As job seekers begin their quests for employment, research and preparation are the two most important, yet also the most overlooked, parts of the job search. Eager candidates often dive into the super-competitive world of resumes and personal branding without developing a proper self-marketing strategy.
Just like any project, it’s important to understand the features and benefits of your product (yourself!), your target market, as well as your current competition, while having a clear plan and strategy to ensure success. Whether you are currently waist deep in the job search or just preparing to begin the process, here are some books to consider when developing your personal marketing and job search strategy.
- Internet Your Way to a New Job: How to Really Find a Job Online , by Alison Doyle. Alison is one of the leading job search experts on the internet and is a featured contributor on About.com. Her book, now in its second edition, includes expert advice and opinions from recruiters and career coaches to help you navigate the world wide web as a job seeker. She discusses the importance of social media strategies, personal branding, and how to use technology effectively in the job search. Her book is a must read for the serious job seeker.
- Crucial Conversations: Tools for talking when stakes are high , by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan, & Al Switzler. I am currently half way through this book but am loving every minute of it. I have already begun using its wisdom to have those difficult yet crucial conversations. What I really like about this book is its applicability to both my professional and personal life. I particularly recommend this book to those who are currently employed but who are considering taking the plunge into the job search. This book can help you work out issues with difficult bosses and destructive co-workers. Vital Smarts, the company behind Crucial Conversations, offers real world case studies, webinars, and other resources.
- Jeffrey Gitomer’s Little Red Book of Selling , by Jeffrey Gitomer. I had the pleasure of listening to Jeffrey speak several years ago. He speaks and writes with a no-nonsense, engaging, and motivating style. I left his seminar pumped up and ready to take the tips and tools he provided me out into the real world. Sales is very much a part of the job search. Just as a car salesman must know how to sell cars, a job seeker must know how to sell themselves, and this book will teach you to do that. Gitomer writes that “In sales, it’s not who you know. In sales, it’s who knows you.” You know where you want to work, but do they even know who you are? Follow Jeffrey’s tips, and get your face on their radar.
- Hire With Your Head , by Lou Adler. Lou’s company, The Adler Group, along with his book, is focused on the concept of Performance Based Hiring. The book discusses how companies should use a combination of techniques to ensure that they are hiring quality candidates who will meet and exceed performance expectations. One bad placement or hiring decision can cost a company thousands and thousands of dollars. This book discusses techniques for businesses to get beyond just a gut feeling when making a job offer. As a candidate it is important for you to understand the methods, strategies, and decision models that businesses use when making a job offer so that you can prepare yourself accordingly.
- Me 2.0 , by Dan Schawbel. Dan is a widely recognized leader in personal branding. At age 24, he wrote, Me 2.0. Although his book is geared towards young professionals, it provides insight to career-minded people of all ages. Whether you are currently in the job market, or just have an interest in personal marketing and development, Me 2.0 has something for you. Dan’s book is easy to read and offers a real-world Four Step strategy for discovering, creating, communicating, and maintaining your personal brand. Additionally, Dan offers insight into how businesses can grow and develop their own personal brand to promote their products, services, or recruiting efforts. For more information regarding personal branding, visit his Personal Branding Blog.
Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR is an author, new mother, and human resources professional with a passion for recruiting and all things social media. She has over 10 years of experience in human resources & recruiting.
Her company, Xceptional HR provides businesses with social media, recruitment, and human resources strategy and consulting. Jessica’s book, Tweet This! Twitter for Business will be released in February 2010. Follow Jessica on Twitter, LinkedIn, & FaceBook.
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