I went to a great seminar held this morning by HubSpot out at Boston’s lovely Westin Copley hotel. On paper, the seminar was designed to increase executives’ understanding of the interplay of sales and marketing. Yet, the longer I listened to the great muses on stage expound how you (I’m lookin’ at you) could improve your conversion rate through the effective use of sales and marketing, the more I realized that the messages being drawn up by Head of Enterprise Marketing Jessica Meher, CMO Mike Volpe and VP of Enterprise Sales Phil Harrell could be taken as messages for all of us who are looking for jobs. In short, following the rules of inbound marketing campaigns offer a profound recipe for how to make ourselves into someone employers will look at, love and hire.
Message Number 1: Be what employers want to consume
If you have been searching for a job for a while then you have probably heard those dreaded words:”well, you’re just not the right fit.” Meaning, you’re not the right tool for the job. Nothing personal, mind you, but your skills aren’t the ones needed to get the job done. So, think about it then: what skills ARE needed to get the job done? How do you optimize your profile ? Do you need computing skills, writing skills, programming skills or presentation skills? The reality is that without knowledge in these areas it’s hard to get a job as more than a barista. Now mind you, people skills are really important, too. But, in order to be effective at the job search you need to *be* what they want to consume . So if you see job titles that resonate with you be ask for skills that you don’t have then find a way to get them. Go to a local university or on-line school. In this sphere, there’s no reason not to find a way to learn what you need to.
Message Number 2: You don’t find employers. They find you
Message two might seem counter-intuitive to job seekers. Isn’t looking for a job all about putting your best foot forward and pounding the pavement? Well, the answer is both ‘yes’ and ‘no’. Let me explain.
First, the ‘no’ part. Many searches conducted on LinkedIn and other job sites are based on keyword searches . Even if you have a lead into a company and get your resume forwarded to HR by a friend, the recruiter is still going to look for those key words in your resume that align with the responsibilities found on the job posting. So, while it seems like a pain in the bottom to constantly tweak your resume to reflect the language in the posting it is the difference between getting found and getting recycled.
As to the ‘yes’ part, you still need to do your best to network and make connections so that you have the opportunity to get in front of the recruiter. But, as any executive coach will tell you, getting in front of HR is only half the battle.
Message Number 3: Optimize your social media
I met a contact today who is a friend of a friend of a friend. Did I get that right? I think so. In any case, this new friend of mine did an actual inbound marketing campaign on himself. Pretty incredible. He created a website called (joe smith is not his real name). On his site, he told the story of why he’s interested in social media and what he feels he can do for your campaign. He had a link to his blog, twitter feed, writing samples, resume and contact information. This new friend told me he even created an app that allowed for a mobile ready presentation of this information.
You might say my friend is a bit hard core with his approach. I think his approach is brilliant. Guess what, he now has a job in social media that puts him just where he wants to be. But even if you cannot be as aggressive as my friend, you can still have the time to blog or write or comment or peoples’ articles who are experts or notables in your field. I keep on
chiding myself for not being more active in social media. Here’s my attempt at drinking my own medicine.
To HubSpot’s point of optimizing social media, you need to use Google’s keyword search to make sure your content is filled with key words and that you are sharing material and following best practices. These are mainstays of B-to-C social media as well as B-to-B.
Message Number 4: Fill the funnel
One of the key points of effective social media, is to use tools such as blogging, SEO and demand generation to create leads which fill the top of the funnel. In searching for jobs, it might not be clear what the analog is here. I think though that the analogue is to constantly be on the lookout for opportunities. Find ways to provide value to potential employers either through short project work or through an internship. Tell the potential employer that you have read up on their company and have some ideas on what you can do for them. All of these are opportunities that get put into the top of the funnel. Some of them will work out and some won’t. The biggest take away is do not get discouraged .
So, I don’t know what Darmesh Shah and Brian Halligan would say of my take on inbound marketing. Maybe they would get a laugh or a chuckle. More importantly though, I hope you find value in these words. Whether they are words of wisdom or not …. well, that’s up to you. Clearly though it is important to be in charge of your own social media management.