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Marketing Yourself

Think of yourself as a “product.”  It’s time to design your own marketing campaign!

  • Define your product – What are your skills, strengths, interests, etc.?
  • Analyze your market – Know the industry you want to work in and tailor your marketing accordingly.
  • Advertise your product – Network, write a strong resume and cover letter, etc.
  • State the benefits and features – State your strengths, skills, interests, abilities, aptitudes, values, accomplishments
  • Sales approach – If you express enthusiasm, you generate interest.
  • Close the sale!

Proactively create opportunities

  • Attend networking events to meet others in the industry.
  • Join professional associations.
  • Volunteer in an area of interest to you.
  • Participate in Internet live chats on Twitter and LinkedIn.
  • Go to trade shows.
  • Attend seminars/events – or better yet, volunteer to help at one!
  • Target companies you would like to work for.
  • Set up informational interviews with people in your industry.
  • Place your resume with an online service.

Selling benefits you can include when marketing yourself

  • Generated revenue, introduced new products, new markets, and new sales.
  • Cut costs, reduced overhead, purchased intelligently, pared down necessary expenses.
  • Increased productivity, developed more efficient work systems, training programs, service plans.
  • Innovation, challenged traditional methods, improved packaging and design.
  • Improved quality, enhanced value to customer, reduced defects, increased service.
  • Saved time, improved workflow, eliminated steps.
  • Focused on customers, went the extra mile.
  • Used technology, enhanced company social media presence, trained others in technology.
  • Motivated others, got people to collaborate and cooperate.

Self-marketing techniques can be helpful in negotiating salary increases. Stress your skills and benefits as they relate to the employer’s needs.  Be able to justify why you are worth more.

Phone Dialogue

It’s important to be attentive and engaging on the telephone when enquiring about jobs.

Sample phone introduction:

“Hi, I’m Sue Smith. Joe Wilson suggested I call you.  I understand there may be some changes in your department and I’d like to offer my services. My background is in marketing and sales and I think my skills could be of benefit to your new focus on customer retention.  On my last project I developed a new database for customer enquiries.  Could we meet? How does next week look to you?”


Make a link to your website available for prospective employers. On your website, they can check out your resume, work samples and superior web design skills. Use LinkedIn to get connected to potential employers. 


A career portfolio will give you a much-needed edge in today’s competitive job market.  This innovative tool will give you confidence in your employability skills by offering physical evidence to demonstrate your attributes.

Learn more about creating portfolios.

Accomplishments memory jogger

  1. Describe a specific situation in which you solved a problem or took charge of an emergency situation.
  2. Give an example of something you created or built.
  3. Describe an instance in which you developed an idea.
  4. Explain how you showed leadership during a challenging situation.
  5. Recount a time when you achieved a goal by following instructions.
  6. Describe a situation when you took charge.
  7. Record a contribution that you made on a team project or committee.
  8. Describe compliments that you have received from employers or teachers.
  9. Explain what you did to help others reach their goals.
  10. List awards, scholarships, or recommendations that you have received.
  11. Describe when and why you were promoted or transferred from one job to another.
  12. List extra-curricular activities that you have been involved with at the University.
  13. Explain how you took action or made a contribution regarding a company decision or summer job.
  14. Describe how you increased sales or reduced costs for a company, even if only on a summer job.
  15. Describe a time when you were recognized for a good work record.
  16. List any work related training courses you have attended.
  17. Explain what you can do better than co-workers and why this is an advantage.

Employability skills

Self-assessment is the first step in the search for work, and it is often the step most over-looked.  Make the time to take stock of your skills. Skills can be separated into two general categories: technical and employability. Most employers require you to have technical skills in order to qualify for the position.

Technical skills are the “hard” skills that would be applied on the job.  They are often very specific to the position and industry.

Employability skills are “soft” skills and are transferable to different positions. They provide the “fit” that employers need in unique work settings.  These skills make you appropriate for the position.

Technical Skills and Employability Skills
Technical Skills Examples Employability Skills Examples
Drafting Problem-solving
Computer skills Creativity
Languages Initiative
Report writing Team player

Employability skills profiles: critical skills required for the Canadian workforce

Academic, Personal Management, Teamwork Skills
Academic Skills Personal Management Skills Teamwork Skills
Skills which provide the basic foundation to get, keep and progress in a job. The combination of skills, attitudes, and behaviours required to get, keep and progress in a job. Those skills needed to work with others on a job.


  • Understand, speak and write effectively in the languages in which business is conducted

  • Listen to, understand and learn from others
  • Read, comprehend and use written materials, including graphs, charts and displays

Positive Attitudes and Behaviours

  • Self-esteem and confidence
  • Honesty, integrity and personal ethics
  • A positive attitude toward learning, growth and personal health


Working with Others

  • Understand and contribute to the organization’s goals
  • Understand and work within the culture of the group
  • Plan and make decisions with others and support the outcomes
  • Respect the thoughts and opinions of others in the group
  • Exercise the “give and take” to achieve group results
  • Seek a team approach as appropriate
  • Lead when appropriate, mobilizing the group for high performance



  • Think critically and act logically to evaluate situations, solve problems involving mathematics and use the results
  • Use technology, instruments, tools and information systems effectively
  • Access and apply specialized knowledge from various fields (e.g. skilled trade, technology, physical sciences, arts and social sciences)




  • The ability to set goals and priorities in work and personal life
  • The ability to plan and manage time, money and other resources to achieve goals
  • Accountability for actions taken


  • Continue to learn from life


  • A positive attitude towards change
  • Recognition of and respect for people’s diversity and individual differences
  • The ability to identify and suggest new ideas to get the job done – creatively