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When a company produces a new widget, that is is the culmination of months or maybe years of research, development, design, and manufacturing. But the work is not over yet.

When a software company designs new app that will solve any one of a million needs, their work isn’t over.

What does the software company need to do once the product is developed? What’s next for our widget producer?

Marketing. Without it, nobody knows about the app. Nobody knows about the widget.

The same principle applies to your job hunt. And it starts with self marketing. Put a smile on your face. Project your friendliest demeanor. Offer your firmest and most enthusiastic handshake and your most positive attitude.

Aren’t you attracted to a warm friendly smile, to people who project an upbeat attitude? Then be that person.

True self marketing must involve self donation. Do you volunteer for extra duties for your community, at organizations to which you belong, at your church? Have you consciously joined an organization or association that compliments the type of work that you do, so that when you are ready to commence your job search you already have a wealth of contacts with professionals in your industry?

Is there an organization or association that relates to a hobby or special interest of yours? Does your current company belong to the chamber of commerce? Is someone from your company active in the chamber? Is that someone you? It should be.

When people you know achieve something in their lives, do you send them congratulations? Call them? Send them emails? Send cards?

A friend of mine started and ran for many years a very successful service company. Every year, he sent his clients birthday cards just prior to their birthdays. Often, his was the only card the clients received. Very memorable. Imagine the long-term good will he created.

Go digital: If you are a college-educated professional, you should be on LinkedIn. Check out Facebook and Twitter as well.

Some folks are not as outgoing as others. You may consider yourself more shy than outgoing. Is self marketing impossible for you? No. Join and become active in an organization in which you have a strong interest. Any organization that you join has other members, and each of those members has contacts, and each of those contacts has contacts. The stronger your interest, the more successful your involvement.

The best place to start is your current industry associations. If you are considering starting a new career path in a different industry – a very difficult assignment – look at organizations and associations in that industry. Get active. Get on a committee. If you get a place on the membership committee, doesn’t that give you easier access to the membership? Be a greeter at the door. Introduce the speaker. Write an article for the organization newsletter. Develop a presentation. Let people see, meet, and get to know you and your abilities. Become known as an active participant. Become a high profile member of the organization.

Your industry does not have a local presence? Start one. Look at the groups on LinkedIn, and you will probably find one. If LinkedIn group that fits your type of work doesn’t already exist, start one.

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