Believing yourself is the first step in marketing yourself. Photo credit: Tamara Condie

We live in a competitive era where many applicants may apply for the same position, making it almost impossible for an individual to find their dream job and what path to follow to secure it. Therefore, knowing how to market yourself is essential when you are looking for a job.

The Office for Applied Research, Innovation, Entrepreneurship (ARIE) and Employment Support at Algonquin College recently hosted a free virtual class titled “How to Market Yourself” for college students. The workshop provided an in-depth understanding of the values individuals have to offer others, acknowledging what employers are searching for and bonding these values to meet the needs of the employer.

The workshop provided useful tips to identify the needs of the targeted audience— employers and clients. individuals could search up job postings and get some ideas on what a particular employer is looking for and update their resume accordingly, as well as putting essential keywords like strong communication skills and computer skills on their CV.

According to the workshop, this would increase the likelihood of getting hired. Building a focused resume is important to do, especially in government, or if you are applying to any certain cooperation that uses an application tracking system (ATS). “A lot of times computers will ‘look’ at your resume before a human does and try to pick up the keywords that are listed in the job posting,” said Algonquin employment officer, Jessica Andrews.

Some positions may not provide job postings, like small businesses. This is where students are required to do their own pitch on why they should get hired for that position. It’s important to not oversell yourself. You should be ready to back up what you say you can do when applying for a job.

Getting into mentorship and leadership programs could strengthen your resume. “If you are a student at the college, volunteer for things. Often when people are hiring from new grads, they will think about people who volunteered for them,” said ARIE coordinator, Stephen Gagne.

The workshop also touched on the importance of telling your goals to your employers, as they can make connections and maybe give you more opportunities. People are also to use the “Five-Fold Why,” a strategy to examine the main reason for their needs, rather than taking them at face value, which might help them better define their primary desires, and find solutions to their underlying problems. Individuals could also research their employers and the workplace through a few different ways: company directories—LinkedIn, yellow pages, or book lists; arranging an interview; seeking advice from industry professionals—professors and alumni—; start talking to your own network, which could lead you to an opportunity.

Many students may feel that they are not good enough or as competent as others think they are. This could lead students to think they need to be perfect; they tend to not recognize the values they market and offer an employer, and often overthink themselves out of opportunities believing they aren’t qualified. “The best way to be the best candidate is to first believe that you are the best candidate,” Andrews said. “Most people feel imposter syndrome at some point in their careers. Know that you are not alone.”

Not everything you set out to do will turn out great on your first try. Individuals may learn more by failing first, than succeeding right out of the gate. It is important to take note of what you have learned during this process and remember you are growing and evolving.