In this post I'm going to look at the act of Self promotion in the sense of by doing this you can make yourself a very desirable product for employers. In this post I'll be focusing on the video games industry as an example.
First of all when looking for a job you need to first get bearings on where the best economical climate is for the industry that you want to enter, this is looking a geographical locations where your desired industry is either thriving or developing. For example today examples of these growing and sustaining locations are Vancouver, Montreal, Dundee and Malaysia (also various smaller clusters in central Europe). Consider you're current situation are you able to move to these places? Can you apply to these clusters with barriers such as language and culture?
Next with several locations in mind it's time to actively seek employment. Firstly keep up to date and well informed with studios and companies you wish to work for by either signing up to newsletters and such. Even keep up to date on the latest releases from a studio is useful information. You can also often find advertisements for thoose who are looking for new employees via ads in the back of game magazinbes such as Edge and Games tm, these are often a good source for finding out who's currently hiring, the same goes for websites aswell often Game developer wensites will have a business/jobs sections, it's always a good bet to try there. Finally Networking, this process of actually meeting people who work in the industry can be a little tricky especially if you don't know other creatives but the pay off is huge as the more social/networking events you go to the more these people will come to know you, this is extremely good for a small industry such as the video game industry, but it's currently growing at an exponetial rate so network might only work in local clusters, such as the ones mentioned earlier.
So you've applied to several different places so far and you've tried networking but you're still not getting any replies theres often some very simple explanations for this. The first is that your pitch isn't good enough, this can be elements such as your CV, opening letter or even your portfolio, in this case go back and review what you've got, adjusting it to improve it. Another possibility is that the studio/company you're applying to is too small and are too busy to reply, in this result keep everything short, highlight the best parts and really sell yourself, eg "I can make X better", whilst this a pretty bold move it'll definietly grab some attnetion as people will only hire you if you have something to contribute.
When applying always consider further oppertunities in the company, are you just there for a limited period or are you in it for the long haul? If you're in for the long haul consider potential promotions and actively make it know to you future emplyer that you're looking to grow insider the company and climb those ladders. Most importantly treat your future employers like equals, mutual respect for a person can do wonders.