Marketing skills for the ex-Offender
Before we go further, you should understand why you will need marketing skills as job seeker. Marketing, by general definition, is when there is a producer selling a product to a consumer. You, the ex-offender, are selling yourself and your skills to the employer, who is the consumer. When the consumer, the employer, wants what you have to offer you will be allowed to provide your services thereby you will be employed.
Selling strategy for the ex-offender, as for any job applicant, begins with the basic rules which guide any salesman or marketing agent.
- Understand that you are selling a service to a consumer
- Understand that you will have to seek out the market which will most likely want your services
- Know what services you are able to provide, and at what levels.
- Realize that you must continually sell your services to anyone within the market until you get a buyer
- Know what tools you will utilize in your marketing strategy
That last part may sound tricky, but it isn't. There are several ways and tools you can use in your selling strategy as an ex-offender.
- Bulletin Boards - place a small flyer at supermarkets or community centers stating your abilities and availablity
- Friends and Relatives - ask anyone within earshot and let everyone know you are willing and looking for work
- Online searches - Craigslist, Monster, MySpace and many other community online services post jobs and job seekers on a regular basis
- Newspapers - while not the most utilized place for jobs today, this tool can still lead to possible employment opportunities where others fail
- Telephone Directories - focusing on certain fields and cold calling can often lead to employment
- Training Programs - many training programs or apprenticeships not only offer new skills and options, but also a chance to earn a living while learning
- Job Agencies - temp agencies, staffing services and private job offices are often good for starting out
- Personal Sightings - visiting businesses displaying help wanted signs or going to job fairs is also a good ‘'in person'' method for job seeking
- Government Services - every state has a government unemployment agency; most of these units are connected to a network online such as America's Job Bank or America's Service Locator.
Knowing what you have to offer an employer is the main issue. An ex-offender must use a selling strategy which highlights all available skills and abilities. Selling yourself to an employer requires you to know your product line, your service. What can you do for them? There are many skills and abilities which are often overlooked when considering options.
- Cooking - if you have cooked for a family, you can work in the food industry
- Mechanic and Repair - if you have ever repaired a car, tool, or motor you can find work
- Construction - this is a wide open field for people with basic knowledge and willingness to work
- Accounting and Bookkeeping - can you handle finances or keep ledgers and budgets; this is another field
- Recordkeeping - organization and recordkeeping can be done by many who simply have a small office at home or a large family
- Maintanence - handyman are always in need
- Sales and Customer Service - have you ever sold anything, talked to people on the phone, solved problems or answered concerns; this is the customer service field
- Driving - if you can drive, delivery and transportation are not out of the question
Simply look within yourself to find what marketable skills you have. Make a list of these abilities and they can help you achieve your goals of employment.