How to apply the marketing approach to CV writing

I have long advocated the marketing approach to CV writing because it seems sensible to me that the techniques that have been developed for the successful marketing of products, services that companies and brands use, can also be relied upon to help market people by developing your own ‘personal brand’.

These techniques work primarily because they have been refined over a long period and established as the best means to create value, determine the target audience before communicating with them in the right way about the right things with credibility.

So how do you apply the marketing technique?

A lot is written about ‘selling yourself’, and while this ‘sale’ is the ultimate aim of what we are doing (organisations pay you for your work, one would hope); we can apply more sophisticated approach. You job search is not about selling yourself, think of it as more of a marketing strategy than a sales campaign.

It is important that we should position ourselves as the expert that the employer is looking for, whilst also differentiating ourselves from our competitors, the other applicants. As such, we should find out what the organisation we are applying to wants and values. Having a pilot’s licence, for example, may be great for demonstrating commitment, skill and plenty of other attributes, however, it is also probably not directly applicable when applying for an accounting position.

In the same vein, consider beginning to question every line included in your CV. If it doesn’t communicate something positive, valuable and relevant about you, it probably shouldn’t be included. Be ruthless. However, remember that you need to understand the difference between something that isn’t relevant and something that is relevant if you communicate it in a different way. Excellence in sport may demonstrate commitment and self-discipline, skills that are highly transferable to a sales position. Is it the first thing that you want a prospective employer to learn about you though?

Particularly important to remember is that we should communicate out relevant abilities in a credible way, especially if a person specification is included in the job advertisement or application process.

You should now be in a position to properly communicate and demonstrate your value to an employer. Now make sure you don’t fall into the trap of describing your life or education for example. Take these details and find ways of presenting them in a more compelling way. Show them how your degree is useful to an employer.

There is no doubt in my mind that if you apply these techniques effectively you will be successful. Give it a go and let me know how you get on!

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CV Writer and Interview Coach. Blogging about ways to improve your CV writing and job searching experience.