Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Uncovering Your Best Industry Options Pt. 2

Despite our recent economic slowdown, new companies have sprung up throughout America. Established organizations are reexamining the way they do business. Medium-sized companies are expanding. New industries exist that are employing tens of thousands.

The more you appear to know about an industry, the easier it is to generate interviews. Virtually all employers look for “common ground” when hiring a new person. For example, do you have experience in or knowledge of similar product lines, distribution channels, manufacturing methods or problems in their industry? There can be other similarities. Consider the scope of operations, the role of advertising and promotion, the importance of the sales organization, the influence of labor, and other items.

Naturally, the harder it is to demonstrate knowledge of an industry, the less likely an executive is to make a move into it. That rule applies to all major disciplines: sales, marketing, finance, manufacturing and operations. It is less important in staff disciplines. Here are some examples of commonplace changes:

A marketing executive with a tobacco company joined a cosmetics firm. Why? Their methods of marketing are similar.

The EVP of a circuit board company was recruited to become president of a firm that makes power packs. Why? These industries have similarities in manufacturing and sales, even though the products are so different.

An executive of an aerospace company was recruited to become chairman of a small company that sells high tech services to defense contractors. Why? The key was the new chairman’s contacts and knowledge of the marketplace.

The controller of a component manufacturer was brought in as president of a company that produces plastic packaging. Why? The similarities have to do with cost control as the #1 challenge.

For more information be sure to check out SET Personal Marketing's Twitter, follow SET Personal Marketing's Facebook, watch SET Personal Marketing's videos on YouTube or visit SET Personal Marketing's website.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Uncovering Your Best Industry Options Pt. 1

We will want to help market you so that you are attractive to the widest range of employers. Experience has proven that people of all ages are moving into exciting new industries, and with less difficulty than in the past. If industry change is of interest to you, please review this brief discussion.

Transition to a new industry is easier than it used to be. Historically, people have overrated the barriers and underrated their abilities to move into new areas. The vast majority of all new jobs are created by small and mid-sized businesses. So, while major employers are still important, you may want to explore positions with startups or emerging companies.

If you choose the right industry, you will have more growth opportunities, perhaps meaningful stock options, an environment that is likely to be more positive, a chance for more regular pay increases and probably advancement.

Identifying new industry options

The first way to do this is to increase your awareness of the fastest growing industries and companies. These firms have to go outside their industry to find the best talent and skills.

The second way is to list characteristics of your industries... and find similar industries. We use software to compare your industry’s characteristics with 2,500 others... e.g., 35 industries may be an 85% match.

Keep in mind that projecting some form of an “industry hook” is the next best thing to having industry experience. Group your possibilities three ways: (1) close industry hooks, easy possibilities; (2) medium industry hooks, next best; (3) far reach or stretch industry hooks.

When changing industries, you also don’t want to overlook your leverage power... the added benefits you may bring by virtue of your contacts or knowledge. You may be able to bring a team with you that helped in similar situations.

For more information be sure to check out SET Personal Marketing's Twitter, follow SET Personal Marketing's Facebook, watch SET Personal Marketing's videos on YouTube or visit SET Personal Marketing's website.

Friday, July 15, 2011

SOAR Stories

Our SOAR “storytelling” process

Situation. Describe a job by outlining the situation when you began, making it interesting.

Opportunities. Then describe opportunities the job presented. For example, “When I joined the firm, sales had been declining for three years. I saw the opportunity to target new areas.”

Actions. Next, move to actions taken by you and others (the team). These actions are the most important part of the SOAR process, and a great place for the descriptive phrases.

Results. Then relate what results occurred. For the “R” in SOAR, try to quantify the results. For example, you cut costs by $100,000 or 20%. In administrative situations, you can measure results with statements like “I did it in half the time,” or “The system I developed was adopted throughout the company,” or “I won an award.” Indicate positive things you did to help your organizations. Describe how you helped your management meet their goals, and the results they achieved. Show how you demonstrated a skill or a personal quality.

Create stories that demonstrate benefits you can bring. If you successfully managed the integration of two teams following a merger, and the new business gained market share and/or costs were reduced—by all means say so. Wherever possible, quantify with dollar amounts, percent- ages, etc. Even an average SOAR story is better than none at all.

Examples of SOAR stories

Situation / Opportunity. When I joined MBC Sales, the company had lost nearly $7.5 million on a new product release. I recognized an opportunity to employ my Procter & Gamble experience in marketing.

Action. With the help of the Y & R agency, I relaunched the brand, created a new television advertising campaign, and refocused all marketing efforts.

Result.Withinayear,weturnedan$8millionlosstoa$4million gain—30% of the firm’s profits.

Situation / Opportunity. The company recruited 5,000 people a year but never had a training program.

Action. I created the firm’s first training course. With a staff of 20, we introduced it in 57 markets.

Result. The firm was able to bring in recruits who produced within four weeks. In the following year, sales by newcomers accounted for $3,000,000.

For more information be sure to check out SET Personal Marketing's Twitter, follow SET Personal Marketing's Facebook, watch SET Personal Marketing's videos on YouTube or visit SET Personal Marketing's website.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Selling Your Transferable Skills

Your knowledge and personality are marketable

Do you have knowledge of a job, a product, a process or a market... from work, hobbies, alumni relationships, research or suppliers? If so, it may be marketable. Personality, of course, is just a word for that combination of traits that either attracts us to someone or leaves us unimpressed. More employment decisions are based on personality and chemistry than any other factor. For example: “He’s certainly professional and quick-thinking. I like him, and better yet, I trust him. He’ll fit in with our team. I need to get him into the firm.” The perception of your personality has to do with your interest and enthusiasm. How many people get hired because they showed real interest? A lot.

Leadership qualities are marketable

If there is one quality you want to communicate, it is leadership ability. Experts say that leaders possess and communicate real convictions— strong feelings and principles that have grown with them over time.

Leadership is also attributed to those who create an image of operating at the leading edge... into new products, new services and new solutions. We expect our leaders to have the vision and talent to develop new things. Another skill common to leaders is their ability to assemble teams and motivate them to peak achievement. Often creative, intuitive and passionate, they project integrity and trust. If you have these traits, they should be marketed. Image, attitude and presence also play a role.

To best communicate your skills... you should have a communication strategy

To appreciate a communication strategy, consider the platform of a presidential candidate. It anticipates questions on issues and formulates statements to guide the candidate’s answers. Now, when any of us recruit, we have a concept in mind. In the final analysis, we hire others for the skills and abilities that certain key descriptive phrases imply.

To expand your marketability, develop stories that incorporate those phrases to create maximum interest. Without stories, most people will forget what you say in a matter of minutes. We all remember good stories. To ensure your points are memorable, we suggest a method for creating interesting stories. SOAR is an acronym that stands for Situation, Opportunities, Actions and Results. It offers a process for describing your past experience.

For more information be sure to check out SET Personal Marketing's Twitter, follow SET Personal Marketing's Facebook, watch SET Personal Marketing's videos on YouTube or visit SET Personal Marketing's website.