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Inicio  /  Blog  /  You are the product! How and where should it be marketed?

You are the product! How and where should it be marketed?


by Federico Muttoni | Advice Director

Reading time: 4'

People assume that their resume represents 90% of the job search process, but in reality it is only 10%. Searching for an executive position has a similar process to selling a product or service.

Before I begin, I would like to make it clear that at Advice we have a deep respect for people and their dignity. We do not consider them as products or services. This note and its title are just an analogy between the process of searching for an executive position and the sales process, for practical purposes, to contribute to the labor insertion of each individual.

The sales process is the succession of steps that a company carries out from the moment it tries to capture the attention of a potential customer until the final transaction is carried out, that is, until an effective sale of the company's product or service is achieved.

This process, when represented graphically, has the shape of a funnel, in which opportunities, contacts made, meetings, needs identified, proposals, negotiations and closing are classified. Not all potential customers become actual buyers.

Searching for an executive position has a process similar to selling a product or service. First, you must have a product or service that is attractive to the potential buyer. This means understanding who you are, your strengths and weaknesses, what motivates you most, your sense of purpose (your values) and the type of organization that best fits your profile.

Long before you look outward for a new job, your search should begin inward: who you are and what you have to offer. It is essential to ask yourself why someone would invest in you, what value you will add to an organization and how that investment will be repaid. What are the benefits to an organization of having you in its ranks, what will you be able to achieve in the short, medium and long term.

On that basis, a CV is built that will represent the product or service to be sold: you. This note is not intended to establish how to prepare a professional resume, but in summary it should contain your personal data in a summarized form, a professional profile that extracts in four or five lines your career, your work experience in detail, with positions, responsibilities and past achievements (results oriented), focusing on the last five or ten years, to close with your education and references.

We already have the product. To find out the market price of our product we can resort to a remuneration survey or job pricing service, or eventually conduct a small research by asking a certain number of colleagues who have a similar career, in equivalent positions.

Next, you have to give visibility or promotion to the product or service, and choose the appropriate marketing channels (marketplace). LinkedIn turns out to be an extraordinary tool for networking, because it allows you to manage contacts and interactions in a very efficient way, while building "a perpetual agenda". But networking should first focus on how you can help those you want to reach out to, be a sounding board or pass on articles or websites that you think will be of interest to them, commenting on their posts and helping to promote their leadership through your social networks. You need to be networking long before you are thinking about changing jobs.

Other very effective channels are human resources or recruitment consulting firms, executive search firms, large professional services firms that bring together several companies and private equity firms that are constantly looking for companies with potential to provide them with capital and management to make them grow. All these organizations are looking for executives to manage, operate, technify or grow their own or third party businesses.

Over the years I have noticed that many people do a lot of detailed exploration to buy a cell phone or a car, but when they go to research potential employers or companies to work for they are not as thorough. I have also observed that when a professional focuses and establishes target companies where they would like to work, it works. It means finding the intersection between what you have to offer and what a certain company is looking for. Targeting companies means making a list of companies you would like to work for, companies you admire, projects you would like to participate in. Once the list is established, the stage of research and contact generation begins in order to provide them with the product aligned to the specific needs of each one. 

For most, the task of looking for a new job is as simple as polishing your resume, emailing various people, completing applications on consulting firms or job portals, while networking with various people. But unless you are a very specific talent, or the reputation of your great accomplishments precedes you, few will go looking for you. You should look for the job you want while "targeting" your next opportunity.

Some people today are confused about how to make things happen when they want a job change or are in a transition. Others don't want to do the necessary hard work, which is a lot. Despite their phenomenal career paths, not many are clear about where they want to go in their next step, or what the road is like to travel.

The job market generates more and better opportunities for those who search proactively. Searching for an executive position has a process similar to selling a product or service. Canvassing, support and closing constitute the core body of methods used in the sales profession, and will be very useful to you in your search for a new executive position. Product, price, place and promotion are four variables we can control which have been called the 4Ps of Marketing, and they will also help you.

Good luck!

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