Branding is not a concept solely relegated to large companies; creating your “personal brand” showcases a snapshot of who you are to a potential employer. This is incredibly important in your job search to create an immediate impression that will then allow for further dialogue. Mary Eileen Williams, author of ‘Land the Job You Love” says, “There is no way around it: To land a job today, you have to consider yourself a product to be sold in the marketplace. Successful products require successful branding”.
Create your Logo:
The first thing to consider is your “packaging” both online and offline (i.e. during an interview). Your LinkedIn, Twitter and all other social media platforms should include a clear, in-focus headshot of yourself that is your consistent profile picture. Don’t make the mistake of having your normally professional in-person appearance contradicted by a cropped amateur photo from a weekend getaway. Consider this photo your logo, placing the same focus any brand or company would on this key branding tool.
Research Your Audience:
When a brand or new products is preparing to launch, one of the first steps in determining potential consumers is through research. Meg Guiseppi of Job hunt explains, “Before you can define your brand and create content for your resume, you need to know who you’re targeting . . . who will be reading your resume. You’ll need to decide what kind of job you’ll be seeking, compile a list of companies you want to work for, research their current challenges and needs, and determine how you can help them meet those challenges”. Essentially, who is your “customer” and what should you be selling them? This will allow you to highlight key experiences, how you might fit in with a potential employer’s culture and work history that will most appeal to them.
allBusiness says, “A recent CareerBuilder.com survey found the majority of hiring managers plan to fill new positions in 30 days or less this year, with one-third planning to fill them in 14 days or less. These managers want to move fast to meet deadlines and quotas. To stand out from other candidates, you have to leverage your knowledge of the prospective employer and deliver a clear, concise message that leaves a lasting impression”.
Market Your Brand:
You’ve created your logo, you’ve researched your audience, now you need to actually promote you brand. Just like any great product, it can’t go far without some marketing and advertising. Network, invest in business cards that you consistently give out and use social media to demonstrate you expertise. Sean Harry also suggests developing a concise “elevator pitch” where you, “give just enough information to make people want to ask you to tell them more. Don’t focus on your past, instead focus on your future. Nobody cares you have 15 years experience in micro-processors. They want to know what you can do for THEM now! Be memorable, but not flippant or “cutesy.” Lastly, rehearse it at least 100 times out loud BEFORE you use it in a group. You want it to be polished, but not too formulaic”.
What strategies do you use in creating your personal brand? Comment below or tweet us @paragonsearch. We will update this article and feature some of the top responses.