The Two Sides of IT Job Hunting: Sales and Marketing

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I’m looking for an overall plan for my job search. I’ve updated my resume, I’m applying for jobs online, and I’m doing some personal networking. It’s funny, I’m a Project Manager by profession and can’t seem to create a project plan for finding myself a new job. Your thoughts please?

First, I would like to say good luck on your job search and I hope my suggestions are of value to you and others.

Looking for a job is like selling a product. In this case, however, the product is you, rather than a box of cereal or a new video game. That said, your job search plan should be divided into two primary components, sales and marketing. Sales is the process of you reaching out to prospective employers. Marketing is the process of gaining brand/product (that’s you) awareness, so that others will find you.

Regarding the marketing side of your project plan, you should be including activities such as:

1. Joining and participating in Project Management (PM) oriented LinkedIn groups. By participation, I mean asking thought provoking questions that begin online discussions and providing insightful advice and comments on discussions started by others.

2. Find PM oriented blog sites written by thought leaders in project management and have a high number of followers. Then, comment on the blogs in ways that provide additional value and insights to both the blog’s author and his/her followers. If you are currently unemployed, your LinkedIn profile should make it clear that you are currently looking for a position. Therefore, anyone who liked your commentary (from both #1 and #2) would see that you are currently available for new employment.

3. Post your resume on the major job boards, making sure that you are including the types of keywords that potential employers will use when searching for potential candidates.

4. Do some target marketing. Develop a short list of companies you would like to target as potential employers. Then, post your resume in the “Career” section with the goal of adding your name to their resume pool of potential candidates.

5. If you like public speaking, try to speak at the local PMI chapter or other appropriate local organizations. Even if only a small percentage of their membership comes to the meeting, everyone who received the meeting announcement will have seen your name, topic and bio. Also, by speaking on your topic, you are beginning to establish yourself as a thought leader and industry expert.

6. If you like to write, try to get a column or editorial published on a professional association website or industry magazine.

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