Are you wondering how to land a federal job? Have you been discouraged by naysayers? Are you wondering if the federal government is really hiring thousands of people? Well that one I’ll answer now. YES! So if you are not incorporating federal jobs in your job search strategy it’s likely you have been misinformed about the process and about the reality of the federal job market. Here are seven more myths I’d like to dispel to help you conquer your federal job search. 1. Myth: All government jobs are in Washington, DC. Fact: Only 15% of federal jobs are actually in DC. That means 85% of the federal jobs are outside of DC throughout the US and the rest of the world. 2. Myth: Federal government salaries are low. Fact: Actually, government salaries have risen faster and higher than private sector salaries. In most cases you will find they are very competitive. In fact, it’s been reported from 2000 to 2008, the pay for federal civilian employees skyrocketed 57%, while the pay for workers in the private sector grew by only 31%. And the White House recently proposed a 1.4% pay increase for federal employees. 3. Myth: To get into the federal government you have to be connected; all the jobs are wired. Fact: If that was the case, then the government wouldn’t currently have over 60,000 job openings worldwide. Don’t you think the people that know the current government workforce would have networked their way in if that was the case? Networking always helps. But my federal resume writing team has helped hundreds of clients land federal jobs that were not networked. 4. Myth: The government is not hiring for what I do. Fact: The OPM (Office of Personnel Management) uses a classification of 21 occupational groups and families for all GS (General Schedule) positions. That's just for white collar jobs. There are so many ways to make a difference to America doing this work. Here is a very short list of federal job titles: Accountants, Business Operations, Police Officers, Fire Fighters, Administrative Assistants, Secretaries, Assistants, Civil Engineers, Airline Pilots, Computer Systems Analysts, Program Managers, Construction Managers, and Social Workers. This is a very short list. Believe me. There are literally hundreds of job titles. Enjoying this article? You could get the best career advice daily by subscribing to us via e-mail. 5. Myth: The federal government is one huge bureaucracy. Fact: The Government is made up of several entities. Each of the over 300 departments and agencies operates as their own stand alone “corporation” within a network of agencies designed to serve the best interest of America. Some do operate more efficiently than others, and are more progressive than others. Based on your agency research, consider 3-5 agencies you would like to further explore. 6. Myth: All federal jobs are posted on USAJOBS.com. Fact: Only about 70% are on USA Jobs. Many jobs (permanent, temporary, special) are on each federal agency website. And some are not posted on the sites at all. 7. Myth: The federal hiring process is so long and complicated. Fact: The federal hiring process differs from private sector hiring, and federal resume writing is different. But the process does not have to be long. There are programs, tips, and opportunities that drastically speed up the process. I have clients that are getting hired at record time compared to their private sector counterparts. Dr. Daphne Houston is the founder & CEO of the National Association for Federal Career Advancement where federal leaders and those who aspire to be, empower their careers and their impact in the world, while serving America. Read more » articles by this approved career expert | Click here » if you’re a career expert Photo credit: Shutterstock
If your marketing is focused on, “here, buy my product!” those days are over. For marketing to be effective, consumers need to understand much more about your brand before buying your product in this highly competitive world.
Here are four signs why focusing on “buy my product” is making you look desperate.
Listen To The Article
Not Delivering Value
One of the biggest signs I see are companies communicating the exact features, benefits, and messaging points as their competitors, with no unique value. They fall into the trap of believing that they are different because they had, at one point in time, a surge of sales that has since slowed. Consumers have more choices than ever before for how to spend their time and money.
Unfortunately, there are many CEOs that believe an amateur can drive aggressive $20M growth goals instead of investing in brand marketing and strategy. Defining your brand’s strategy is not a “nice-to-have.” If you don’t take the time to define your brand strategy—understanding why consumers should buy from you and what unique value you provide them—you’ll lose them. Here is a guide on how to create a value proposition that’s valuable.
Do you find your marketing team being reactive? For example, is your marketing team being hit with a ton of questions from within your organization like, “let’s send out an email this week promoting that we are back in stock,” or “we should send a holiday email with a discount across our entire portfolio.” And then when the marketing team constantly accommodates all of these requests, do you find your messaging is all over the place or—even worse—it’s lacking consumer engagement?
Results don’t come from being reactive. The “here, we have this widget, find us leads” mentality kills growth opportunities. Reactive marketing never works. When you don’t have a clear brand message, this creates havoc with your internal and external teams as you haven’t succinctly communicated who you are, what you do, and why you are different. Check out my article on how to create a clear brand messaging.
Lack Of Focus
Focus is one of the hardest things to communicate to entrepreneurs who try to cast a wide net to see what sticks in order to make their brand more appealing. Unfortunately, it’s all about ruthlessly prioritizing. Prioritizing your target audience. Prioritizing your marketing actions. Prioritizing your time.
- Prioritize Your Target Audience: It seems logical to want to sell to as many customers as possible. Unfortunately, 80% of consumers don’t think brands understand them as a person. The power of your brand relies on your ability to be focused. Take the time to identify your ideal target audience (check out my article on how to identify a target audience/market segmentation) to strengthen your brand and transform your business.
- Prioritize Your Marketing Actions: I’ve worked for start-ups that have invested heavily in a number of different marketing platforms but weren’t seeing a return on their investment. They were busy executing but hadn’t defined their strategy or KPIs. Having a strategic marketing plan will help you focus on what to do and what not to do with limited resources.
- Prioritize Your Time: Adobe Workfront found marketers spend less than 20% of their time on high-value work. They use the other 80% on tasks like meetings, administration, and responding to emails which can negatively impact your strategic growth plans.
Discounting may seem like a good way to increase your sales. However, it actually hurts your brand in the long run. When you discount, you are shifting the focus from your brand and placing it on the price. Right now, discounting is all over e-commerce because it’s easy to do, not because it’s the right strategy to convert consumers. Consumers become conditioned to buy your brand only when it’s on sale. And when they do buy, they buy enough to last until the next sale. When you engage in continuous discounting, consumers become laser-focused on price vs. the key differentiators of your product, losing out on any emotional attachment to your brand (check out my article on emotional branding). They are also much more likely to switch to another brand based on price.
As you evaluate your pricing strategy, be strategic about your discounts, measuring their ongoing effectiveness and impact on your brand.
In summary, beware of these four signs: not delivering value, reactive marketing, lack of focus, and continuous discounting which can lead to “buy my product” desperation. When you invest the time in your brand, your business will reap benefits. Until next time, keep building your brand leadership. You’ve got this!