Finding a job is a job. But what kind of job is it? When you think about it, the job search is actually a public relations job.
On the job hunt, you’re advocating for yourself. If you want to finally land that dream position, you’ve got to practice good personal PR. So treat your job search the same way a public relations practitioner would treat a PR campaign.
In PR, we love catchy acronyms. If you jobhunt long enough, you’ll come to love this one: RPIE. It’s pronounced “R-Pie”…okay, maybe not so catchy. It stands for Research, Planning, Implementation, Evaluation.
This first stage of a campaign is too often overlooked by PR folks and jobseekers alike. Solid knowledge of yourself and your future employer will be the foundation for your job search. Here’s how to begin:
1. Start with a brainstorm. What are your skills? What tools do you possess? What makes you a valuable asset to employers?
2. Then hit the web. Where do those skills and tools fit? What companies are looking for a valuable asset like you? Where will you be a good match?
3. Make a list of places you will apply, and read everything you can about those places.
Here is where you craft your strategy. Make a plan for how you will write cover letters that boldly declare, “I know your company, and I know you need me!” Use that research to find the keywords your potential employers are looking for, and thread those keywords into your resume. Draft a step-by-step task list of how you will handle each follow-up letter, each phone call and each interview. Remember that research? It’s still your foundation.
You’ve got your game plan, now hit the ground like a wound up matchbox car. Build that personal brand. Send your letters and resumes; follow them up to show you’re eager; interview with confidence, backed by the knowledge you’ve gained in Research and Planning.
When it’s all over, review what happened. What did you do right that you will repeat next time? What potholes will you avoid on your next journey? How can you improve your job searching skills? Get ready to wash, rinse, and repeat.
The job search is a PR campaign, and like a PR pro, you bill by the hour. The more you put in, the more you get out. Campaigns don’t last a few days; they’re ongoing. The job search is a full-time job…until you find a full-time job.