Campaign for a new job

Image-savvy politicians have meticulous campaign strategies — and you should, too.

A job search isn’t that much different from a political campaign: You must outline a plan for your future and be able to clearly convey your qualifications to potential employers. And although you may not be sweating under the hot lights of a prime-time debate, it can certainly feel like it during an interview. That’s why it’s best to have a campaign strategy.

Count on your volunteers
Don’t be embarrassed to hit up your network and let them know that you’re looking to fill a new role at the right company. “Just as politicians rely heavily on their supporters, so should you,” says Uva Coles, dean of Career Management Services at Peirce College. “Reach out to those in your circle of influence. Ask them to spread the word about who you are and what you are looking for.”

Perfect your image
From their flag pins to their blow-outs, those running for political office put a great deal of effort into presenting the right image. “Dress the part when you are networking at trade shows, meetings or other events,” says Bill Corbett, president of Corbett Public Relations. “Be sure to have a quality photo on your LinkedIn profile,” he adds.

What about those photos from last night online? “There is nothing wrong with personal photos online,” says Corbett. “However, if you have doubts about how you appear in an online photo or video, take it down.” Besides, if you’re running for president one day, that photo may not be so harmless after all.

Get a feel for the field
You need to understand more than just your goals and strengths — you must also understand how your opponents and employers operate. “As with debate preparation, you need to know how the other side thinks,” says author and career expert Tracey Wilen-Daugenti. “Research hiring managers, your possible boss and the company itself using online information and social network profiles.”


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