Be A Salesman: Techniques an Engineer Should Use to Market Their Talents
Everybody lives by selling something.
If you’re an engineer by trade, then you live by selling your services to your employer. Your employer could be a multi-billion dollar corporation, a small business, or a single individual who is a client.
Therefore, even though you may be a dyed-in-the-wool technical geek, you still have to be a salesperson. You have to market yourself to demonstrate that your expertise and background in engineering is superior to those with whom you are competing.
Simply possessing certain aptitude is not enough. Marketing that aptitude is what will make you successful.
Here are some ideas for marketing your skill set to potential employers.
1. Whet their appetites
It’s a common maxim in marketing to “sell the sizzle, not the steak.” The idea behind that principle is to tempt people to want a product with a psychological tactic that will appeal to them.
A great way to apply that principle to your engineering background is to emphasize how you create solutions and how those solutions have benefited previous employers. Emphasize how your work in the past has improved your employer’s competitive advantage. Be sure to use business-friendly key words and phrases like “successful”, “streamlined”, “efficiency”, “happy customer”, “reduced expenses”, and “increased sales”.
If you just emphasize what you know, the standards that you follow, and the processes and procedures that make up your day-to-day work, you’re selling the steak, not the sizzle. You might also put your interviewer to sleep.
2. Don’t try to be all things to all people
It might be tempting to load up your resume with every aspect of engineering that you’ve ever done throughout your academic and professional history. You might think that by doing so you would appeal to more potential employers.
It’s not likely that will be the case.
Instead, your resume should be tailor-fit to the employer’s needs. This is because you are marketing yourself to that employer.
For example, if the employer is searching for a chemical engineer, load up your resume with a narrative that demonstrates your expertise in chemical engineering. Make that discipline the particular emphasis of the resume, and minimize other experiences.
Of course, this means that you might need to have more than one resume on hand. You might have one resume that emphasizes one discipline, and another resume that emphasizes another discipline. There is nothing wrong with that.
3. Social engineering is also successful
You may be really smart when it comes to your particular discipline, but that is probably not going to be enough.
You are going to need to become, to some extent, a “people” person.
It’s this simple: People often hire someone that they know. They don’t just hire people with proper credentials or those who have a background that, on paper, fits their requirements.
A great way to market yourself is to take a step away from the technical journals and web sites, go out of the house, and actually meet some people. Join some trade groups. Find some meetups so that you can rub elbows with those who have common interests. Go out to lunch with colleagues.
For some engineers, this might be the most challenging aspect of marketing themselves, but it can also be the most rewarding.
Feel free to contact us at Selectek to learn more about job opportunities available for professionals with an engineering background. Our ability to match skilled candidates to exact-fit opportunities has been the basis of our success, and why we’ve become the staffing solution of choice for your engineering and technology industry.