Make Your Mark with Your Own Career Brand
Author: Integrity Career Transitions
When the going gets tough, the tough get…creative. With over 11 million people in the country now out of work and the unemployment rate up to over 9%, competition in the job market is getting hotter than ever.
Gone are the days when waiting for job advertisements to come up or visiting your local employment agency were enough. Jobseekers these days are having to be proactive in their campaign, and more than ever they are having to make sure that they stand out from the competition – or eliminate it altogether.
So, what is the answer? Does a guy or a gal have to don a clown costume or run amok with a pitchfork to get noticed these days? In short, no. There is an easier, and a more legal way, and it is called branding.
Branding is a marketing term which is all about deliberately and consciously creating an image that ‘customers’ can form an emotional attachment to. It is what gives them that warm, fuzzy feeling when they think about a particular product or service or company, and when it comes to the moment of choice, it is what ‘pre-sells’ one commodity over another. In the same way that BMW conjures up images of sleek style and remarkable performance, branding makes your name synonymous with the job that you want and the skills and qualities that a prospective employer needs.
Make no mistake, you have a brand image already, whether you realize it or not – it just might not be one that you are comfortable with. Put yourself in a prospective employer’s shoes – but do it honestly. What would you think of you? Do you see a guy who always does a good job and does it on time, or someone with a ‘can’t do’ attitude who is lacking in motivation? If it is the latter, then maybe now is the time to re-invent yourself.
Honest self-analysis is one of the keys to successful personal branding, and you can make a start on this by taking a good, hard look at your strengths and weaknesses. List your skills, qualifications and experience. Hone in on your positive personality traits. Consider the areas where there may be weaknesses, things that you can address and improve upon. Keep an image in the back of your mind of the person that you want a prospective employer to see when you walk in through the door, and make yourself that person.
Branding is not about eliminating the fun things, the quirkiness, from your personality. It is about recognizing and capitalizing on your marketable qualities, and about growing those qualities to make you even more desirable within the job market. It is about making a personal promise to a potential employer that will make him feel reassured and confident.
When you have a clearer idea of what it is that you want to project to the outside world, verbalize it. Create your own branding statement – a short, succinct statement that sums up what you are best at and what your unique promise of value to an employer is. This is not merely a job title, but a statement that sums up your skills, your abilities and your uniqueness.
Once you have done this, put your branding statement absolutely everywhere – on your business cards, website, blog, Facebook account and anywhere else you can think of. Make your brand part of every offline and online interaction that you have. Research the market and the industry you want to be in, identify potential employers and network your way into the job you want. With a strong brand that not only promises, but delivers, your reputation will precede you and open the doors to that inner sanctum, the ‘hidden’ market.
Created your brand already? What is your promise of value to a potential employer or your killer branding statement?
About the Author:
Integrity Career Transitions
www.integritycareertransitions.com750 South Shipyard Drive, Suite 300, Wilmington, Delaware 19801
Toll Free: 1-302-442-4100 Tel. No.: (302) 504-9960