5 Steps to Personal Branding Nirvana in Your Job Search
(as Featured in Chris Perry’s book series, “LaunchPad”)
Personal Branding is the hot catch phrase at the moment, and for good reason.
Ever see that 80′s movie with Jeff Bridges called ‘Tucker: The Man and His Dreams’?
He wanted to build a new car to compete with Detroit. Tucker’s dilemma is every new business’ challenge: “Chicken or the egg. Which came first?” He needed to sell dealership rights to get the money that he needed to build his car. No one was interested in buying dealership rights for a car that didn’t exist yet. But Tucker made an interesting observation one day in searching for the solution. He knew that people believed what they could see, but his moment of clarity happened when he first realized that people believed whatever they read in the newspaper. “If it’s in the newspaper, it must be true.” You guessed it. A gorgeous color drawing of the family around their new car, splashed across a two-page spread in the papers, and dealership sales took off.
It’s human nature, it belongs to us all, so by all means use it, just don’t abuse it. People will essentially believe what they see. So, at last you spot that job for which you’ve been waiting. Personal Branding for Your Job Search will help you get in there, and help you to more effectively compete for that dream job.
1. Decide Who You Are
Are you the very best person for this position? Great. Just convince the hiring manager that, “It’s the best business decision that he/she will make that day, should they choose to hire you for the role.” If you can effectively answer that simple question, you understand who you are. If you are not quite there yet, then go back and review all of your reasons why you are better than the very best candidate that you can imagine for the role.
2. You Are a Product Too.
When a company chooses to hire you, they’re really buying a product, and that product is you! Think about something that you desire. It could be that 52 inch TV, and iphone, a great pair of shoes or your favorite cafe’s homemade slice of pie. Think about that desire for that hot product and how it feels. You need to create that desire surrounding your presentation of all of the reasons that answer that all important ‘best business’ question. Now, you are ready to go and convince that hiring manager.
3. Wrap Yourself in Your Sunday Best.
If you want to be the sharpest candidate for the position, your visual has to match that sharpness. It really is true: you get just that one chance to make a first impression. Do you want this dream job? Then look like a million bucks. Perfectly groomed, hair, nails and those wild nose hairs too. Shoes polished, sharp business suit (mens/womens business suit) -regardless of what you would normally be wearing day to day if you were to be hired for the position. This is your chance, so, look like the success you are.
4. Have Your Marketing Materials Ready.
I have marketing materials? Part of good personal branding, is to control every possible aspect of your public presentation of yourself. That’s the best way, in addition to being a great contributor for your current employer, to control and guide others’ perception of your value. Your marketing materials for your Job Search include having a proper business card, even when unemployed. Your business card can be as simple as your name, email address and phone number(s), but you should also consider including a short positioning statement about yourself, rather than a specific title that you may have held in the past. Now, take that idea of the brand that you have just developed, and carry it over to the look of your resume, your letterhead on which your cover letter will be printed, onto the envelope that you will use for any physical correspondence, and into your ‘signature block’ within your email program. Each of these areas should extend and support your desired perception of your personal brand. Have presentation materials to share in your interview meetings? Great, make sure that you carry your brand look across everything that you present which represents you.
5. Showcase Yourself to the World.
Now, get up on your soap box. In our business lives, everyone has at least one soapbox, and that’s your LinkedIn profile. Your LinkedIn profile should be your own fully developed and branded ‘sales brochure’ that helps build your credibility and your reputation. Will your profile add to, or take away from others’ perceptions about you? And will it show your true value and get you noticed? That may be the difference in being considered for your next business or career opportunity and getting that next meeting or interview -or going unnoticed.
There are many aspects which we can focus on when looking to develop or further our personal branding, but these five simple points are the most critical areas, that in the shortest amount of time, can have the greatest effect on our Job Search success.
Author, Career Coach & Speaker
on Job Search and Career Management
© John Crant
As seen and quoted in The Wall Street Journal, on FINS.com, on CareerBuilder’s CBsalary.com, on The Ladders, in The New York Post, The Huffington Post, in Essence magazine, in CRAIN’S New York Business, on Forbes.com, in amNY, and on CNN, BBC, FOX News, Arise TV – John shares the answers and the concrete steps for success in Job Search.
John is a Featured Speaker at The New York Public Library’s JOB SEARCH CENTRAL, as well as at the YMCA in New York City, and is a Social Media expert for Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Program.
He speaks at Corporate Events, works with Workforce Development organizations, and teaches both students and alumni with this Self-Recruiter® Series for Colleges and Universities.
Changing the Rules: How to Be Your Own Recruiter &
Ride the Economic Crisis to Your Next Career Challenge.
© 2009 John Crant
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