Assignment 1: Marketing Yourself 10%
This is the final year of your undergraduate study, and its time to think about the future, whether that be employment or further study. You need a strategy – a marketing strategy. This assignment will help you revise and apply major marketing principles, but will also help you focus on where you want to go after you complete your degree and help you get there!
- To develop your marketing and transferable skills through a self-directed project.
- To provide a timely focus on your future opportunities.
- To learn how marketing can be applied to non-typical products.
- To improve your research and report writing skills.
- To provide you with tangible, useful products i.e., up-to-date CV and cover letter and/or statement of intent or self promoting video.
To do: You must complete a brief report by Feb. 10th 2014 (max. 3 pages excluding appendices, just stapled please) which should include the following:
- Situation Audit
- Analysis of jobs market relevant to travel agency I mentioned
- Analysis of relevant post-graduate programmes
- Analysis of resources for locating jobs
- Strategy (have you found a job you’d like to apply for or course of further study?)
- What are your objectives?
- How are you going to compete? (Differentiation)
- What is your brand? (Have you got one!)
- What marketing communication tools will you use? Video / CV
- How will you sell yourself?
- Develop an action plan with timeline for 2014 /2015 which will help you achieve your goals.
- Curriculum Vitae
- Letter of Application / Personal Statement
*The above is a guideline only. It is anticipated that each report will differ in relation to content as student objectives will differ.
2% Situation audit, Strategy and Action plan
(Report layout, wording, grammar and punctuation)
2% Application of Marketing Skills
6% Statement of Intent & Curriculum Vitae
How to Market Yourself?
To be successful in the job market you have to understand what you are selling in order to be able to market yourself successfully.
It’s important that you understand what makes you unique and how to communicate that to employers. One way to think about this is: If your name was a brand, what would your brand say about you?
Marketing is often seen as a business-related activity, but it is at the heart of every successful job hunt. Whilst you’re at college / university you are developing your own individual brand. When employability is viewed in its crudest form, we are all products attempting to sell our skills in the job market.
Savvy employees know that they need to go beyond just working hard and hoping someone recognizes them for new opportunities or promotions. It is critical that individuals, young and old, learn to market themselves, which is one of the Career Literacy skills needed to be successful in today’s workplace.
Students who seek internships and first jobs can begin with the basics of marketing themselves and benefit from being in the right place at the right time with the right people.
A famous quote supports this: “Luck is where preparation meets opportunity.” Marketing yourself creates “luck.”
What does “marketing yourself” really mean?
What are the benefits of marketing yourself as a competent resource to an organization?
And what steps do you take to market yourself?
When marketing yourself, think of yourself as the “product” and what you can do as the “service.” It’s your responsibility to identify what expertise you can offer to your “customer.” For those in job search, your customer is a potential employer.
Developing the skills for marketing oneself has become increasingly important as the complexity and change in the workplace has accelerated. Even for talented, competent people, it’s a buyer’s market. Individuals always benefit by making themselves more attractive candidates. Workers are more mobile, changing jobs, managers, employers, and geographic locations frequently, so they constantly have to educate others on their capabilities and experience. Jobs disappear due to advances in technology, outsourcing, or off-shoring options, so individuals are in the job market more often. On the other hand, people skilled at marketing themselves are first to hear news of emerging opportunities in their company or field, like working on virtual international teams or learning a new technology.
There is also a positive personal impact that results from marketing yourself. You can accomplish your personal and professional goals more easily and often faster. In addition, you can find opportunities to contribute your expertise more quickly and, in fact, have the opportunities find you. You will reap benefits of increased visibility, employability, and career resiliency. The process of marketing yourself creates options and choices for you as well, because you hear about them sooner.
Eight-step Personal Marketing Plan Template
- Define your mission and the benefits you offer
- Set your marketing objective: What exactly do you want to achieve? SMART
- Start with self knowledge: natural talents (aptitudes), interests, personality and values
- Consider what role fits you best, are you a generalist or a specialist?
- Ask yourself, “What do I have to offer?”
Be specific, make it measurable, make it realistic, and build in a timeline with deadlines.
- Design performance measures:
What will be the observable, objective indicators that show that you are accomplishing or have accomplished your goal?
- Gather, analyze, and interpret information about your situation using a SWOT Analysis.
SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. A SWOT analysis is a structured strategic planning model often used for a project or business venture.
- Identify your personal strengths and weaknesses: How do you stack up against your competition?
- Identify external opportunities and threats: What trends may affect you and your career positively or negatively?
- Identify your target markets: Who needs to know you, your capabilities, and professional goals?
- This may mean that you focus your efforts through membership in professional organizations, depending on your goal.
- Also include the geographic scope of where you want to market yourself, for example, Galway? The West? Nationally? Or internationally? You decide what is appropriate for you.
- Develop your marketing strategy and activities aimed at your target market
- Share ideas and trend information with others and solicit advice from them via Linkedin / Blogs/ Twitter
- Take on leadership or committee roles in professional organizations
- Attend conferences and continuing education events, even if you have to pay for them
- Write articles for professional publications
- Define implementation strategies: What will you do, when, what resources will you need, and what might be obstacles to overcome?
- Periodically evaluate marketing efforts and modify them if needed: What’s working? What do you need to do differently? Do you need to do more, or scale back your efforts?
The Key To Realizing Your Potential
We often speak of someone who has an ear for music, a knack for languages, or a head for numbers. These are examples of aptitudes—the potential to acquire a skill or learn to perform a task. Each person has a unique combination or pattern of aptitudes that provides important insight into what types of work tasks and environments offer the greatest potential for success and satisfaction. Research and experience show that satisfaction is highest when your work and your abilities are aligned.
Building your brand…
The ‘I Brand Employability Model’ (figure 1)below highlights the fact that being a successful graduate is not just about your degree; it’s about actively developing generic employability skills, so you can develop rich examples to include in your applications and interviews. So how do you build your brand and subsequently market your skills? University is not just about your degree, the extra curricular activities are just as important. Ask yourself the question: Every year 000,000s of students graduate with a degree:
What makes me stand out? Top five tips to build your individual brand…
- Join an existing society within your Students’ Union or start your own society. Become an active member of a society and take on one of the following roles: president, marketing coordinator, treasurer or event manager. Each of these roles will help you to develop valuable employability skills.
- Volunteer, even if it is only for one hour a week. Over the course of a year this will amount to 52 hours of volunteering, which will emphasise your ability to commit to a worthy cause.
- Find out about enterprise activities at your university. This is the perfect opportunity to develop your entrepreneurial skills.
- Sports provide the perfect opportunity to develop leadership skills, teamwork and motivation.
- Don’t use lack of time as an excuse– make time, it’s your future.
Once you’ve developed these skills, it’s important to understand how to communicate them to employers. A great CV or application form depends on how well you can market your skills, but it’s also about recognising the skills you have developed. Many students often don’t recognise the transferable skills they’ve developed and how relevant they’re to the world of work.
In conclusion the “Top five tips” for marketing yourself successfully are…
- Self-assessment. Use the generic employability skills highlighted in the ‘I Brand Employability Model’ to develop examples of these skills in both your degree and your extracurricular activities.
- Elevator pitch. An elevator pitch is a summary of what’s brilliant about you. It should be concise and to the point, but communicate an interesting fact about your skills. Make sure you know your speciality; what makes you unique?
- Networking. Networking provides the perfect opportunity to market yourself. Building a network is invaluable as it provides links to individuals and organisations who may be able to help you find an internship or graduate role. Find networks related to your field or career interests.
- LinkedIn. Building an online network provides the perfect platform to network. It also gives you the opportunity to join forums and discussions that will help keep you abreast of changes in your industry. LinkedIn can also make it easier for you to research companies and identify who in your network is connected to the company.
- Alumni. You are not the first to graduate from your course, so build links with other alumni. Former students understand how hard it is to compete in the job market and thus can often help you to navigate the pitfalls. You can also use alumni to help identify different routes into your sector of choice.