How to use marketing techniques in a job application
Learn tricks of the trade so powerful they will put you way ahead of the
competition. You will start to get more interviews immediately if you use
Selling yourself to an employer is not
different to selling any product on the market. You need to convince the
customer, and in this case the employer, to hire you based on your own
uniqueness - what you, the product, can do for him/her that no-one else
will. He/she will want to know ‘what is in it for me'?
In job search you are the product and the product does
not sell itself. Jobseekers have to proactively market themselves like
any other product that is being launched onto the marketplace, whether in a
job application letter or at a face to face meeting.
On this page
What do we mean by using marketing techniques in a
Products will be sold based on features and benefits.
Use marketing techniques in your job application letter
Benefits become outcomes / results in job search
Expand on your skills
features and benefits
Develop a plan to write your job application letter
In other sections we have covered a range of job search
strategies and job application letters. These include
8 categories of job
applications used in job search,
where to find a job and recruitment
methods. This section complements Writing an application letter for an
The section called writing applications for an advertised job contains a lot of valuable information and looks at opening statements. So it is
not repeated here, but is very important to the letter writing process. Both
should be used and in this section.
While this section relates to writing a job application
letter, for any situation, it is only one way to find a market for your employment skills and
experience. The marketing concepts learned in this tutorial can be used by
jobseekers to assist them to understand why they need to show an employer
what they can do for them and use sales techniques to effectively sell
themselves, verbally as well as in writing. This section will assist jobseekers
Understand what an employer wants from a perspective
employee through use of a marketing analogy.
Recognise features and benefits and use them to
write a job application letter, especially cold calling or cold
Understand the value of the skills they have to offer
Gain the self- confidence to proceed with more a
proactive job search plan.
Assist with writing quality content for their resume -
outcome / value based statements or benefit statements.
If you are serious about finding the job of your choice, and prepared to put
more work into your job search by following the advice on this site, you
will find a job despite stiff competition The information in this section is
unique to Pro-Active Human Resource Management
For more advanced winning application
letter opening statement see
world's greatest job application letters
Overview of this concept as it relates to job search :
product, price and distribution
Product: Your skills, knowledge abilities,
qualifications, experience, attributes, and values etc., that make you the
person you are. All products have to fulfil the customer’s needs or wants.
So you need to first establish what you have to offer an employer. What are
your features and benefits? In job search you are the product and the
product does not sell itself.
Distribution: Here you must determine how you are going
to reach your target market. How do you share yourself around to people
whose needs you can answer? We looked at Distribution in the overview of
recruitment methods and where to find a job
and employment and career
opportunities. In “real life marketing” you do your research before you
develop the product based on the customer’s needs. Carrying this concept
into employment you could say this is what career planning is about.
Price: Know your worth. How much are your
skills/experience worth in the job market. You must also be able to agree on
a price. So before you contact an employer you need to know your worth.
If you are cold calling the person you contact is bound
to ask you about your salary expectations.
Amazing Cover Letters
Some good basic advice about
salaries and how you can increase your chances of getting paid the most a
company is willing to offer.
Very good section
Quintessential Careers (Very big section on salary negotiation -
provides a lot of links to sites and articles)
This marketing concept is not rocket science, and it has been around
forever. What is probably new to you is that you can apply the concept to
yourself. You need to market yourself in your job application letter. You are the
product and you need to reach the buyer - the employer.
Products will be sold based on features and benefits.
This marketing principle can be applied to your job search
activities - to write a resume and in all employment related activities -
cold calling and networking, for example, and especially in an application
letter or cover letter if you prefer. We looked at distribution in the
"overview of recruitment methods".
The “so what” question.
If you can answer the buyer's needs you are successfully
promoting yourself as a product. Your job application letter must address the
employers criteria and by clearly defining the features and benefits of the
product - you. To test benefit statements the marketing method is to ask "so
what?" Only when the seller satisfies the "so what test" can they
claim a benefit. For example to use a simple example you might say, I can
type. I would then say "so what?" If you say "I
can type at 150 words a minute" then I would know, and most most people
will agree, that this is very fast and a benefit to the organisation.
No-one would say "so what? But there are other skills that you need to
elaborate on to give a benefit statement. This is explained further on.
In your job application letter you must state that you
possess the skills and experience the employer wants and then tell them how
you used the skills, (what for) and how they can benefit from your skills/experience. Show
them the advantages of employing you.
Know your features and benefits
Feature- describes what the product does or is used for.
In job search your features are your skills, knowledge abilities,
qualifications, experience, attributes and values that you bring to the job.
Also more importantly the employer will want to know how you used these
skills to the benefit of the employer. In a job advertisement the
skills they ask for are usually the features. You must supply the benefits.
Benefit - is what each of the features mean to the
prospective buyer. What are they getting out of it or what is in it for
them? Benefit is also an ‘advantage’. In job search term is called an
Some people may call these achievements but these can be very
personal to them and may not necessarily help the employer with their
bottom line – money, through increased productivity or clever ideas
marketing ideas for example. Although of course students and other younger
employers may have to use achievements that are not job oriented to show
that they have to capacity to achieve outcomes for employers and shows
numerous character building skills.
Example of a product's features and benefits.
Just to reiterate, if a buyer can say ‘so what’ you haven’t shown a
benefit. If you have ever done online
shopping you look behind the picture of the product and you may see
‘features’ and/or ‘specifications’. Specifications are the raw data about
the product that doesn’t try and sell the product. Features are what sells
Now let’s look at our own Dyson state of the art vacuum cleaner
for example, that has been heavily marketed. See how many of these features
you can say ‘so what to’. This is a measure used to tell the salesman that
they haven’t shown what is in it for them (benefit).
Overview from the main Dyson site. Does this show many
Dyson DC41 Animal is a Dyson Ball™
upright vacuum with
the latest Radial Cyclone™ technology.
(feature) It generates the strongest suction
power at the cleaner head, to powerfully remove dust, dirt and pet hair from
the home. (benefit)? Includes
a Mini turbine head to clean pet hair and stubborn dirt from upholstery,
stairs and the car.
Go deeper into the site and look at what the product does
and it contain many benefits.
These are a few examples where they break up the features
up into different functions. The headings are the features and the rest in
the benefits or outcomes you can expect from this product. But does it
answer the "so what" question?
Ball™ technology. Turns on the spot. Manoeuvres easily
around furniture, obstacles and into difficult places.
Now I would go one step further and say "so you
don't scratch your furniture or strain your back". This is a better example
of a benefit to me - the buyer.
Mini Turbine Head.
Ideal for improved pet hair pick-up on upholstery, stairs
and the car.
Yes this is ok but not a real benefit statement. What are the real benefits?
What would it mean to you? I can still ask "so what?"
Hygienic bin emptying.
Dyson vacuums are hygienic and quick to empty, with
no need to touch the bag.
This is a clearer benefit to me.
Benefits become outcomes
/ results in job search
As we have established, in job search methods you are the product
and the product does not sell itself. In job search the product benefits are an
outcome or a result and you should clearly show these in your resume and your job application letter. This
concept may be difficult to grasp, however as you read on you will come to
If you have a high level of skill/experience and your
resume has been prepared by a professional writer, your resume will have at
least 60% outcome based statements. An outcome usually involves something
that is measurable. Some statements will only show the feature (the
skill/knowledge you used) to produce an outcome.
What if your occupation or job doesn’t lend
itself to an outcome or
features and benefits?
In some cases when you have no outcomes to contribute if
you are a new jobseeker or do a range of jobs that are just skills related
or manual work, for example, you can stick with just features.
However just have a look at spread sheets
shown below as an example. It may
not have an outcome but you can assist your company by providing statistics
that can be used for the benefit of the company. So they have to be accurate
and you need to complete within a time frame. You are just as important to
the organisation as management or other higher level positions. The trick is
to elaborate on how you use your skills. This is addressed later.
For clarity, and as a theory, this section
will mainly concentrate on using both features and benefits.
Once you are clear on features and benefits, and within
the limits of your experience, you should try to find features and
benefits when writing resume statements and marketing yourself in a job
application letter. If you can't find a benefit or outcome, at least
show how you utilised the skill and to what level. Some
people do not want to put too much information in their resume as they
consider it is private information on the company they have worked for and
do not want it put in a resume. See an example of
This is a typical professional management resume benefit
statement that can be used in a job application letter. (If appropriate to
the skill or experience in the criteria). In this case the benefit comes
first. It is more effective than the feature and then the benefit.
However, as shown in How
to write an application for an advertised job your benefit statement
in your application letter must not be exactly the same wording as in your
resume, but the concept of a benefit statement is the same.
Meaningless phrases : Expanding your skills
Firstly let's address a very common problem. When asked to
fill out a form many jobseekers show just a one word description of their
skills. Many resumes presented for rewriting show skills written in one
to three words, and the jobseeker makes the same mistake in their job
You must expand on your skills. I hope this has changed
but I still get the odd resume written like this. See skills such as:-
Computer skills – use excel spreadsheets and MYOB
Repaired and maintained mining equipment
Liaison with other departments
Q. What does this tell the employer?
Let’s try it again and expand upon these meaningless
resume / job application phrases using features and benefits or just
Some contain features (or tasks which represent your
skills and ability to carry them out) and benefits. Other phrases may
reflect how your skills were used and others have the potential to add a
result or outcome, that is if the applicant can demonstrate how it benefited
the company in measurable outcomes, such as $1,000 cost saving per month.
Resume and job application letters will vary depending on
the level of the job seekers responsibility and experience. An executive's
statements will be stronger and more sophisticated. A blue collar worker's
statements will be different again. This is just a guide.
See if you can recognise a feature and benefit. These can
be used in your resume and job application letter.
Examples of features and benefits
Computer skills – spreadsheets and MYOB
Excel is a just one spreadsheet programme. Using
spreadsheets, not necessarily excel, is a skill that few jobseekers
recognise as valuable to an organisation. Companies use spreadsheets for
many purposes and they provide data that can be analysed by other to
increase production and finances for example. Here is one that is expanded
Now the production manager will probably be able to
create and outcome based on this person’s work. So it is important to the
organisation. Say how many accounts you handle etc. But be aware of giving
away private company information.
Note: Here you could have the final benefit or measurable
outcome, but most companies do not follow up and measure these types of
changes. Once again if you want to advance in your career you could put a
process in place yourself to give these figures.
Repaired and maintained mining equipment
Contributed to weekly management meetings, and
verbally presented forecasting sheets to the duty managers, in order to
assist them to make decisions on staffing levels and general catering
Library duties - (This is just one of the
"library duties" expanded upon in this particular resume).
The next step is to incorporate these marketing
techniques into your resume or job application / employment letter. Use
writing of an application letter using
This section expand upon effective application
letter for an advertised job
In this section we do not want to repeat what has been
said in the above section, however we can clarify some points and look at a
plan on how to write your job application letter. You will need to look at
both sections to complete an overall picture on the job application
letter writing process. We can also address how to use the information
in cold calling letters.
Any formal business letter,
whether it is for a marketing letter or job application, has a beginning, a middle
and an end. It also uses AIDA. Attention, Interest, desire, and
You can download AIDA here.
We have used this in how to apply for an advertised job however this
concentrates more on opening statements and value added statements
that you need to read..
Lets look at it again and just concentrate on features and
You can use features and benefits to write your opening statement.
This looks primarily on the structure of the job application letter.
We assume you have research the company fully.
beginning of the job application
Begin with the end in mind. What is your goal of your
The beginning of the letter is used to state the
position you are applying for and is reserved for the impact statement - the opening statement
or headline sentence. (see
job application for an advertised job )
a cold calling or networking letter it will include a reference to the
person who introduced you to the reader, or the reason why you are writing.
techniques for examples of opening statements
The middle of the job application
In marketing, this is the "interest" section. This section is used to address the employers needs and
demonstrate that the applicant has all the criteria the employer requires.
Here you use features and benefits related to the employer's criteria.
If you are writing an application letter in
response to an advertised position, the length depends on how
the employer has requested. Spend a lot of time making this information short and
If the job is not advertised you need to think carefully
about the most important aspects of the job and what would interest the
can be up to three short paragraphs or
preferably, about 4 bullet points.
This has also been called skills matching
Cold calling and
networking letters must demonstrate how the jobseeker can contribute to the organisation
as well as covering the main skill areas and this can only be determined after researching the company.
They should contain all
features and benefits. Remember, as discussed in advertised jobs, do not
sell yourself out of a job.
The end of
the job application letter
In marketing terms, the
end of your application letter is the
desire statement or closing statement. In sales terms you are about to closes
the sale and need to pull something out of your hat to impress the buyer.
This can be a "value added statement" as shown in
application for an advertised job.
By now you should have built up sufficient interest so
that the buyer (the employer) will want to meet you to (the desire)
to see if you are what the company needs, and ultimately will make a job
offer. This is where you can add value to you job application
An action statement should be
used in this last section.
In job search the goal is to get an interview so the applicant
needs to ask for an interview or in the case of a
cold calling letter, a chance to meet face to face.
See cold calling sample letters
an advertised job
for more information on the beginning the middle and the end.
If you are not sure of what a good action statement is try this resource.
Opening and closing statement examples in
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be put off if you do not have 100% of the employer's criteria. Providing you
meet at the very least 75% of the criteria and are prepared to learn
the skills they require, have a go. Attributes and references
can often influence the employer. Further, knowing about the company
and being able to relate to these skills you do not have will assist
you to address them in the job application letter. See how
your skills fit into the job - you may have done something that requires the same type
of processes or knowledge but doesn't match the job exactly. You
have to try and show how your skills were used and how they could be
used to cover the very specific criteria they have asked for.
This has been addressed in the mini tutorial.
Application - Advertised position using AIDA.
what you have. Can any of this combined information be summed up
(see below) Your benefit statement is probably in your resume if it is
outcome based. As stated earlier, the middle of the road jobs may
find this task a bit more difficult. Work with what you have.
Don't repeat the resume.
In order to
produce a winning application letter that will land you your dream job,
you need to read all 5 sections on letter writing. In addition to this section, these are:-
As stated, there are many resources you can use that show you how to write an effective job application
letter. This skill will not be wasted and may be considered as professional development. Some
application letter writing software you may like to own is
Letters Creator. If you are
writing a lot of letters this resource will suit you. These letters must be customised,
and this is a feature of the software and can be stored into a template as a lot of
the information is generic.
Killer Secret To Get Your Letter
Jimmy Sweeney reveals the secret technique to getting your
job application letter read by the employer/Recruitment Manager. This cover letter
technique, when used properly, practically guarantees that he or she will
stay with you till the last line of your cover letter, article, or report.
Jimmy also covers opening statements used in the previous
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Human Resource Management