Environmental Inventory

Creating a Personal Marketing Plan

Before you can effectively market yourself during an interview, you must first understand your professional environment. This means understanding the trends and issues impacting the overall job market, and in particular, your industry segment and profession.

Within that context, you should begin matching your background and experience with the needs of your job market. You must identify the skills, traits, competencies, work experience, education, etc. you possess that would make you an attractive candidate to a prospective employer.

Armed with this knowledge, you can then develop a job interview objective and strategy designed to help you achieve your career goals. This process of positioning yourself as a desirable candidate will result in identifiable factors that will become a common thread during the job interview process.

The following form has been designed to help you work through the details of this analysis. It presents several factors that are components of your professional environmental inventory, as well as actions you can take to understand and define each factor. Upon completion of this form, you will have created a professional environmental inventory that will be the basis for a positioning statement, defining your personal brand, and creating a job interview plan.

Environmental Inventory

Factor: Professional Environment

Describe trends or issues affecting your industry segment.

Describe trends or issues affecting your particular profession.

What are the latest hot topics in your profession?

Are there any emerging trends that interest you?

Actions/Suggestions: Read articles, publications, recent books, white papers, etc. related to your industry or profession, and conduct Internet searches on hot topics. Consider emerging issues that may be of interest to you and think about any new skills or competencies you should highlight or develop to demonstrate your marketability to an employer.

Factor: Professional Objective

What appeals to you most in the job market?

What things do you do well or especially enjoy doing?

How would you describe your ideal job?

What is important to you in terms of work environment or personal priorities?

Actions/Suggestions: Conduct a personal assessment of your career preferences. Consider career alternatives in light of what you think you would enjoy doing. Then list your options and any obstacles standing in your way. Evaluate how realistic your career options are, and then create a draft career objective statement.

Factor: Define Your Target Market

What industry segment would value your skills the most?

What are your preferences for type of organization, work environment, company size, etc?

Are you willing to travel or relocate?

What is the overall availability of jobs in your target market?

Actions/Suggestions: Consider recent and alternative industry segments that would value your skills. Identify obstacles to success that might need to be overcome to succeed in your target market. Create a list of targeted employers you think you would like to work for. Prepare a draft of a personal marketing plan for your target market. Develop weekly goals related to your marketing plan.

Factor: Position Yourself (Your Positioning Statement/Personal Brand)

What do hiring managers need to know about you?

How would you differentiate yourself from other applications?

What accomplishments or success stories can you discuss?

Is your resume consistent with how you want to position yourself?

Action/Suggestions: Create a positioning statement that succinctly describes how you want others to perceive you. Review your skills and competencies and match them with the needs of the job market. Define the unique advantages you can offer prospective employers. Be sure your social media profiles, resumes and cover letters accurately and consistently portray how you want to position yourself, and that they are consistent with what you might say during an interview.

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