This week’s blog post is written by Chaloner’s Alanna Miller, who joined the NY Chaloner office this summer. Alanna has an extensive marketing background and a deep commitment to creating a seamless experience for her clients and candidates. She moved into executive search in 2013 to build out the marketing and communications practice of a rapidly-growing contingent firm, with a focus on professional and financial services clients. Alanna is also the author of Stuff Every Woman Should Know (2010, Quirk Books), a pocket-sized reference book for women of all ages.
As a recruiter within the communications and marketing sphere, I speak with so many strong candidates who are experts at promoting services, products, and other people— but not themselves. In this post, I want to encourage you— stellar communicators, strategic marketers, PR gurus— to apply the fantastic skills you use at work every day to your own job search!
Solve the problem.
In a candidate driven market like this one, hiring managers are going months without filling a role and want nothing more than to get someone fantastic in the seat. They dream of the day they can leave the office and see their families again because they made a great hire. So, be a hero and put yourself in their way. Be proactive about identifying opportunities, the same way you would for a client, and be strategic about your outreach. This means: don’t address an email “To Whom It May Concern”; don’t send resumes to a black hole job portal. You might as well be sending media pitches to UnreadPitches@ThisWillNotGetRead.com. Don’t expect an enthusiastic or immediate response; solve the problem by tracking down a real contact and reaching out having done your research.
Know your audience.
If you’re targeting 18-24 year-olds you’re not placing ads on Fox News at 6 PM. Likewise, if you’re looking for a social media position, your last Tweet shouldn’t be about a cheese quesadilla your roommate made 10 days ago. You may know the ins and outs of every platform there is, but unless you’re visible where people are looking for you, you’ll have a hard time convincing anyone that you’re relevant for the position.
When you put together a marketing campaign you consider budgets, audiences, goals, and channels. You also know that you won’t see results overnight. Yet in a job search, there’s a tendency to become discouraged if we haven’t gotten an offer within a month. Pace yourself! If you’ve decided that it’s time to look for a new position, make a plan. Create a strategy. Do research and compile target lists of companies. Follow up to get answers, divert resources to the most successful channels. Do all the things you’d do for any other marketing campaign—but for your job search.
When’s the last time you ran a campaign with only one version, didn’t track response, and when asked how it performed said, “I have a good feeling”? You haven’t, and you wouldn’t. Now that you’ve implemented your strategic plan, follow up. If something isn’t working, change it. Consider all of the elements to pinpoint what could be affecting your success. If your resume is strong but you’re emailing from firstname.lastname@example.org, some tweaking is in order.
A job search is a unique challenge— but for those in marketing, you have so many of the necessary tools already at your disposal. All you have to do is use them!
Chaloner, founded in 1979 as Chaloner Associates, is a national executive search firm that focuses on recruiting mid- to senior-level communications, public relations, marketing and investor relations professionals.