Job seekers would do well to use techniques that major advertisers do on TV to sell their products, according to Robert J. Gerberg Jr., CEO of SET. “These things have proven successful over time, which is why they continue to use them,” Robert J. Gerberg added. SET is a personal marketing firm working with executives, professionals and managers seeking $100,000 or more. Here are four things Gerberg advises you borrow:
- Start with a “communication strategy.” Know ahead of time the overall way you want to present yourself, the key phrases that describe your strengths and themes you will use to emphasize how much you can contribute. Savvy marketers start this way.
- Know your “selling proposition.” Whether it’s beer, perfume, soap or soda, all advertisers will have one basic “selling proposition” they know they need to get across, like “tastes great, less filling.” In your case, if you had to state it in a sentence, what is the reason an employer should hire you? What benefits do you bring them? How will you contribute? Once you have a short answer, make sure everything else you say reinforces that basic message.
- Prepare a “30-second commercial.” When you’re asked up front in an interview to talk about yourself or explain why you’d be a good addition, don’t go on at length. Have a 30-second statement prepared that emphasizes your best achievements and the skills and strengths you can bring to the table. Then ask for feedback as to whether that comes close to what they are looking for.
- Have stories ready. Many commercials on TV use a simple story to make their point, whether it’s a burglar foiled by their alarm system or a woman who falls “out of love” with her old mop after using theirs. People forget lists of strengths, but they remember stories about how you used your strengths. So prepare half a dozen action-oriented stories that tell of the challenges you faced, the actions you took to get past them and the results. They build your credibility, and interviewers will remember them long after the interview ends.