Self Marketing

Getting a job in today’s marketplace requires more than a printed résumé and cover letter.  While those documents are still very important, with the prevalence of digital communications, you may need to think more globally in terms of professional communications as you search for jobs, apply for promotions, and/or branch out into consultancy or a change of professions as a career in retirement.  Start considering what you might emphasize, and how you might disseminate information, via a self-marketing plan.

According to

Self marketing helps individuals improve their image and reputation to advance their careers. Self marketing is sometimes called personal branding because it uses branding tools to create an image around an employee rather than a product…. It gives candidates more opportunities to effectively communicate their values, skills, experiences, and vision to potential employers. Successful self marketing helps employees separate themselves from the hundreds of other applicants who may be competing for the same job.

There are many strategies that job seekers can use to differentiate themselves. Social networking sites allow self marketers to build profiles where they can show off examples of their work, highlight their experiences, and network with employers. Blogs offer users a chance to demonstrate their expertise and comment on industry trends. Professional conferences present opportunities to connect with employers and make a personal impression, while volunteer work makes a positive statement about the employee’s values.[1]

As part of your self-marketing plan, consider social media and websites that you’re comfortable with, as well as media that have a lot of professional users for your profession.  Consider not only how to present information directly about yourself, in a static, one-to-many format, but also how to use social media to offer insights that you might have about your profession, and actually join a professional conversation with substantive comments.  Self-marketing involves presenting “you” as a person in many aspects, from accomplishments to insights to ideas to activities.  It will help you connect with other professionals both within and outside of your field to create a network of contacts.

Sometimes people equate the concept of self-marketing solely with self-promotion, as is the case with some celebrities who have strong online presence.  However, self-marketing is not the same as self-promotion.  Self-marketing gives you the chance to offer substantive information about yourself, information that may inform or help others.  It provides a chance to show “you” in a more rounded way.  Self-marketing does not consist of a personal Facebook page or Twitter posts that you share with friends; instead, self-marketing involves thoughtful and professional use of digital media, keeping your professional goals and context in mind.

Tai Tran, a former head of digital marketing at Apple and contributer to Forbes, talks about the concept of self-marketing in terms of presenting a fuller picture of yourself as an individual, creating value for your audience, and building relationships with some depth, to show “the best of you,” which can show your appropriateness for a professional workforce.

Jason Shen offers an example of creating value for a potential employer, and discusses the importance of highlighting performance from a job applicant’s and employer’s perspective.

As you consider the concept of self-marketing, ask yourself what you have to offer others, and what the best social media platforms are for the value you can add to professional networks and conversations at any stage of your career.

Brian Featherstonhaugh applies concepts related to self-marketing as he discusses the three phases of careers in the following video:

[1] Self Marketing,