Do The Best Marketers Get Today’s Jobs?

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I recently wrote this article for Marketing Executives Networking Group or MENG.

I often speak on networking and New Business development.  I wanted to learn about the best practices in the industry. I remember talking to somebody who worked for a National Speakers Bureau and asked her who masters the speakers’ game when there is a plethora of speakers chasing a limited number of gigs?  She shared something short and precise that stuck with me.  “It is not always the best speakers,” she said.  “It’s the best Marketers.”

I think that the same applies to the job hunting game.  During the Great Recession finding a job was like going through the eye of a needle. It seemed at times that the camel had the easier job.  Those hiring often set criteria that were so stringent hardly anybody could qualify.

Sure things are getting better in the New Normal.  I live in Laguna Niguel and was reading the OC Register the other day.  It announced last week that the unemployment rate was 5.8%.  The lowest level since 2008.  Don’t get too excited because I still get emails from people in Orange County informing me that they have just lost their jobs. Even one today.  The company obviously didn’t read the Register.

Still the world is a long way away from 2008 and that is not just because it is 2013.  It is because the world is totally different.  Changes in technology have had positive and negative impacts.

I can’t find a JAVA Developer for a six figure salary who only has to come into the office one day a week.  Then I see marketing people who worked for companies that supply the laptop industry that are on the street.  Their company was growing a few years ago but when is the last time you purchased a computer case?

I do believe that the best marketers do get the jobs because I have spoken to transition groups for years. We all know that the mandatories are a dynamite LinkedIn profile and networking.

I am pretty good at networking and building communities. I am one of the Founders of Laguna Niguel Connectors with 3700 members and Canadians in OC with 400 members. I connect with many great people.

However I still see people whose personal marketing skills underwhelm me and others who impress me.

I know a CEO who found his last job by marketing himself through networking exposure. He networked from 8 until 6 having one on one networking meetings, going to events etc.  He got a job. Unfortunately it went away after a year when the company was acquired. We talked the other day.  You still networking I asked?  Sure. I’m having my 244th networking Starbucks this year today. It’s June.   Some people haven’t had 244 networking meetings in their life.  Will he land a new job?  You bet.

I attended a recent meeting for marketing people in transition. Everyone exchanged their resumes.   Everybody went to great schools.  Everybody worked at great places.  A lot were a smarter than me on paper but they hardly knew the street.

Everyone had homogenized themselves to look the same.  They learned how to prepare resumes in the Old Normal. They handed out their business cards. If their agencies had produced a similar identity program for them they would have fired them.

Often great Marketers looking for jobs forget their skills and their craft.  To get a job in the New Normal you have to market yourself like you marketed your company or directed your agency.

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Read: Are You Ready to Get Fired?

Watch: Are You A Finder Or A Grinder?

Why CEO’s Need to Market Themselves in the New Normal.

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This blog is not for the CEO’s of Wall Street.  They are easy to find.  This is a blog for the CEO’s of Main Street companies.

We all know that the average job lifecycle of a CMO can be pretty short these days.  I have read articles that say it can be as short as 18 months in some categories.  While doing some research on that topic I also came across some stats that said the average life cycle of a CEO was 54 months.

Since nobody gets hired as a CEO right out of college that translates to roughly  four to five CEO jobs in a working lifetime.  I also read an article that said it takes an average person making $100K plus an average of 18 months to find a job using networking, recruiters and job boards.  That is a lot of time on the beach.

I recently learned that two CEO’s who jobs were eliminated.  They were doing a great job but things happen, companies get sold, things go bad, there are mergers and acquisitions, changes, and cheese gets moved in the New Normal.

I have always believed that the CEO’s of companies need to do more to market and promote themselves when they are working.  They need to create a lot of accomplishment legacy on Google to help them find their next gig when things go South.

I think that they should insure that a proportion of their companies PR budget is focused on promoting them as well as the company.  They should be the face of the brand or the company.

Some say that this is self serving.  Well are company’s severance packages self serving these days?  I have heard many stories of people at various levels of organizations who were heroes one day bestowed with cornucopias of awards and recognition jettisoned from those companies in a fashion that would make your think they were delivery people. Accomplishments and accolades dissipated into vapor.

CEO’s need to stay top of mind when they are out of the game and the content of your past achievements on Google helps keep you there.  The more content you get out there when you are on the job the better. While you are tenured you need to promote yourself.

Make sure your leadership and accomplishments are the focus of company features in trade and business journals. The perceptions of a well run ship inspires employee and investor confidence.   Bringing that to the forefront is not self serving, it is smart business. There is a legacy of CEO’s that were great personal branders when personal branding was not in the vernacular.

CEO’s need to write articles and blog.  Be one of the few CEO’s who has a robust Social Media presence besides Richard Branson.  Also be one of the few CEO’s that attends networking meetings on a regular basis in your business community and industry.  Speak at Conferences. Accept Linkedin invites.  People who walk a different path get noticed.

Start your own CEO networking group comprised of working CEO’s and CEO’s in transition. Promote it aggressively and get credit for it. When you need a lifeline the CEO’s that are currently in transition may have landed and they will be your strongest supporters.

Does this take a lot of time?  For sure.  Then again if you remember the stats at the start of this blog there will be times when you have too much time.

By the way I am not a CEO.  I just see.

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