BUS 117 Fall 2018
Final Exam “Applying Advertising to the Job Search”
Due: 12/13/18, beginning of class! In this final exam, you will be exploring an important topic of interest: yourself. This exam is meant to be a look into you, specifically you as a working professional. Given that approximately 90% of the class is composed of seniors, your life after UCR is probably a very salient thought at this moment (even for those who are not seniors, the earlier you begin thinking about these issues, the more prepared you will be for the future). You will thus have the opportunity to explore yourself as a young professional, through the lens of advertising.
While the tendency is to cram for finals, I’m confident in saying that this is the one final where I’d encourage you to not cram the night before, and to take some time to think through the parts of this exam. As you put in more time, you’ll put yourself in a position to get a better grade, but more importantly, you’ll put yourself in a better position to do well in a very important aspect of your life.
Part I – The Application The first part of this final coincides with the first part of the job cycle – the application process. Many of you are currently sending out resumes to a wide number of jobs/grad schools at this very moment. Most likely, your application criteria was purely based on interest – if it sounded interesting, you applied. However, is that really the most optimal strategy? If you learned anything from this class, then you know the answer is no. 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. List 7-10 positions you’ve applied for/are interested in. If you haven’t applied for that many yet, then now’s the time to start looking at jobs you’d be interested in. If you’re not a senior, then use this as an opportunity to look at potential jobs/internships you would apply for in the future. If you already have a job, then this becomes more of a trip down memory lane– think back to the jobs you already applied to.
Step 2: Segmentation. Take a look at the positions you just listed. These positions are obviously not all the same. 1. How would you segment them? (e.g., industry, skills required, job duties, etc.) 2. Why did you choose to segment them in this way? For the purposes of this final exam, you don’t need to use the demographic, geographic, psychographic, or behavioral variables that we talked about (since they may be an awkward fit), but
you will need to come up with your own segmentation variable(s) nonetheless by which to categorize your list of jobs.
Step 3: Targeting. Now that you’ve segmented your list of jobs, read through the job postings once again. 1. Which segment are you planning to focus on? 2. Why did you choose to target this segment? A few possible things to consider as you think about why: Is this segment a good match for your skills? Are you interested in working in this field? Are you qualified for this specific line of work? Often, the reason why we struggle to find opportunities is because we haven’t answered this fundamental question of why.
Step 4: Positioning. Now that you have a segment of choice, how would you position yourself for that segment? 1. Write a positioning statement relating how you plan to position yourself as a professional, for your segment of interest. 2. Explain why you chose your unique value. 3. 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 segment is looking for? 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. It’s important to have a unique value, but it’s more important to have a unique value that your audience actually values!
Part II – The Interview
Now let’s assume you’ve applied to all the jobs in your target segment, and given that you’ve followed the principles of advertising, you received an interview for every job, natch. Now comes the second part – thinking about how to take what you’ve learned from Part I and apply it to the interview.
Step 5: Planning & Development. Before any interview, you should think about your skills and abilities. Do they tend to be hard skills (e.g., programming, coding, designing, etc.) or soft skills (e.g., communications, leadership, etc.)? What are you best at? Allow the answer to that question to guide your decision of what your major selling idea (MSI) is. 1. What’s your MSI? Explain how you arrived at your MSI. 2. Which of the three categories of MSI does it fall into line with? Explain why. This is the crux of what employers should know about you – think of this as your sales pitch to your target audience. Wendy’s MSI was that it had real beef, Apple’s was that it thought and acted differently, and Dos Equis’ was that it was more sophisticated and interesting than competitors.
To avoid any confusion between the positioning statement and MSI – remember the definitions of each. The positioning statement is a summary of how you are suited for the job in ways that other
applicants are not (what unique value do you provide that others don’t, and how do you do it?), while the major selling idea is the main thought you want the interviewer to have about you after the interview is over (e.g., “This applicant is really smart and hardworking,” “This applicant is really personable and friendly,” “This applicant is knowledgeable about different programs,” etc.).
Step 6: Implementation & Evaluation. 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. 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.
Answer each question below, relying on the execution technique shown in parenthesis. For each question, present the response you’d give to the interviewer and then explain how your response aligns with your major selling idea. 1. Why should we hire you? (Comparison) 2. Tell us a little bit about yourself. (Personality) 3. What are your greatest strengths? (Technical evidence) 4. Tell me about a time when you successfully handled a difficult situation at work/school/internship/club/etc. (Slice of life) If your execution aligns with your major selling idea, then you have a coherent story to tell!
At the end of the day, this final is an opportunity for you to think about an important part of your life, through the viewpoint of advertising. You may not all become advertisers, but you all can apply principles of advertising to guide your everyday life. This class is not just about the facts; it’s actually really about the principles of thought by which we can evaluate ourselves, others, and the world. And if you understand that, then you will have truly mastered this course.
5-8 pages, double-spaced, 1” margins, 12-point Times New Roman. Writing should be clear, articulate, and concise. As a note, 5-8 pages is a guideline; if you take a little more space, that’s f