Although top candidates are in high demand in the engineering and manufacturing sector, there is still competition for roles. Having the right skills and experience isn't always enough to win the job, and candidates must release their inner salesperson to really get noticed by employers.
Generally speaking, all good marketing is about identifying the needs of your target audience and positioning your brand to meet these demands. Exactly the same applies in the world of recruitment where you are the brand in question. The ideal candidate must offer the perfect, or near perfect, solution to the needs of their prospective employer.
If you're currently seeking a new engineering or manufacturing job, here are six ways you can start to market yourself effectively:
1. Understand your audience
Make an effort to get to know your target audience i.e. your potential employers. These are the people you'll be marketing yourself to, so it's important to understand what they're really looking for.
Do as much research as you can into organisations of interest and try to establish what skills, knowledge and types of applicant they value highly. If possible, speak to an existing or an ex -employee to get an insider's view of the company. If you do reach an interview stage, make sure you fully research the company in question so you can tailor your answers (and your questions) to their particular business activities. Most organisations now have a substantial online presence, so information is normally fairly accessible.
2. Sharpen your skills
Re-assess your skills and expertise on a regular basis to identify any knowledge gaps that could be hampering your career progression. Look into additional training in areas where you feel you're lacking in experience - feedback from prospective employers could be helpful in establishing where your CV is lacking impact.
3. Identify your unique selling point
What is unique about your particular candidate profile? Although there may be many positive aspects to your CV, there will probably be something very particular that will differentiate you from the competition. This might be your particular mix of past work, the combination of your academic training and hands-on experience or even relevant personal interests. Once you've honed in on what makes you a strong, appealing candidate - make sure you sell this effectively in all your correspondence with a future employer.
4. Don't neglect your soft skills
With engineering and manufacturing jobs, many candidates assume that their technical nous will be enough to secure them a new role. Although technical knowledge and sector experience is obviously a major consideration for any employer, it isn't always enough land the job. A combination of a strong CV with exceptional soft skills will always stand you in good stead. Make sure you can demonstrate strong communication skills, lateral thinking and leadership potential.
5. Be well informed
Make every effort to keep up-to-date with advancements and developments in your industry. A strong industry knowledge and awareness of current trends will always be highly valued. Read industry publications, influential blogs and websites and have a wide-reaching view of the engineering and manufacturing market.
6. Build your network
Don't underestimate the value of a broad network of contacts. The web has now made it even easier to connect with, and maintain, relationships with relevant people in your field. Keep in regular contact with your network and update them on any new positions or projects you take on. Wherever possible, attend industry events where you can also meet people face-to-face.