You studied hard, did your work, participated in discussions, and earned good grades. This is self-promotion in terms of the college classroom. Self-promotion in the job market requires skills too, but they may not be so very different from those you’ve already mastered. Consider the following.
1. Know the field you want to enter
In university terms, this means assembling sources of information. Before sending in applications and setting up interviews, make a general survey of the businesses that interest you most. Consider their location, their structure, and the positions they offer. This information will give you confidence as you proceed.
2. Research your field by making direct contact with potential employers
If you were writing a paper for class, you’d start by gathering information. When preparing to promote yourself to a potential employer, you can ask those questions and seek more information even before sending in an application. Polite emails introducing yourself and asking intelligent questions form a first contact in the job-seeking process.
3. Review what you’ve learned and streamline your self-image
As you gather information about the jobs you want, consider how what you have to offer matches what potential employers are seeking. The overlapping features are those that you’ll most actively promote during the job search.
4. Develop a CV that reflects your intentions
Consider your current CV a “rough draft” for your next job interview. Using the information you’ve acquired through your research, prepare a final draft of the CV especially for this interview. The new CV will in turn be a rough draft for the next interview.
5. Prepare for the job interview
When writing papers for university, you were expected to develop a “thesis statement,” a position you were attempting to prove correct. Prepare for your job interview by creating a thesis statement about yourself and why you are a good fit for the job under consideration.
6. Be prepared to present yourself in a positive and objective way
You gave many class presentations at university. Good preparation and practice were the key. When you are called in for a job interview, access the same skills. Speak with confidence about material that you know very well: yourself and your abilities.
7. View your field from new angles
The job market is constantly changing, bringing new challenges and new opportunities. It may be that enhancing your abilities will help you meet those challenges more effectively. Consider enrolling in an MBA program online, for example, not only to add to your skill set but also to keep you up to date on the most recent developments in your field.
Self-promotion requires courage, commitment, patience, and practice, as well as self-knowledge and honesty. These qualities helped you during your college years, and will continue to do so as you emerge in the business world.
This article was contributed by guest author Lizzie Weakley.