Just as I finished editing my Inbound Marketing piece I quickly scanned Google Reader and realized that David Meerman Scott and I were writing about one and the same thing. Except his post title is: Downsized? Fired? Here are the new rules of finding a job.
Yes, the parallels are striking.; If you find yourself on the job market, you have a a tough sell in today’s economy, when US unemployment rolls surged to the highest in a quarter century; You’re selling yourself, ie. you are the product. To sell yourself you need a marketing strategy, and increasingly you’ll find that traditional otbound marketing no longer works, while inbound marketing places you in demand before you actually need it. (I am referring to concepts discussed in the previous article, so this will be a lot easier to follow if you read that one first). Quote from David:
I got news for you. The old rules for finding a job suck in today’s market. Well, OK, I admit that is a little harsh. Sure, many people find jobs the old way. Just like credit card companies may sell you a card via direct mail and you may hire some gutter cleaning services from a guy who interrupts you at dinner with a telemarketing call. But it’s increasingly rare.
– The old rules of looking for a job rely on spamming your network. (Spam is email that is sent, unsolicited, to a large number of people in substantially the same format. That’s exactly what many job seekers do.)
– The old rules of finding a job required advertising a product (you) with direct mail (your resume that you send to potential employers).
– The old rules of job searches required you to interrupt people (friends and colleagues) to tell them that you were on the market and to coerce them to help you.
You want to find a new job? You have to stop thinking like an advertiser of a product and start thinking like a publisher of information.
The “old rules” are what we discussed as outbound marketing, and if you recall that inbound marketing revolves around creating Content, using Search Engine Optimization and participating in Social Media, it obviously means you’re already thinking as a publisher of information.
I’ve repeatedly stated Your Blog Is Your Resume and got some flak from people reminding me resumes were not dead. Wow – don’t take my words literally – who said resumes are not used at all? They come in play as part of the background check, but they won’t sell you.
If you’ve been blogging for years, you certainly did not do it with a particular job in mind; your blog is likely to be a true reflection of who you really are, what you are an expert in, your communication skills, your priorities … YOU as a whole person, not as a candidate for a specific job – the brand called You. That’s certainly better than a resume, which is likely tailored for a particular job, and let’s face it, often “cosmetically enhanced” – no wonder it ends in the waste-basket.
Blogging is no longer the only tool, so let’s update the metaphor: your Social Media participation is your new Resume. That’s your inbound marketing. Remember, inbound marketing is all about letting customers (employers) find you. They are not looking for you – they are looking for solutions to their problems. They are searching. Does your content provide the answers to what they need? Quote from David again:
The new rules of finding a job require you to share your knowledge and expertise with a world that is looking for what you have to offer.
Share? As in … give away? Yes. The knowledge you give away is your marketing. David quotes several examples of successful people who found their new jobs via blogging, publishing an eBook and giving it away for free, via frequent Twitter updates or publishing videos on Youtube. At the recent Defrag conference two people I got into intense conversations told me they were discovered by their employers via their blogs. Jeremiah blogged his way to the Analyst job at Forrester. The examples are endless.
There’s only one problem: this is not a quick fix. You can’t build up social media presence overnight. But the best time to do it is not when you are already out of a job, but when you don’t really feel the direct need. Do it for fun, as a way of self-expression – you may just find you enjoy it. Social Media participation is Inbound Marketing, and that’s a lifetime perpetual habit. It might just get you on potential employers “wanted list” whether you need them or not.
Update: to look at how social media is used on “the other side” check out: Recruiting by Video. Some Get It, Others Just Pretend.
Update #2, the perfect story: How I Used Inbound Marketing to Find a Job in a Recession.