Learn To Brand Yourself For Better
Nicolaides © 2001 All Rights Reserved
After the feverish storm of abundant
jobs and wealth, corporate America has started seeing and feeling the negative
sense of what almost always follows "boom times" - a recession.
Companies of all sizes are laying people off. So how do you make yourself more
appealing to recruiters when everyone is clamoring for a job?
The same way corporations make
themselves appealing to customers.
They basically controlled the way their
products and services were perceived. Once the perception was set, customers
would align themselves with the product they thought would meet their needs or
fulfill their wants. Does it work for individuals? Powerfully so!
Right now, how would your future
employer perceive you? Ask a few good friends or former coworkers - friends you
can trust to tell you the truth - how you are perceived in a working
environment. Find out what they feel are your strengths, unique qualities and
weaknesses. Then ask yourself this question, " Is this the type of person I
want to be perceived as?" From here, you can create a brand that will
better your chances at successfully landing a new job.
So what exactly is a brand? In basic
terms, your personal brand tells potential employers who you are, what you stand
for and why they need you. The beauty of the branding process is that once you
are clear about YOU and what YOU really want- then you will innately know the
jobs and companies that you will be an excellent match with.
The following questions will help you
through the process of creating your own personal brand:
1. What are your natural gifts? What
do people praise you for? Is it your ability to fix things or organize events?
What comes completely naturally to you? How do you use this gift with your
present (or last) job? How can you show a potential employer that this natural
talent is to their benefit?
2. What is your current knowledge? List
all the material that you've learned since college. Do you hold a specialized
degree? What associations or boards have you chaired? What training courses
(such as Dale Carnegie) have you successfully completed?
3. What are your personal values? What
values are important to you? Which values do you live by? One of my values is
freedom. Try to lock me in a cubicle and you see what happens! Without freedom,
I lose my motivation, and therefore am unable to motivate my team. If you
identify your own values you will target only companies that share and honor
your values, thus creating a better combination of employer/employee. Do you
value money, creativity, teamwork, freedom, kindness? Bring those things out so
that the people who need you see those special qualities.
4. What are your attributes? Attributes
in the professional world are the things that characterize you in your working
environment. These can include being dependable, organized, a team player, a
people person, etc. Attributes are very important and employers often look for
these things before they review your experience. Why? Because your attributes
give them clues as to who you really are and what you can do for them.
5. What are your passions? What
do you love to do? As you do this exercise, it is possible that your values may
overlap with your passions. This is a strong indication that you need to fulfill
this type of activity in your job. Things that come naturally to us normally
need to be pursued in order to prevent burnout. Smart employers understand that
finding a person that is passionate about their work is rare. You will be valued
for your natural abilities.
6. Are you a specialist? If you
are not then aspire to become a specialist in what you do. Why? Your
"worth" increases. A specialist can - if need be - perform routine
duties. However, a routine employee cannot function as a specialist without
7. Draft a compelling brand
description. Create a paragraph or two that highlights your core values,
passions, natural talents, attributes and knowledge; and that emphasizes your
8. Create a tagline. This could
be called your "objective". Using the paragraphs above, write, in one
or two sentences, what you want to project to future employers. Perhaps it could
be something like this:
executive coach who specializes in transitional coaching and offers a passion
for bringing out the best in others. Results-oriented attitude that persists
until the goals are met."
It will most likely take several
revisions before the "perfect" branding message comes across. Once you
get the essence of you down to a few sentences, carry that message throughout
the rest of your resume. Reinforce your experiences, education and other
sections with the message that your branding tagline first mentioned.
By discovering who you truly are, and
how you want to be perceived, you will be well on your way to creating an image
on paper that will make you recession proof - and will result in a more
effective job search.
Carole is President of Intentional
Success Coaching offering Personal Success Coaching, Marketing, Business
Planning & Internet Success Consulting. For information about her free
newsletter and coaching session, visit her web site at http://www.intentionalsuccess.com.