"The Art of Self Promotion"
                                                                                 Updated and modified 1/2019

What is the Art of Self Promotion and how can it bring greater awareness to your professional value as a Fifty Plus job seeker?   It is a process that is actually a redirection and addition, to your present job acquisition efforts and is utilized by YOU, as a job seeker to supplement, your job search and increase the chances of success in acquiring the job you target.

As Fifty Plus job aquisition specialists, we must do more self promoting, more “mind” conceptual changes than any other workgroup and job search today.  The failure to follow this process or even to attend to it, in a  minor fashion will likely result in the failure, of your job acquisition process.  So, the argument comes down to this simple statement……….DO "Fifty Plus" job hunters" NEED TO UTILIZE MORE OF THE ART OF SELF PROMOTION THAN less experienced, perhaps more educated" or connected workers today?  Undoubtedly there is only one answer, and that is yes!

So what is the “ART of SELF PROMOTION”?  To the experienced Boomer and X Gen job seeker the definition is easy, promoting your skills, abilities, and accomplishments in a quantitative and qualitative manner to express how these assets will ADD VALUE to the employer you want to work for.  Self promotion is nothing new.  Workers promote themselves constantly in their jobs against other workers in harmful and non harmful processes to gain attention and recognition.  However as Fifty Plus community members, we need to utilize this same process but in a non harmful manner towards others, including former employees, friends, colleagues, and acquaintances.  

Self promotion is nothing more than using the tools already available to tell an employer you are needed and available to solve their problems. As a prospective you understand the job force diversity of today and generational diversity of today's workforce. Self promotion will not likely work, for you, if you will not follow some simple guidelines.

As we review this process you will think that hey, this is nothing more than networking, more networking, letter writing etc.  This is a correct statement, but how you as a Boomer approach the job market opportunities will depend on your own developing the Art of Self Promotion.

First according to experts such as Alina Tugend, of the New York Times, states that self promotion is a must that has to be integrated into the routine job search process.    

The Art of Self Promotion as I discussed a moment ago is nothing new in the job acquisition process but the techniques utilized by Boomers does have some twists and turns that can aid in the job acquisition process.

Fordham University, states that the Art of Self Promotion is:  Job searching is about sales and the product you are selling is you.  If no one knows, about our product who will buy it?  The Art of Self Promotion is the design of a specific approach methodology for you to achieve job acquisition success. 

A job search is no time to be modest the Fifty Plus cannot afford to be modest in their job search processes.  Your marketability is affected greatly by how much you believe you are qualified and marketable for a particular job!  It is strategically important to realistically, assess your education, skills, and accomplishments to learn how to market and promote your talents.  Boomers might fail to succeed at their job acquisition process because they have not adequately answered these two simple questions.

What do you have to offer an employer……how well can you describe your skills, assets,
         experiences in an understandable way to a prospective employer.
What qualifies you to perform this job effectively.

Many candidates will think they have these answers for an employer but do they.  Without, the understanding, a clear understanding of every one of your skills and abilities and how to promote them you become no better than any other candidate.

If you really boil down all the statements of what is the Art of Self Promotion, as it relates to the job search, it is nothing more than being self-awareness about you and the value you bring to a potential employer!

This means that before you can begin to market yourself, you must first be aware of your strengths and weaknesses.  Your ability to communicate your worth is a function of your ability to recognize value in your own experiences and see how it can be translated into new capabilities.  

Some items that you must be self-aware of include:

Knowledge - An employer needs to know that through your education and experience, you’ve learned the information techniques, and industry vocabulary appropriate to the level of responsibility of the job you are seeking.  As a Boomer we tend to “dumb down” our knowledge in this area as an attempt to gain a better employment opportunity.  If you desire a position with far less responsibilities then this may be acceptable; otherwise, consider how you present the information to a prospective employer.

Skills - Can you perform the actual tasks required by this job function in this specific industry?   As a Boomer it is necessary to not just explain how you can perform the actual tasks required but also how previous tasks have aided you in utilizing that task effectively and how you can also by understanding that skill set apply it to new situations.

Abilities/Accomplishments - An employer MUST determine if YOU are able to do the job.  You will have to demonstrate that you have successfully done this job elsewhere or that you have the necessary skills to succeed in this position.  Your best choice is a combination of both.  Boomers need to also add a value to the ability and accomplishments of the past.  The value is the quantification of achievements in relationship to the abilities and accomplishments.  As a job seeker stating that you designed a new so and so and achieved by specifically altering or modifying such and such that increased corporate such and such is a value YOU offer compared to a less experienced worker.

There is a sample questionnaire that each Boomer should utilize to become more self aware.  With modifications, the concept is derived from Peggy Klaus the author of Brag! The Art of Tooting Your Own Horn Without Blowing It, 2003. These original and modified questions are designed to assist the Boomer in obtaining a better understanding of self awareness related to skills, knowledge, abilities and accomplishments.

The more time you put into the development of your answers to the questions in the questionnaire, the more specific the details you provide, the easier it will be to create more definitive bragging points about your skills, knowledge, abilities and accomplishments.

1.What would you or others say are five of your personality pluses?  

2.What would you or others say are three of your personality minuses?

3.What did you do/do you do, to compensate for our personality minuses?

4.What are you now doing for a living or what was your last employment and how did you end up
           working there?

5.What do you like about your current job or career track?

6.Does your current or last employment use your skills and talents in any projects you are
          working on at this time and how are those skills and talents showcased in the project?

7.What previous skills have you omitted or not utilized at your current job or career?

8. What career successes are you most proud of having accomplished in your current or last

9. What career failures are most prominent in your previous or current employment and how have
            they impacted you in your present job or job acquisition process?

10.What obstacles have you overcome to get where you are today, both professionally and
            personally, and what essential lessons have you learned from some of your mistakes?  In
            addition, have you utilized those lessons to correct previous mistakes so they will not recur in
            another job?

11.What professional, associations, organization, groups are you associated with and in what
            way?  Have these memberships provided additional skills or lessons for you in your previous
            or current employment?

12.What new skills have you learned in your current or latest employment?

13.How do you spend your time outside of work?  Is there anything that you do which adds value
            to your skills, knowledge, accomplishments or achievements?

14.In what ways have you made a difference in others at work, in your company or people
            outside of work?

The objective of these probing questions is to assist you in providing additional skills, abilities, knowledge, accomplishments that you may have missed, left out or deleted as pertinent in the job acquisition process.  Use this information to be creative in telling your story.  Fifty Plus members don’t want to be boring  but you do want to be authentic, and have the ability to present yourselves in a conversational way.  

Now that you have spent the time investigating your skills, knowledge, accomplishments and abilities the next point is to determine how to market YOU!    You should be able to find new ways to stand out in the crowd. You, as a job seeker, MUST create a personal brand or image for SELF-PROMOTION, with its foundation built on these element:.

Transferable Skills  -Your particular combination of experience and education, skills, interests,
         and knowledge can be appropriate for multiple kinds of work because they can be packaged and
         repackaged in different ways.
Quantifying Achievements to Add Value  - You can understand and appreciate the value you
         bring to a prospective employer and communicate that value by focusing on your achievements
         and adding quantification and value to those achievements.
Better-Skills for Selling Yourself  - You can now keep from selling yourself short.
Strengths and Abilities  - Recognize and explain your personal strengths and abilities.
Speak With Strength and Confidence About Yourself and Align with Your Audience  -  Consider
         what your target audience needs.
Understanding How Communication Methods Operate and Develop Stronger Relationships  -
         Assist you in determining how best to deal with people.
Targeted Communication  - Communicate in a way that reaches those who you need to “sell”.
Value Promotion  - You can now identify the value you deliver to those you meet and interview.
Gaps Evaluation  - Allows you to recognize any gaps in your personal branding message.
Better Use of Energy  - Sets up the necessity to invest time and energy to overcome any
         missing skills and abilities needed for the job acquisition process.

How to actually utilize the Art of Self Promotion

This is not a difficult task but will take time and practice, to develop the appropriate processes.  These processes include the development of personalized collateral materials such as Personal Portfolio, Personal Promotion Letters, Targeted Resumes and Cover Letters and your Two Minute Personal Presentation, including the ability to improving your Networking opportunities.

Watch for more information on developing the Art of Self Promotion...............

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