SPEAKER’S CORNER: Mike Palestina – Attitude is Everything Creating and Executing a Winning Career Marketing Plan

palestrinaBy Frances Chaves
Mike Palestina’s March 4 presentation to PSGCNJ outlined his ten steps to a complete and successful job search:

  1. Understand your environment
  2. Determine your objective
  3. Develop your communication strategy
  4. Identify your target market
  5. Collect market information
  6. Network, network, network
  7. Interview techniques
  8. Other methods of search
  9. Compensation negotiations
  10. Transition planning

According to Michael Overell, the first place hiring managers go to find qualified candidates is to internal sources. The second is LinkedIn. Use your LinkedIn to lure recruiters and hiring managers back to your resume.
Your LinkedIn profile should include your photo; a good headline; a robust summary; your specialties; your work history; groups; recommendations; contact information. Do not include PAR/SOAR statements; these belong on your resume. Include your email address so that hiring managers can find you.
Mike does not recommend paying for LinkedIn’s extra services. Join groups where the people that interest you participate.
Twitter and Facebook should also figure in your job search. Find your target companies’ pages on Facebook and link to them. Track their leaders on Twitter.
Marketing Plan
Your marketing plan is the shortest distance between you and your next job. To get the job you want, identify your target market and then create a marketing plan that includes:

  1. Professional objective with preferred work functions
    • Describes your next logical step
    • Job skills
    • Interest


  1. Positioning statement with competency list
    • When developing this section, answer these questions:  What do I do well? What do I want to do? What skills do I have to offer?
  • Include a brief summary of your relevant background and experience
    • Objective
    • Years of experience (never list more than 15 years)
    • Industries
    • Differentiators
    • Areas of expertise – your specific skills both hard and soft
    • What makes you unique; what are your personal differentiators?
  • Research the following information:
    • Geography
    • Industry
    • Size
    • Culture
    • Prioritized list of 40 – 50 employers; review their websites regularly
  • Visit the company’s website; evaluate the corporate culture
  • Don’t forget to ask if the company is worthy of having you as an employee!
  1. Target market including characteristics, industry and employer  (30 – 50 companies)
    • Use Reference USA, Glassdoor, D & B as research tools.

Strategic Networking
Spend more than 75% of your job-search time on strategic networking.
Use networking to execute your job-search strategy and separate yourself from the crowd. Networking tools include your marketing plan, business cards and personal name tag. Recording each day’s accomplishments in a daily journal is also helpful.
Success requires patience.  Get support. Create a team of supporters composed of fellow job-seekers.  Meet weekly for support, encouragement and accountability.
If pursuing a job that has already been published, network to find a contact in the company who will shepherd your resume through the company.
For unpublished positions, use your Marketing Plan as a “door opener.” Ask to meet with people to get feedback on the plan.  Asking for advice is more effective than pushing your resume.  Mike describes the resume as “historical, not strategic.”
Schedule meetings to discuss your Marketing Plan with the following groups:

  • Tier 1 contacts: your family and friends
  • Tier 2: LinkedIn and other professional networks
  • Tier 3: people you have yet to meet

When contacting people, you are not asking for a job but requesting insight into your strategy for securing a job at XYZ Company.  Twenty-four hours before the scheduled meeting, send an email confirmation with a copy of your Marketing Plan. In the email say that you need five minutes of their time to review the attached document which will be the basis of your discussion. Use this script for requesting a meeting: “I am looking to build my network and to create connections inside some targeted organizations. Can we spend a few moments reviewing my marketing plan, with a focus on the companies I am targeting? The value for me is in making a connection with individuals inside these organizations, whether or not there is a current opportunity. Are you able to help me with that?”
Prepare scripts for each tier of contacts. Include the following questions: “Based on my target list, can you think of any other employers I should look into? Do you know anyone at any of my target companies that you would introduce me to? Is there anyone in your network that you would introduce me to for a similar discussion?  May I reconnect with you periodically?”
Successful networking is a two-way street. Don’t forget to ask how you can help the person you are meeting with.
Go into your meeting with confidence. Your transition was not about you personally. It was the result of a corporate business decision.
Mike estimates it takes 25 to 30 of these conversations to secure a meeting with a hiring manager.  But when you reach out, 80% of the world reaches back.
Have a goal of attending five networking meetings a week. At the end of each week, draft your strategy for the following week.
Other job-search activities
Spend the remaining 25 percent of your time on the following.

  1. Recruiters (10%)
  2. Social media and job boards (10%)
  • LinkedIn
  • Monster
  • Internships.com
  • USAJobs.com
  • Dice
  • Facebook
  • Indeed.com
  • Simplyhhired.com
  • Glassdoor
  • Idealist
  • The Wall Street Journal
  • Twitter
  1. Direct Mail (5%)

Mike says that in today’s market, “Job security is defined as … knowing how to job search.” Know who will help you get your next job.
Recommended Reading:
Beware: Potential Employers are Watching
For Older Workers, Here Is Where the Jobs Will Be
Mike Palestina is an ICF Certified Executive Coach and Leadership Consultant who inspires and enhances attitudes, behaviors and performance resulting in increased employee engagement. He is a Managing Partner at the People Intell Institute and Executive Coach at Black River Group, Inc. Reach Mike by email at m.palestina@verizon.net.


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