Resumes, Networking, Headhunters ? Useless Without Marketing Sweet Spot

A career transition is no longer about getting your hands on a list of contacts, networking with headhunters, or going online to look for work. It's better than that.

Want to neutralize most of your rivalry? Hot-swap the traditional means of securing a job with these new tactics and you'll warp-speed your search:

? Stop looking for a job

? Increase your visibility

? Decrease your competition

? Create buzz and you'll multiply your exposure to decision makers

? Create need and you'll generate quality interviews, simultaneously

? Create solutions and you'll gain an opportunity to design your own position

Stir up the buzz and you'll stand out in a saturated market. Develop a reputation for being a subject-matter expert. This time you'll want to be the topic of the next water cooler gathering. Make sure that you use your full name when identifying yourself on any of these venues, not a pseudonym. You can't stir up the buzz about you, if you're hidden behind some funky moniker. Don't forget to create an email address that sounds professional wherever your name publicly appears.

There are eight over-the-top ports to gain higher visibility:

? Chamber of Commerce (networking events and / or committee participation)

? Local trade associations (meetings and / or committee participation)

? Blogs (industry trade associations, online publications, job boards)

? Teleseminars (trade association-sponsored, industry-oriented)

? High-profile volunteerism (civic, community, business projects)

? Broadcasting (radio and television guest appearances)

? Ask-an-Expert content venues (online and print)

? Newsletters, white papers (online and print)

Get employers drooling for your talents by demonstrating a consistency in your marketing message. Recruiters and decision makers routinely perform a Google? or Yahoo? key word search to learn more about you. Put your name (and its variations) into these mega-search engines to find out what pops up.

If you've made disparaging comments about anyone or anything, either on or off record, these will harm your marketing message. For the sake of your professional branding, publicly, shut up. If what you want to say or do communicate oddity, inappropriateness, or lack of civility and good taste then you become a liability to your industry's culture and you'll be blacklisted.

Branding is a yardstick that measures not just what you do, but who you are and the perception others have of you. Make sure that whatever you say or do (professionally and personally) sends a consistent positive message about your leadership, industry competency, ethics, maturity, and interpersonal relations. This constancy is your branding; an awareness of you which captures an employer's attention and interest in you.

Mastermind solutions and you'll improve the odds of a securing a customized job role. Borderless thinking solves problems, particularly those deemed by others as too troublesome or impossible. You'll release yourself from dependency on open or publicly-known positions when you pitch personalized remedies for an employer's toughest business challenges.

Annihilate your competition by doing the thing that they wouldn't dare to do?stop looking for a job. Concentrate on subterranean research to uncover 'spot opportunities' - patterns that would signal upcoming hiring activity. Yeah, it's labor-intensive, but the pay-off is huge in terms of edging past Human Resource department screeners.

Classic market research involves S.W.O.T. Analysis. Successful marketing thrusts are achieved using a thorough analysis of Strengths, Weakness, Opportunities and Threats for Growth. Can you count the times on one hand, your buddies took the time to do this kind of extreme exploration when they were on a job hunting expedition?

The more you know about a targeted company, its industry, and the associated threats to its success, the stronger your posture. Instead of seeking a job, pursue opportunity to use your talents to better an organization's own branding before its employees, customers, and business relationships. Pitch directly to first-string decision makers.

Slamming a baseball out of the park isn't rocket science; it's about reading and reacting to the pitch - knowing what you have to do, and when to do it. It's also capitalizing on the bat's sweet spot to connect the raw capability of the bat to the sheer force of the batter's swing.

A professionally-run job search does the same things; you pitch your solutions to the right target, at the right time, using the right resource and strategy. The career marketing sweet spot is that critical moment where targeting and timing intersect. Goal sighted, energy harnessed, successful outcome achieved.

Marta Driesslein, CECC ( is a management consultant for R.L. Stevens & Associates Inc. For over 24 years R.L. Stevens & Associates has been the Nation's most successful privately-held firm specializing in executive career searches generating quality interviews through both advertised and unadvertised channels.

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