Now it’s time to put together a great résumé. Jobseekers who are over 50, often wonder how to fit 20 years of work into two pages. You may not know what to include and what to leave out, and if it has been years since the last time you even needed a résumé, you may be starting from scratch.
AARP recommends that you create an accomplishment-based résumé focuses on the descriptions of your work experience, not just duties and responsibilities. Employers don’t want to know what you were supposed to do on your last job. They want to know what you actually did and how well did you did it.
Accomplishments or achievements are things you did that had an impact for your company or client. It doesn’t mean that won awards or invented something new. If you did those things, great, but maybe you assisted your company in having a great year by playing your role on a production line. Maybe you thought of a way to serve customers faster, you didn’t win an award but the customers were happy with the new process. These are the type of accomplishments, big and small, that an employer will notice.
To help you uncover your accomplishments, think of things that you created, designed, led, implemented, built, or sold. Older workers have an advantage of having years of work experience to explore personal accomplishments.
Create a great cover letter to match your résumé
We spend so much time crafting a résumé that we often forget about the cover letter. A customized résumé cover letter, or cover message in the case of email, is just as important. It should indicate the position you’re pursuing, where you heard about it and a bit of information about yourself. A cover letter should entice the reader to want to read the résumé.
Here are a few cover letter tips:
- The first paragraph should grab attention and make clear what you want to do for the company. Next explain what you have to offer the employer, and add details to your qualifications. Be careful not to use the same words that are in the résumé. End your cover letter by asking for an interview, let them know that you plan to follow up and thank them for considering you.
- If you are fortunate enough to get the name of a person associated with the company, be sure to use it, but only after you get their permission.
- Proofread it.
Related: Get noticed with your cover letter
The thank you note
Thanking someone for a job lead, informational interview or job reference is always appropriate. It is also a way to be remembered by employers, especially if they have interviewed several people. It can make a statement about the kind of person you are and it just might be the thing that impresses an employer. This is another opportunity to make you stand out to employers.
Here are a few tips:
- Don’t wait. A note or email should be sent within 48 hours to every individual with whom you interviewed. If you don’t have contact information for all individuals, send the note to those you do and reference everyone you met with.
- Restate your qualifications and interest in the position.
- Proofread it. Don’t blow it by missing a typo or grammatical error.
Related: Ace the job interview
While you continue to look for a new job you might consider volunteering, working part–time or connecting with organizations that find job candidates for employers. These are great ways to gain new skills and work experience.
Next: Get New Work Experience and Skills