Learn the Three Essential Elements of Self-Marketing


“Self-marketing success requires three essential elements,” said Susan Guarneri, the “Career Assessment Goddess,” in the Q&A interview she did with Quint Careers:
  1. understanding who your target audience is and their needs,
  2. having a credible and compelling message that your target audience values, and
  3. capturing that target audience’s attention.
Resumes have been the primary tool for self-marketing in the past. Whether they will continue to serve that function in the future depends largely on:
  • how the selection and hiring industries (HR and recruiting) of various professions evolve to accommodate other types of self-marketing tools, such as the web portfolio, and
  • how the available talent pool chooses to promote their candidacy.
Some professions welcome creative approaches, often involving new technology, while others seem to push towards standardization of online application forms. Similarly, many highly desirable candidates promote themselves to selective target audiences and use distinctive approaches, while other candidates default to generic resumes hoping to catch anyone’s eye. Unfortunately, the path of least effort for many candidates is the generic resume, which is ironically the least effective in meeting the three self-marketing essentials. Whatever the means of self-marketing (resume, bio, online profile, or web portfolio), best practices indicate that the type chosen needs to be appropriate to the target audience (profession and industry) and the candidate, and it needs to be effective in conveying a message of value and distinction.