So, you want your dream job.
What are you doing to line yourself up to it?
What are you doing to make the recruiter throw every other resume in the trash and hunt you down?
Even more appealing: what if your dream job came to you?
How would it feel to be headhunted by the exact company that you’d love to work for?
Now, you might be wondering why I, a marketing consultant, am writing an article about finding your dream job. Well, oddly enough, it’s because my radical idea for landing your dream job has to do with marketing. More specifically, content marketing.
Positioning yourself as a content expert, particularly when you’re searching for a job, sends a message that you “get” it. That you eat, sleep and breathe the industry that your job lies in. Establishing this expertise makes you more valuable to an organization as it generally means you are staying current, you are engaged and that the industry is important to you.
We’re going to start our journey with getting you your very own website. If you already have one, you can skip step #1. If you don’t, you need to get yourself a website.
Why? Well, we are going to need a place to house all of the content that you’re going to share to help position you as a content expert in your field. This isn’t just about blogging, as you’ll see, this is about being highly strategic and going after exactly what you want (wait until you read the genius way that you’re going to achieve this!)
1. Get a Domain Name & a Website
The first thing you’re going to do is register YourName.com. You can do this pretty inexpensively over at Bluehost.
Once you have your domain name registered, associate it with your account in the cPanel and install WordPress using the one-click installation process.
2. Plan Your Framework Content
Once you have WordPress installed, spend a bit of time thinking about the content you want to include. This isn’t the regular, on-going, blog-post style content. We want to think about the framework content. These are the pieces that make up the site and will be mostly unchanging. Your framework could include:
- Your CV
- An about page with headshot and bio
- Your portfolio pieces
- Live, interactive demos of your work (if applicable)
- Links to your social media profiles
- Awards and media mentions
Essentially, you want to put anything you can on the site to build up your credibility. If you’re just starting your job search, use what you can from your past experiences and your educational experience to round it out. Get creative! If you haven’t had clients yet, and therefore don’t have any portfolio items, create a few things for fun. Trust me, it’ll pay off in the end.
3. Choose a Theme
The next thing you’ll want to do is choose a theme for your site. This is essentially the design aspect of the website and will make the entire thing much more visually appealing. Here are some ideas, from ColorLib.com, to get your creative juices flowing:
You have two options here:
- Paid / Premium Themes: ThemeForest, StudioPress, Templatic
- Free Themes: WordPress.org, 50 of the Best Free WP Templates
Depending on your budget, you can choose the option that works best for you. My recommendation is to start simple and build it up over time. You can always apply a new theme down the road if you decide that the one you chose no longer suits. Here is a fantastic resource with 35 of the best CV / resume appropriate WordPress themes.
Premium themes are better supported, (often) better designed and are (usually) compatible with the latest WordPress version. Free themes are a good option if you want to keep your costs low but be aware that some plugins and other WordPress features may not play as nicely with lesser supported themes.
A word of warning for whichever theme you go with, be sure to check the theme code quality with this Theme Check plugin, to ensure your theme followsWordPress best coding practice. A well-coded theme can improve your websites speed for the best possible user experience and increase theme compatibility with 3rd party plugins. You can check out these free WordPress themes which have been vetted, alternatively visit the WordPress.org directory.
If you want to get really ambitious, and you have the skills, you could always create an interactive CV like Robby Leonardi did here (it’s incredible, you need to go check it out!)
4. Become a Highly Targeted & Sought After Content Expert
Once you have the website in place, it’s now time to kick your content expert awesomeness into high gear. Now, I’m not going to tell you to simply pull fabulous ideas from your head and blog about those (not that your ideas aren’t good… there is just a better way!) but instead, we’re going to get really, really targeted with our content choices.
Head on over to your favorite job search website or job board. Or, go straight to the website of the company that you’d love to work for (hello, Playstation!)
For the purpose of this post, I’m going to use LinkedIn Jobs. Search for your dream job in the industry that you’d love to work for. For example, I would search for marketing manager + video games because that would be my dream job.
As you can see, Disney Interactive is hiring an Assistant Manager, Marketing. That sounds like a great opportunity.
Let’s click into the job listing now to learn more.
Most people, when they are doing a job search, will then craft their CV and cover letter to meet the bullet points above. You know, show off the skills that they have acquired that line up to the job description. We’re going to take this idea but instead, use it to fuel our blog post content for our brand new website.
The goal is to write blog posts, on a regular basis, that speak directly to the job description requirements.
To give you an idea of what this would look like, I’m going to create a bulleted list of blog post ideas based on the requirements for the Disney job above:
- How to Strategically Choose Your Media Buys
- 5 Ways to Design Your Own Killer Creatives
- 3 Ways to Improve Your Cross-Organization Communication
- 5 Digital Marketing Programs that Shine
- How to Track and Manage Your Marketing Budget
- How to Use SAP to Process Invoices & Purchase Orders
- 5 Ways to Keep Your Finger on Industry Trends
- How to Successfully Release Your Mobile Game
- The Differences Between Brand & Consumer Marketing and Why It Matters
- Brand & Property Positioning: Everything You Need to Know
- How to Get Stakeholders on Your Side, Every Time
By using a job description to fuel your blog topic ideas, you can create content that is relevant, on-topic and industry-specific. Plus, being able to drop a link to your website, that is teeming with content, shows that you have initiative, that you’re engaging and that you can string a sentence or two together.
Recently, I employed this tactic on my own website.
I had noticed that a video game job description included a tool called Meltwater. I hadn’t heard of it before, nor had I used it, but I figured it was a great opportunity to get familiar with it and use it to fuel some industry-specific content. That same posting also included something called “sentiment analysis” so I dove deeper into that, learned everything I could and then wrote a blog post about it.
Positioning yourself as a content expert means understanding what is hot for the industry you want to be a part of and then lining up your content to match.
So, if you’re just starting your job search (or you’ve been looking for awhile with no strong opportunities), follow these steps:
- Register your domain name
- Install WordPress
- Choose a theme
- Add in your framework / base content
- Scour through job postings and make a list of potential topics
- Write, write, write
If you create your online CV, I want to see it! Drop your URL as a comment below.
Also published on Medium.