Developing Your Personal Marketing Plan: A CAREER Strategy

While involved in ‘the challenging waters’ of career transition, the same chaotic, jobless, trying times are very productive times. Don’t waste them by floundering with lack of focus and direction, falling into the dark, depressive attitude of distractions and, worst of all, inaction…   When we are employed, we tend to function under the guidance of our employer’s business plan, or, more specifically, our job description. Our ‘routine’ is defined by:

  • Personal accountability to a labyrinth of responsibilities, some structured— some not structured at all—but all contributing to productive work activities…
  • We create productivity and efficiency with our sense of time management…
  • And as ‘top talent’ professionals, we often take initiative, make process improvements, and contribute to the Company’s growth.

So, why not recreate all that with OUR OWN PLAN, a Personal Marketing Plan, to move toward job satisfaction, commitment, and appropriate compensation, for the rest of our careers… including any current, short term job search?   But, before looking at what such a Personal Marketing Plan would look like, let’s review the PREPARATION Portion of the 12-step Process Model.

  1. ASSESSMENT: Inventory your skill sets, experience, and personality
  2. SET CAREER OBJECTIVE: Identify appropriate target organizations and be able to clearly position yourself for your next right employment.
  3. DEVELOP IN-SYNC Personal Marketing Collateral Materials: Written and verbal collateral materials will be in a constant state of development.
  5. CREATE YOUR DIGITAL FOOTPRINT: Your social media activity, specifically your use of LinkedIn functionality.
  6. CONDUCT FIRST LEVEL RESEARCH: Determine attractive target organizations, and trends in the market that are attractive to you.
  8. DEVELOP YOUR PERSONAL MARKETING PLAN: What is your value proposition and how to you PLAN to offer it?

If an individual is under-employed, seeking a change, or actually unemployed, they must be visible to potential employers who are seeking their services. Creating this visibility is strategic, personal market planning and execution—in can be marketability without rejection!

And, employed or not, Modify and improve your Personal Market Plan’s implementation model as needed… As you move through your career transition or ‘job search campaign,’ make adjustments as you would a business model.

 Personal Marketing is a contact sport.

Following the first three steps, it may feel like you’re ready to take on the job market… but, THE Careerpilot encourages you to be totally prepared before you do.


Your Career CompassThe average time human eyes scan your resume is around 20 seconds before the  ‘YES-No-maybe judgment’ is rendered.  And in the digital world of recruitment, Automated Tracking Systems (ATS) are even more ruthless in their time management.  Therefore, you should get rid of as much excess material as you can in a resume and only keep the stuff that employers want to see.  THE Careerpilot will always encourage you to ‘write for the reader,’ giving them what they need to read to make the most positive recruitment decision about you.

Thursday, November 10th… Developing in sync Personal Marketing Collateral Materials

Pilot OnboardLess is more in this case, because every bit of relevant information supports your personal brand and the ‘story’ you have to relate regarding your candidacy. You need to strike the right balance between just enough data to pique someone’s interest and leaving the hiring manager(s) wanting to hear more of your story in an interview. Take your current draft resume first to good CONTENT, then on to becoming a GREAT RESUME.

Power up your resume draft by acting on your awareness of the following issues:


Search engines have a blind eye toward header and footer data within a document, so make sure your contact information is the first readable data in your resume draft… after all, the best ‘unique identifier’ of YOU in any database is your name and contact info!  Simplify your contact information as much as possible.

  • City, State and zip code is all the address you need.
  • You only need to provide one phone number, and it’s the one that you access most regularly. You want to be available during career transition.
  • Create a branded email address for your career strategies.
  1. Objective Section

The ‘traditional’ objective section of a resume does not say anything about your story.  “Seeking a challenging and responsible role within a growth motivated and customer centric organization… one in which my personal growth can be in sync with Corporate objectives.”

Gag me with a spoon!

 Rather, consider drafting an ‘executive summary’ of your value which contains the following elements of ‘your story:’

  • A clear positioning statement, with defining keywords, to clarify your value proposition relative to an organization’s needs. Avoid generic positioning when going after a specific opportunity!
  • A Qualification Summary covering the depth and breadth of your experience, skills, and knowledge… your uniqueness that differentiates you from ‘one of those…’ and a brief statement regarding your personality and work habits.
  1. Unrelated Experiences

Include only relevant information regarding your previous work experience. If you worked as a car salesman for six months and the attractive opportunity is for an entry-level IT position, you can exclude any use of vertical space for positions that have nothing to do with IT work… That said, cover all chronological gaps.

  1. Fluff Words

Fluff words are descriptive, qualitative or partial terms that recruiters do not want to see.  Remove the fluff, and other ‘corporate-ese,’ to leave only concrete examples and relevant information about how your work experience prepared you for this given opportunity.

  1. Discriminating Information

Like it or not, companies may favor one type of worker over another, even though blatant discrimination is illegal. Remove any mention of your age, sex, religion, marital status and ethnicity. Do not include a photo unless it’s part of an industry requirement, such as in modeling or acting.

Your networking approach should get interested parties to request your resume. Let your resume lead interested parties to your LinkedIn Profile.

  1. Graduation Year

The fact that you have a degree from an accredited university is good enough. Leave out your high school, college graduation year and GPA, unless you are a recent, or mid-career graduate.

  1. Typos and Grammatical Mistakes

This should be common sense, as even one misspelled word shows you lack an attention to detail. Have a grammar-gifted friend or colleague, one who is aware of your industry, or functional-specific language,  look over the document to catch any typos or grammar mistakes.

On a related note, be aware of ATS protocols regarding common cosmetic treatments within your resume draft.