Applying for a job is like launching a new campaign in that you first need a plan

Your Secret Marketer is moving onwards and either upwards or, if I play my cards badly, outwards. One thing that most client marketers will relate to is that as soon as someone has understood how to do their job, the rug is pulled from under them and a major restructure ensues. And that has happened at ‘Brand Secret’ this week.

The good news is that I don’t seem to have to hang up my sharp pencil just yet but my current role has disappeared, and I have been asked to apply for a new – on the face of it – more senior job.

I have spent the past few days assessing the new opportunity and agreeing my strategy, and that is when it dawned on me that applying for a new job is very much like launching a new marketing campaign in that it starts with a plan.

What do I know about the ‘customer’ (interviewer)? What are his needs (what does he need to achieve)? Who are my competitors (who else is going for the role)? What are my unique selling propositions and weaknesses versus the alternative?

So with my market appraisal done, it is a case of looking at my own value proposition – what do I bring to the role? I have rather cleverly (in my opinion) pulled a pitch document together and linked the three ‘watchwords’ that make up our 2015 business plan, to my proposal. I have listed how my past experience and current expertise will ensure I ‘connect’ the dots of the new organisation, ‘challenge’ the status quo to deliver more, and how I will ‘inspire’ the new, enlarged team to greatness.

Then it’s a case of putting meat on the bone – what are my proof points and references? How does my message hang together and meet what I now understand to be the new person’s pain points? Next is the creative – how do I pull this together into a compelling slide deck that supports what I will be saying through my pearly white smile, sharpest suit, and eye-catching tie?

I have even built in a slide of objections – namely, why not to hire me (alas this was a little too easy to write), with suitable mitigations for my lack of relative experience, higher salary, and absence of specific product knowledge (‘leaders lead and don’t need to know the detail’, eh?).

I am prepared. I have also lined up all the stakeholders who may influence the decision to put in a good word for ‘Team Secret’. It may be some weeks till I know, but here goes.