As recruiters, we are always asked to find a sales or marketing applicant with a highly specific background. Anyone could go out and find your average sales or marketing professional. People pay fees to search firms like mine in order to find them somebody who has a high worth on the job market and who cannot easily be located. Even if you are not looking for a job at the moment, your market value is still either increasing or decreasing for when and if you look for something else. Below are 8 proactive measures you can take which will surely maintain and gradually increase your value on the open job market.
1. Stay in one industry. This is probably one of the most important facets of career success. There are thousands upon thousands of sales and marketing resumes floating around on the job boards. However, there are not thousands upon thousands of people who maintain a very specialized background in any particular industry.
2. Become a leading authority on your industry. You should frequently be writing articles about your industry and be posting them on the web as well as various social media sites. Even prior to speaking, there is a good chance that a prospective employer may Google you. Don't have the search results come up barren.
3. Don't bounce from job to job. This is the worst thing anybody can do to their sales or marketing career. Be very selective as to the employer whom you decide to work with. Do your best to put in 3 years' time at each position you take. Bouncing also becomes a habit with a lot of people. Remember, every strike you will hurt you more and more upon negotiating salary with a new employer.
4. Learn skills that other sales and marketing representatives do not have. What are you doing on your free time and during weekends? You should be learning. As sales or marketing representative, if you have knowledge of, let's say, programming on your resume, it stands out. The knowledge does not need to be 100% relevant. All it needs to say is that you have knowledge which is difficult to accumulate which others do not have.
5. Keep good contacts. Employers love sales representatives who come with a book of business. Many people don't see this angle, however having a book of business or contacts also leads one to assume that you are honest, you are effective at account management, you know your marketing and have impressed people in the past, you can maintain relationships with key decision makers in various companies, you probably have an understanding of a multitude of businesses and much more.
For an employer, having an employee with multiple connections throughout various industries is always a plus and it is well worth the money.
6. Keep your Linked-In page up to date with pictures and always maintain a good amount of contacts. I understand that this is a pain. Though, if you were to Google yourself, chances are that your social media site pages would come up. A picture, a good amount of contacts and memberships to a targeted amount of professional groups on Linked-In should do the trick. People, especially interviewers, like to know the person whom they are speaking with and looking you up via a basic web search is the best way. Our recruiters have seen some unflattering pictures before; be careful regarding your photo of choice.
7. Get out of outdated industries which have no real growth opportunities. I use this as an extreme example, but if you are in the paper industry, look to make an exit. The sales and marketing jobs which are paying right now are media oriented. If media is not your thing, then you might want to get into the technology vertical. Before choosing your next job, think if the company in which you are interviewing with will be needed more, less or about the same 10 years from now. If it the answer is one the last two options, taking a job in this industry can hit your value on the market in a negative way.
8. Proofread your emails and resume very thoroughly. I don't know how many executive level sales and marketing resumes we have come across with misspellings and improper grammar. This is not a minor detail and can lose you potential interviews. Indirectly, this will hurt your salary asking price on the open market.