Optimal Strategy

Part I – The Application  The first part of this exam coincides with the first part of the job search cycle – the application process. Many of you will be sending out resumes to a wide number of jobs in the very near future.

 

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Most likely, your application criterion is based purely on interest – if it sounds interesting, you’ll apply. However, is that really the most optimal strategy? If you learned anything from this class, then you know the answer is clearly hell to the no!

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This section will thus walk you through the application process, while using the concepts of segmentation, targeting, and positioning to guide your thought.  Step 1: Pre-STP (1 pt.)  1. List 7-10 positions you’re applying for/are interested in.  1) Front Desk at a beauty salon

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2) Customer service and sales at cosmetic company 3) Beauty advisor at cosmetic store or beauty salon (Sephora, Ulta) 4) Make up artist 5) Accountant at beauty salon 6) Esthetician 7) Marketing Content creator for beauty salon

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Step 2: Segmentation (5 pts.)  Take a look at the positions you just listed. These positions are obviously not all the same.  Create a set of segmentation variables to segment your positions. Variables  Location (SoCal/ China) Focus (customer/ business) Type (beauty salon or cosmetic store)

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2) Explain why you selected these segmentation variables.  For the purposes of this final exam, you don’t need to use the demographic, geographic, psychographic, or behavioral distinctions that we’ve discussed in class (since they may be an awkward fit), but you will need to come up with your own segmentation variables (e.g., industry, skills required, job duties, etc.). nonetheless by which to categorize your list of jobs. 

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Step 3: Targeting (5 pts.)  Now that you’ve segmented your list of jobs, read through the job postings once again.  Create a target market for yourself.  Explain why you chose this target market. A few possible things to consider as you think about your choice: Is this target market a good match for your skills?

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Are you interested in this field? Are you qualified for this specific line of work? What’s your long-term goal? Can you see yourself in this career for the next twenty years? What do you think will bring you the most job satisfaction? etc. Think through questions such as these carefully – don’t mindlessly apply without putting thought and effort into why you’re applying. 

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Step 4: Positioning (6 pts.)  Now that you have a target market, how would you position yourself for that market?  Write a positioning statement relating how you plan to position yourself as a professional, for your target market. Explain how your unique value appeals to your target market.

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Explain how your reasons to believe support your unique value. The key here is not just to say whatever unique value you can think of (even though you are a great person with many good qualities). What unique value will match well with what your target market is looking for?

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What reasons to believe will provide evidence of your value? That’s the key, and that’s why many people get frustrated during the application process – what they provide does not match well with what their target market is looking for! It’s important to have a unique value, but it’s more important to have a unique value that your audience actually values! 

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Part II – The Interview  Now let’s assume that you’ve applied to all the jobs in your target market, and given that you’ve followed the principles of advertising, you’ve received an interview for every job, of course. Now comes the second part – thinking about how to take what you’ve learned from Part I and apply it to the interview process. 

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Step 5: Planning & Development (5 pts.)  Before any interview, you should take some time to mentally project how you’d want the interview to go. By the end of the interview, what do you want the employer to know about you? In ten words or less, what do you want them to walk away saying about you (e.g., “This applicant is really personable and friendly,”

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“This applicant is knowledgeable about different programs,” etc.)? Think about this as you consider what your major selling idea (MSI) is.  What’s your MSI? Explain how you arrived at your MSI. Which of the two categories of MSI does it fall into line with? Explain why.

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Your positioning statement should be the backbone of your MSI. For example, if your unique value is that you have strong interpersonal skills, your MSI maybe something like, “Tanya is very friendly and engaging.” If your unique value is your leadership abilities, then your MSI maybe,

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“Paul knows how to work with all kinds of people.” Think of your unique value as the general principle of how you present yourself, while your MSI is a further elaboration of this general principle, specifically applied to how you present yourself in the context of an interview.  Step 6: Implementation (8 pts.) 

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Now that you have your major selling idea, it’s time to think about the execution techniques you’ll be using to actually communicate this idea. For the purposes of this final, we’ll assume you’re using both rational and emotional appeals, so we’ll skip that part and go straight to execution.

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During an interview, you’re going to be asked several common questions, as you see below. Here’s where you’re going to need to execute everything you’ve discussed in the previous parts of this exam – here’s where your positioning and major selling idea “come to life,” so to speak. 

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Answer each question below, relying on the execution technique shown in parentheses.  For each question:  Present the response you’d give to the interviewer Explain how your response aligns with your major selling idea Tell us a little bit about yourself. (Personality) What makes you the best candidate for this job? (Comparison) What is an accomplishment that you are most proud of? (Technical evidence) Tell me about a tough challenge you’ve faced. How did you resolve it? (Slice of life)

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