I will start with my personal top 3 Dos for marketing your skills. Everyone needs to decide for themselves what type of leader they want to be. If you are trying to land any job possible, then you will need great flexibility in your marketing. If you are trying to land the right job for you, the message you are trying to get across might not need to change. The first thing I will say is to have a clean appearance. Even though this is not necessarily what we would think of as a marketable skill, it is something that make or break your ability to market. Another DO would be confidence. If you are unsure about what you are saying when you speak, you might look like you are lying about your skills. My last DO is to emphasize the ability to perform. Talk is cheap and many employers want to know you are actionable.
The biggest DON’T for marketing your skills would be to be anything other than genuine. People are pretty good at sniffing out a “salesman” that just wants you to buy no matter what. Don’t be that person. Another DON’T would be marketing the wrong skills. If you want to scoop ice cream for a living, your employer will probably not get any use out of your ability to navigate a submarine. A lot of people talk about skills that do not apply at all, and this takes the spotlight away from the skills that matter. My final DON’T is to never get bullied. You do not want to market yourself as a pushover. Companies often try to pay you the absolute minimum they can, even if they have room for a lot more. You need to market yourself early as someone who is not here to play games.
When I think of my top do’s and don’t for marketing myself and presenting myself for potential employers, I think of the discrepancies that can present themselves between what a military logistics officer and what a civilian sector logistics manager would market. Being in the military, I have seen many former colleagues and subordinates transfer to the civilian world, and have been sure to keep in touch to see what works and what doesn’t work. The biggest common feedback is being sure to not present resume’s with military jargon or duty descriptions. That is the biggest don’t that I perceive that would help me going forward.
Some key Do’s are 1) use a website of some sort for presenting myself in my own way. 2) use connections from inside and outside the military to promote myself, connect with potential employers, and as references for when needed. 3) use military training and societal membership as a connection tool to bridge the gap of civilian experiences and training – i.e. market myself in a way that “fits” the civilian world.
Some other key don’ts are to never count yourself out -the worst thing you can do is not reach out for a connection, not to apply for a job you’re unsure you’re qualified for, and not to spread your resume. Additionally, and maybe even the biggest don’t is to don’t formulate a plan. the worst thing I’ve seen in my time in the military is when Soldiers leave the Army and do not form a plan beforehand, and do not account for things such as lapses in insurance coverage, jobs that do not have time off policies, and do not build a resume beforehand.
Top 3 Dos
Self-promotion, keep on marketing yourself in a way that is going to get the job desired. Taylor, the way you present that information based on the needs of the situation. If you are applying for a designing job, prepare a portfolio that incorporates designing aspects. At the same time, other subjects can help showcase how well rounded you are. A lack of focused material will do more harm than right.
Preservation and relevancy, staying relevant by taking online classes, seminars, doing research, maintaining certifications, etc. By doing this, you remain competitive in the workforce in which applying for and remaining competitive for job positioning.
Networking, keeping on contact with potential leads for future growth. It also helps to reach out on posts for specific jobs or opportunities you may have. An excellent example of this is if a situation comes up requiring a plumber, you can post a needed bid for a job. It gives others a chance to socialize and build relationships even if they do not get the job they remain relevant and connected. In the future, they may need your help.
Etiquette, online social etiquette, regardless of previous employment experience, can harm a candidate. Do not write anything negative or which can be perceived negatively. When owning my own business, I would get involved in politics and speak my opinion often on media outlets; this led to trouble locally. After I closed up a business, I removed all content and cleaned up my public pages to remove anything that would have been seen as a negative by potential employers
No profile is better than a poor one. Having old content with no context or visual presentation looks sloppy. Ghost pages can give the impression that you cannot complete a task or hiding something. Better to have an all in or a not at all approach, treat a portfolio like a resume. You would not hand in a resume with just a name on it and expect results.
Choose photos and friends wisely. Any comment, photo, etc. will be found. It is good practice to ensure that no content is available that can cause you problems—disturbing images, comments, etc. have a way of showing up when you least expect it. Just as important as your profile are those you surround yourself with.