Guerilla Marketing & Technical Resume Writing? What?

Posted on May 23, 2012. Filed under: Job Search Tips, social media | Tags: , , , |

personal brandingby Sheree Van Vreede (@rezlady)

A few weeks ago, I started a bloglog of sorts as a way to detail the many twists and turns that our startup has gone through. One reason for doing so is that it is somewhat therapeutic, and another is that the main message of our company to job seekers is that they should “keep it real.” By that, we mean that they should think of personal branding as less about showcasing polish and shine and more about bringing real solutions to real companies.

I decided we should take our own advice.

Because, after all, that is who we are: real people with real lives offering real solutions to real professionals. It’s not a gimmick or a game. It’s our career.

To Sell Without Selling

Some career pros I know get a little itchy when you talk about “selling” either in regard to their job seekers looking for jobs (and “selling” themselves) or in regard to themselves “selling” their products and services. They prefer to act like they are providing some sort of community service that happens to generate income for them.

Although it is nice for all of us to think that we aren’t motivated by profit (or income), the truth is the primary reason for work is to earn a living. And if you want to stay in business or have a career, you can’t overlook that part. Sure, you can think on a higher plane, do what you love, and take pay cuts to pursue other things, but everyone needs money, at least some, and therefore, everyone is by necessity motivated by that fact.

So let’s just be real about it.

The question becomes, then, how do you sell without selling? Whether it is part of your job search or showcasing a small startup like ITtechExec, how do you position yourself in a way that makes you seem, well, real?

Guerilla Social Media Marketing 101

The answer, as I see it, comes down to solving problems. In today’s social media marketplace, people are attracted to people with answers. They want to know that the distinct background that you have can help them solve the problems that they have. They are looking for information, and they are looking for people that they can connect with to give them that information. Period.

Quite honestly, that is something you just can’t fake…at least not for long. You either can bring the goods, or you can’t.

As I spend my days racing from one social media outlet to another, trying to build “communities” and “spheres of influence,” I am struck by how many people think social media marketing is just a game of busy work (and popularity). Do this. Do that. Poof! The real work is in articulating your well-designed solution in such a way that is clear and simple and easy for others to pass on.

In our case, we want our customers to say, “ITtechExec, they’re more than just a technical resume writing firm. They articulate the ‘core talkable differences’ that are distinct to each of their clients. These differences are then communicated consistently across both traditional and social media. They do that by leveraging a job search management lifecycle approach.” Therefore, finding your core talkable difference is what makes up our core talkable difference: helping to position you as a unique problem solver. In other words, we believe in keeping it real.

And that has less to do with popularity and more to do with quality. Guerilla marketers, much like technical resume writers (and technical job seekers!), better be all about quality. Otherwise, we can build communities all day long, but in the end, we won’t have much to show for it.

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2 Responses to “Guerilla Marketing & Technical Resume Writing? What?”

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In a recent job interview, just about every question was “What did YOU do to solve problems” basically I had to come up with about 5 scenarios in a problematic outcome and how I’d saved the day. I was stumped. My career is 100% based on team work. True teamwork. To me that means every solution is the outcome of a collective effort. To talk about me as some kind of Wonder Woman was near impossible.

I tried to explain that to them. Yet they insisted I talked about MY expert ways of solving what my TEAM achieved. I thankfully wasn’t hired. I don’t think I want to work for people who believe in star quarterback approaches. It kills team building. I’m still unemployed though. Maybe I need to re-think my strategy?

Hi Marie,

Your point about star quarterbacks is a valid one. What I hear most (obviously not all) employers saying is that they do want a team approach, but they want to be clear on what specific skill sets each member brings to the team. In other words, because building an effective team is so vital, they want to know they have a good fit when bringing in a new member. So in an interview, they will ask questions like that because they want to hear about how you leverage your unique skills and background when faced with different scenarios (then they can assess how well that would mesh with the current environ). I can’t speak for your specific interview, but in most cases, it is less about finding a rock star and more about finding someone who has a good sense of what he or she brings to the table. Also, I don’t think there is anything wrong with saying that in your experience facing problems by collaborating with your team has been vital to your success. You just need to be prepared to back that up with an example of where true teamwork paid off and with your specific role on that team.

Although you might work with a team once hired, the interview is still an individual effort, and all the employer can do is assess you that way. So, I wouldn’t worry so much about being Wonder Woman, but you do need to think about the value that you bring and how you can articulate that.

Sheree


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