Searching for a job is like a marketing project: you’re selling your skills, abilities, and qualities to potential employers.
What You Have to Offer
Start by asking yourself, “What can I offer this employer?” Make a list of your skills, abilities, and qualities. To get started, check out the ten top skills and qualities employers are looking for on the Skills for the 21st Century page and use the Succeed at Work (PDF) workbook to identify your strengths.
What Employers Want
Employers hire the people they need to achieve the company’s goals: Each employee fills a need. To find out what an employer needs, read the job announcement. Visit the company website. Knowing about the company helps you tailor your letter and resume to that position. And, you'll impress your interviewers.
Then, imagine you’re doing that job. What skills and abilities are you using to get the job done? Write them down on the job announcement. Then combine the list you wrote and the job description and use that information to write your resume and cover letter.
Matching What You’re Selling with What Employers’ Want = Success!
It increases your odds of getting an interview when your job application and resume show you have the skills and abilities to do the job. Think of the interview as the final step in your marketing project.
Prepare for it by writing down ideas on how you’d answer some common interview questions; see a list of common questions at Preparing for Your Interview. Practice the one question interviewers almost always ask, "Why should I hire you?" Use your interview to show you're the best the person for the job.
Good job searchers (marketers) know what they have to sell and what their potential customers (employers) want. Match your skills with their needs and you have success!