Packaging is Key in an FMCG Job Search

When you are on the shelf next to a rival product, how you package yourself can make all the difference when the customer is making their purchasing decision.

FMCG companies understand that packaging is often crucial in tempting someone to pick up something that they have maybe not bought before. Once you have experienced it, that memory will remain at the front of your mind, but in order to get past that initial purchase, the packaging has to draw someone in, while remaining functional and informative.

When you are a candidate looking for a role, how you package yourself is equally important. This is particularly true for junior candidates with limited relevant experience.   

It used to be that the CV was the only tool in a candidate’s job search armoury, but now social media is offering so many different ways for candidates to present themselves. They can write a couple of blogs to complement their LinkedIn profile, they can share their passion for their industry on Instagram or get involved in conversations with their favourite brands on Twitter. Their online activity is their packaging – in the age of Big Data it is ever easier for a hiring company to build a profile of what makes them tick.

It is one thing being able to market yourself, deciding how to do it is another thing entirely.

The first thing to realise is that packaging is essential.

Some people are of the opinion that “doing a good job” should speak for itself, but they fail to realise that they first need to get in front of a potential employer in order to tell that story. In a world where ATS machines are (not always successfully) scanning CVs for keywords, having that little bit of extra colour to your job application is ensuring that the right people get into that room. It certainly helps a recruiter to plead the case of a candidate if we can point to their monthly blog or twitter account.

When a candidate is well packaged on social media, their application is so much more rounded. I am not suggesting that they should have thousands of followers and they don’t even need to come up with their own original content. A couple of thoughtfully curated posts every week should do it, along with a decent amount of industry-related connections. The choice of what they share and how they interact will say more about the sort of person that they are than the carefully chosen adjectives on their CV.

Some say that certain packaging tends to mask what is actually inside, but as long as people are authentic in what they do on social, it is hard to see how it can’t be of benefit to their future employer. They will spend time checking a candidate out, just as a customer browses in a shop. There will always be a choice between candidates, and the candidate who has the poorer “packaging” genuinely risks leaving a negative impression.

If you are thinking about changing jobs during the next year, are you sure that your packaging gives off the best impression?