Authors Note: As part of our four part job search marketing plan this week will focus on market research to reach your target audience.
“Market research is for discovering what people want, need or believe. It can also involve discovering how they act.” (“Market Research,” Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia)
By that definition alone you can see why market research is an important step in a job search. In order to properly market your product (you) to your audience (employers) you must know who they are, where they are and how they think.
So how do you get this information? The following are questions that will help get you started:
Identify people in your desired position.
Research their professional and educational backgrounds to see how they got their current position.
Can you speak to someone? Possibly ask what they like about their job, what a typical day is like etc.
Identify target companies.
Who do you know within the company?
Who do you know that can introduce you to someone within the company
What is their company culture? Is it one that matches your personality?
What challenges are they facing? Do you offer any solutions?
What new products or services have they recently released?
Has there been new regulation affecting the industry?
Identify where your target industry hangs out.
Is there a LinkedIn Group, Ning site, forum etc that you can join?
Is there a Seattle chapter of your industry association? (i.e. SHRM, Social Media Club Seattle, American Marketing Association) For more Seattle area networking links visit The Seattle Networking Guide
Is there a meet-up group for professionals in your field?
What do you do if you identified a field that you know requires further education? In this case your next steps will include researching schools and training programs. Speaking with alumni, admissions offices, etc.
Once you have completed your reconnaissance mission store the data for the next step. We will be developing the marketing materials for you to use at these events.
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About the Author
As co-founder of a regionally focused employment media company, Jennifer Bowen has been advising and consulting with employers and job seekers since 2005.