by Richard Stooker
Many people, especially including techies, look upon sales and marketing as disgustingly selfish.
Having been taught to be good girls and boys who take turns and do things because they’re right, we don’t want others to think of us as so nakedly self-interested. At best, some of us realize that sales and marketing are evils necessary to the functioning of a capitalistic system.
So when we hear that if we’re seeking a job or a promotion we must “sell ourselves,” we inwardly rebel. Few of us actually do a good job selling ourselves. Those who do get more and better jobs, more and better promotions and make more money.
And the rest of us consciously or unconsciously sneer at them for being “selfish.”
The opposite is true.
“Selling ourselves” to others is the unselfish reaching out to other people, to show them how we can help them.
Because to simply assume that employers should be able to understand from our resumes how great we are is the true selfishness.
Good marketing brings the benefits of good products and services to the attention of people who need or want those products or services.
When you truly don’t want to buy a new car, a car ad on TV is a signal to fix a snack.
When you want to buy a new car, you watch. You want to know which make and model best fills your needs and desires.
Assuming that a business is selling a good or service which is of true value to somebody, it is their duty to bring it to the attention of the people they can help.
Good sales and marketing is UNselfish, because to be effective it must center on the needs and desires of the people who want that product or service.
Bad (ineffective) marketing says, “We’re a wonderful company and you should buy our product because it is so wonderful.”
Good marketing (and by “good” I mean effective) says, “Our product is wonderful because it will help you do this, solve that problem, and feel good.”
See the difference? Good marketing is centered on the customer and helping the customer solve a problem or meet a need or desire. Bad marketing is centered on the company and product.
Now, the product in bad marketing may actually be of high quality, maybe as much or more so than the competing product being sold through good marketing.
But bad marketing forces consumers to make the connection between the wonderful qualities of the product and how those qualities can help the consumer.
Many companies who market this way believe that it’s the “job” of consumers to make the connections, to understand just why and how that wonderful product will help the consumer. Therefore, they’re not only selfish, they’re lazy.
They’re not taking the final step to see things from the viewpoint of their potential customers.
Good marketing does as much as possible to show consumers that the product is wonderful because of how and why it can help consumers.
How does this apply to someone seeking a job?
When you want a job or promotion you’re “selling” your skills and experience. Your resume is your ad.
Your “customer” is the human resources manager assigned to fill that job.
Most job seekers, whether techies or anybody else, think that their only duty is to provide a resume which shows they’re qualified and to show up for the interview.
The manager in charge of hiring is supposed to read the resume, realize how wonderful the applicant is and hire them.
Most people write their resumes as bad marketing. They write how wonderful they are without explaining how they can help the company they’re applying to.
They may well have wonderful degrees, wonderful certifications, and wonderful experience.
Many techies have the attitude that their technical education, skills and experience should be enough.
But if they’d write something that the human resources manager wants to read about how they will help the company, that’s taking a step most people unconsciously sneer at it.
Because it’s “sales and marketing.” Sales and marketing is selfish — everybody knows that without questioning it.
So they write only about themselves and not how they can help that prospective employer.
So it’s the “selfish” person who takes the extra effort to use “sales and marketing” to explain how he or she can help the company who actually gets the job.
So everybody else can sneer at them.
And send their resumes to the next employer.
Questions about some of the terminology used in this article? Get more information (definitions and links) on key college, career, and job-search terms by going to our Job-Seeker’s Glossary of Job-Hunting Terms.
Richard Stooker is the author of Secrets of Changing to a Computer Career. Read more about the computer careers book. Learn the 5 Simple Steps to Financial Freedom Using IT Skills; Get the free ebook. Stooker can be reached by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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