How do you go from being a marketing specialist to writing a book about how to write the perfect CV and pitch yourself to future employers? When I spoke to Bill Faust on Friday, his answer was simply, you resign from a highly paid job you don’t like and talk to your big brother who had done exactly the same thing a month earlier and discuss how to apply marketing principles to getting the perfect role!
Bill is an expert in marketing. After studying Business Studies with Marketing in Bournemouth, he worked in the advertising industry for many years. He started out doing campaigns for advertising magazines before switching to the agency side working for the large global advertising companies. Prior to this he had worked in a so-called new media agency, what we now know as digital media.
His workplace has always been international. Bill has worked in London, Paris, New York City and Sydney, before coming back to settle in the UK again in the year 2000 as Marketing Director for GE Insurance Holdings. However, he admits, he did not enjoy the finance aspect included in his work there.
Bill left GE at the same time as his brother had resigned from the position of Head of Strategy for Dell EMEA. Both being in the world of marketing they discussed possible ways of how to market themselves. Michael (his brother and co-author of Pitch Yourself) wanted to know what employers thought of Bill’s CV and what he himself thought of it. Everyone liked it, Bill says, but he did not, as he felt his CV simply stated what he had done and where he had done it the past. It gave no information on who he was and how he did things thus giving no idea of how he would perform in the future based on previous activity.
He believes this information to be crucial when it comes to being recruited by an employer. “Fundamentally it’s what you are employed for. Your job is not the important part, it is how you do it and how you think about doing it. It is the way you think that differentiates you from every other person on this planet.
The brothers started changing their pitches and suddenly received many job offerings. A few head-hunters asked Bill which book had he found such good advice on writing CVs. “They come from a book that hasn’t been written yet and it’s by Bill and Michael Faust,” he answered.
Michael agreed to write it only if Bill found the publisher. Which he did in Pearsons the largest publisher in the world.
To get the publisher on board, the brothers used the same marketing principles they were writing about. They understood the customer. They understood his motivation and his needs. They were employed for the way they thought.
The publisher just wanted was to sell as many copies as possible to make money. And even more money is made when exporting and selling the publishing rights to other countries and cultures. Pitch Yourself offered this otherwise it would not now be available in 67 countries throughout the world.
Today, Bill works at many of the top universities and Business schools around the world, from Insead to Cranfield, Vlerick to Lancaster, MIT to Oxford and Warwick to QUT in Australia. He is asked to talk about his experiences and gives advice on the preparation one must do to put a personal marketing strategy together in order for you to be successful in securing the ideal role. He also works in the Far East as the region is an emerging and developing market. He currently does not work much in the US just a few select schools
This may soon change though, he says. HULT International Business School has asked him to give talks about pitching yourself in all of the five campuses, two of which are in the US.
The problem for most post-grads, he says, is to prove & evidence their competencies although they know they have them. “Most of the companies tell you on their website what they want to see, so prepare yourself!
You need to know:
It is all about understanding how you think as already mentioned it is how you think that differentiates you from everyone else on this planet.
Key is to know who you are selling yourself to and find that crucial synergy” Those are his tips.
Bill’s talk and book help you to do just that and enables you to build a personal marketing strategy including being able to understand you the product as like every successful campaign the seller must know every feature and be able to turn these into benefits for the buyer. Bill and Michael created the Career DNA Bank so you can do just this.
In the end, Bill reminds me that he is a Marketing guy and not a careers advisor. However, talking with him was inspiring and his expertise in marketing and abilities in presenting himself was very good additional careers advice for me.
Bill Faust is the co-author of Pitch Yourself and will also write a series of 12 articles for HGN. So, stay tuned for more!
By: Janika Collatz
HGN Features Journalist, London Campus
Photo Source: Bill Faust