Marketing Yourself
Advice for presenting youreself to potential employers
Job Hunting - General Information

  1. 1. Prepare yourself by planning your career. Determine what skills you will need and then go about getting them. If you can, take only jobs which lead you toward your goal.
  2. 2. Developing a specific skill set is a good idea. For example, many people feel an MPA is the ticket to success. It could be, but only if you develop an area of expertise you can sell to your next employer. Not many entry level jobs exist for generalists; so specialize in one or two areas such as budget and finance, or human resources. Also, land planning is generally a very good area. Most cities of any size have three to six planners on staff; so the opportunities are numerous
  3. 3. Do not commit the mortal sins. The Internet is a more or less permanent record of every mistake we make. Remember this well, because even simple things can come back to haunt you, sometimes years later.
  4. 4. If you have a Facebook or MySpace page, be advised that some employers will check those out before hiring you. Make sure there is nothing the least bit questionable on it. It is better to be safe than sorry.
  5. 5. Appearance does count - a great deal. We do not believe that elected officials should not make a conscious decision based on the following factors, but unfortunately there seems to be a pattern. Candidates who are noticeably overweight, have beards, and/or do not wear suits to an interview generally do not get the job
  6. 6. Develop a good set of materials to use in marketing yourself. See our sections on resume writing, the cover letter and preparing references.
  7. 7. Be realistic about the next step in your career. Do not expect to be hired as the City Manager in a City of 100,000 or more if you are currently a Budget Analyst. You might actually be hired in a small town as the manager and at a relatively lower salary, but not as the manager of a large city.
  8. 8. Show interest in the City or County you are applying to. With all the resources now available via the Internet, there is no reason why you should not know everything there is to know about a potential employer by the time you arrive for an interview.
  9. 9. If you are able to, as part of knowing everything possible about the City or County, attend a few council meetings and introduce yourself to the key players. If you are applying for a department director position, introduce yourself to the City Manager. If you are applying to be a County Administrator, introduce yourself to the County Commission members. There is no point in being present at these meetings, if you are not going to get credit for it.
  10. 10. Stop in and meet the director of the local chamber of commerce. S/he will likely tell the elected officials that you dropped by, and that improves your standing as a serious candidate who is genuinely interested in their community.
  11. 11. Always be positive and upbeat - in the interview and on the job! Show people that you believe the glass is always more than half full. No one wants to hire someone who displays a poor attitude during an interview. They expect to be working with you for years to come; so, given a choice, they will pick the positive, upbeat, happy person - the person whom they want to be around for the next few years. Of course, once you are hired, you have to continue to positive, happy and upbeat. Start practicing now.
  12. 12 We have seen several outstanding managers who cannot seem to get that next job. Often their interview skills simply are not strong. If interviewing is a problem for you, we suggest you join Toastmasters. In such an environment you get good, direct, critical feedback in a friendly setting. In fact, Toastmasters is a good group to join no matter what your public speaking skills are. For most of us, our communications skills can always be improved.

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Company: Colin Baenziger & Associates
Postal/City: Daytona Beach Shores, FL 32118
Phone: 561.707.3537
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