The 5 P's of job hunting
If you’re feeling directionless, mastering these key elements will help you get to your job-search destination.
The job search can feel like an epic journey with dozens of twists and turns that keep you awake at night. Enough of the roundabout—it’s time to put a stop to your on-again off-again job hunting and lay down some concrete steps that actually lead somewhere.
Marketing has what’s known as the 5 Ps—product, price, promotion, place, and people—that serve as a strategy. Job hunting is similar to a marketing project, only this time the P words are positioning, process, and persistence, followed closely by presentation and personality. The product, you, comprises of all of the above.
Let’s take a look at how to design and execute this job-search strategy.
Before you start applying to jobs, you need to identify what makes you valuable to an employer. This means putting together a unique value proposition that distinguishes you from other job seekers in your field. That said, what value you bring depends on the job you’re applying for, says Atlanta career coach Hallie Crawford. Therefore, “pay close attention to the job requirements that are listed in the job posting,” says Crawford. Then, assess how your skills and professional experience make you a great fit for the position.
Rather than applying to dozens of job postings, focus on openings at companies that you admire, advises Anne Marie Segal, a Stamford, Connecticut-based executive coach. “Applying to every single job posting you see can be a big time suck,” Segal says. Plus, the better the match between you and the company, the greater the likelihood of the employer showing an interest in you.
Create a list of your target employers and then do your homework. Find out what these companies specialize in, who their competitors are, and what their goals are. Doing so will give you the kind of intel you need to impress a hiring manager, says Philadelphia-based career coach Lynn Carroll.
Job hunting is a marathon—not a sprint. Indeed, even top talent can spend six months to a year job hunting (or longer, depending on how tight the industry is) before they land an offer. So, to power through a job search, you need stamina—a lot of it. The trick to staying motivated? Set small, achievable goals in your job search that will give you a sense of progress. For example, attending at least one networking event a month is a realistic goal that would help you forge valuable relationships in your industry, and leveraging these relationships later on could help you land job interviews.
One of the best ways to prove your worth to a prospective employer is by preparing an elevator pitch to deliver at job interviews. Unfortunately, many job seekers make the mistake of tooting their own horn without providing concrete examples of how they can apply their skills to improve the prospective employer’s business.
For instance, “if you’re in marketing, don’t just say one of your biggest skills is content marketing,” says Hannah Wright, a digital marketer at FormAssembly, a SaaS web form solution headquartered in Bloomington, Indiana. “Instead, say that you can grow their website’s blog traffic, explain how you’d do that, and then tell them about that one time you doubled a company’s traffic in a year.” Pro tip: Use numbers to quantify your achievements.
Practice your pitch in front of mirror in order to get comfortable with delivery. Or, even better, record a video of yourself so that you can also assess your body language. “Your body language has to reinforce what you’re selling,” says Atlanta-based career coach Gia Ganesh. In other words, your nonverbal cues—mainly your eye contact, hand motions, posture, and tone of voice—are critical during a job interview.
It’s important to show job interviewers who you are as a person—not just a professional. After all, no one hires on the basis of credentials alone. In fact, many employers ask job candidates to describe their personality.
“Hiring managers want to see what your attitude and outlook is on work and life,” says Jay Fusaro, author of From the Other Side of the Desk: A Practical Guide to Shortening Your Job Search.
Try to relate some of your personality traits to the position that you’re interviewing for, recommends Laura Labovich, founder of Bethesda, Maryland-based Career Strategy Group. So, for a customer service job, you might say, “I’m a problem-solver by nature. My immediate goal when I speak to a customer is to get their issue resolved as quickly and efficiently as possible.” For an administrative assistant job, you might say, “I’ve always been an extremely organized person. That served me well in my last job, where my attention to detail helped save the company 10 percent on a major account.”
Power up your job search
Finding a job can feel like jumping on and off a series of hamster wheels. All due respect to hamsters, but you’re looking to actually get somewhere. Could you use some help? Join Monster for free today. As a member, you can upload up to five versions of your cover letter and resume—each tailored to different types of jobs that interest you. Recruiters search Monster every day looking to fill top jobs with qualified candidates, just like you. Additionally, you can sign up for job alerts so you’ll be notified whenever new positions are posted. Let Monster help you get focused and get hired.