Are you marketing yourself successfully? Although top candidates are always in demand in the engineering and manufacturing sector, there is still competition for every role that crops up in the job market. Having the right technical skills and work experience isn't always enough to win the job. You need to find your inner salesperson to get noticed.
Marketing yourself is just about identifying the needs of your target audience (your prospective employer) and positioning your personal brand to meet that wish list. The ideal candidate needs to offer a close-to-perfect solution to the challenges or needs faced by their potential employer.
Here are six ways to market yourself effectively and win that next engineering or manufacturing role.
1. Understand Your Audience
Make an effort to get to know your target audience – your potential new employer. If these are the people you’re marketing yourself to, you’ll need to do your market research and understand what they're looking for. Do as much research as you can into organizations of interest and try to establish the skills, knowledge and types of applicant they value highly. If possible, speak to an existing or former employee to get an inside view of the company. If you do reach the interview stage, make sure you fully research the company so you can tailor your answers (and questions) to their unique or recent business activities. Most organizations now disseminate information online in various formats, so information should be easily accessible.
2. Sharpen Your Skills
Reassess your skills regularly to identify any knowledge gaps that could be hampering your career progress. Look into extra training in areas where you feel you lack experience. Were you recently declined a job? Politely ask for feedback from the company or your interviewees about where your résumé or interview performance lacked impact.
3. Identify Your Unique Selling Points
What is unique about you in the engineering and manufacturing sector? There are probably many positive aspects to your résumé, but there are usually one or two particular points that make you stand out from competition which you can use in marketing yourself. This could be your particular mix of past work, the combination of your academic training and hands-on experience, or even relevant and intriguing personal interests that position you as someone of integrity, creativity or useful life skills that will enhance your performance on the job. Once you've identified what makes you a strong, attractive candidate with an interesting edge, sell this unique selling point in your written applications and interviews with employers.
4. Remember to Sell Your Soft Skills
With engineering and manufacturing jobs, many candidates assume that their technical know-how will be enough to secure them the best roles. But marketing yourself is about more than demonstrating technical knowledge or sector experience – it’s about showing that you’re a well-rounded candidate who has exceptional “soft skills,” such as brilliant communication skills, leadership potential and lateral thinking.
5. Get Up to Date
Keep reading and learning about interesting advancements and developments in the engineering and manufacturing industry. Strong industry knowledge and an awareness of current trends are always appreciated. Read industry publications, influential blogs and websites to form an interesting and wide-reaching view of the engineering and manufacturing market.
6. Build Your Network
Remember the exponential value of a broad network of contacts. The web has now made it easier to connect with and maintain relationships with various people in the engineering and manufacturing field. Keep in regular contact with your network, and update them on any new positions or projects you take on. Wherever possible, attend industry events where you can meet people face-to-face and form relationships in real time—one of the fundamental and most effective tools of marketing yourself.
Check here for more tips on how to stay marketable.