Wednesday, August 22, 2012

A Personal Branding Strategy for Your Career Search

By Vince Rogers

In this turbulent economy, companies still face the challenge of maximizing productivity.  Essential to achieving that mission is making cost effective, purchase decisions that add value to the “bottom line”. Effective managers must maximize return on investment from every resource – especially human resources. Therefore, making excellent hiring decisions is critical to achieving the success of an organization.

The goal of employers in today’s job market is to find the “ideal” candidate for every job opening. Facing a “lean” job market, the goal of every jobseeker should be to present themselves as the ideal candidate for a specific career opportunity.  From the employer’s perspective, finding the right person for a job is not just a hiring decision – it is also a purchase decision. Therefore, it is imperative that you package yourself in a way that makes you more attractive than all of the other “products” available in the marketplace.

Employers want to know more than whether you can simply do the job. It is also necessary that you can align with the mission, values and philosophy of the company. Are you an Experienced I.T. Professional or a Technology Industry Change Agent? Different organizations may require or desire one or the other. However if you’re not the right fit for the specific opportunity you’re applying for, the savvy hiring manager will know. Most importantly, you don’t want to waste your time applying for one position, if you are really better suited to another one that is available elsewhere. Many unfocused jobseekers apply over and over again for positions that they’re not suited for, expecting to sneak in the back door. Well here’s an important newsflash – savvy employers aren’t “buying it”.

It is essential that you identify and effectively communicate your Brand Promise. This is your statement or statements that combine what you are, with what you can deliver to the company. Anybody can say “I am a hard working professional who has produced quality results” and many people make such generic statements all of the time. My advice is that you go in another direction. I would suggest something more like: “I am a Technology Industry Change Agent who works well with teams and independently, to solve complex problems and maximize the productivity of a dynamic I.T. Department.”  This type of Brand Promise distinguishes your uniqueness and establishes the value you will bring to the organization.

In addition to creating a customized resume and cover letter for each position, you should also be prepared to make a full presentation of your entire Career Portfolio. Written letters of recommendation; copies of awards and certificates as well as documentation of academic achievements should be made available upon the request of the prospective employer. All of these items can be compiled into a “Brag Book” A “Brag Book” is a binder or folder containing documentation of your academic and career accomplishments that you can present to a job interviewer. It effectively serves the same presentation function as a businesses portfolio, which one company would provide to another in a Business to Business or “B2B” setting.

In the final analysis, an individual must undertake many of the same steps to get their next job as a business does in order to get their next client. So just like a businessperson, you should also create a business card and start actively networking. Although “Job Boards”, social and professional networking sites and even blogging are great outlets for showcasing your personal brand, most new career opportunities are discovered through “face-to-face” Networking. Nevertheless, whether it is online or in person, utilizing the aforementioned strategies will set you apart from the competition in the execution of an effective personal branding strategy for career success.

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Best Franchise to Buy said...

Greetings! Very helpful advice in this particular post! It is the little changes that produce the biggest changes. Thanks for sharing!

Mark Sampson said...

Good advice for branding strategy!