Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Rethink Personal Branding to Land the Job

You have probably heard about the importance of personal branding in the job search process. However the term branding - which is defined as making an indelible mark or impression on somebody or something - can be a bit daunting or uncomfortable to some people. Instead, think of yourself as strategically positioning yourself in the job search market.

You may already be doing this without realizing you are doing it. For example, if you call yourself the "sales manager that trains and motivates their team to meet their goals, no matter the state of the economy" or the "IT professional that can speak in terms the end-user understands," then you are already strategically positioning yourself.

I have heard the job search process related to dating. The hiring process is about finding a match between two parties. While the money aspect of the job search is important, you must find the right employer, the right position, and the right environment where your skills and qualifications can be of use. Conversely, employers hire to fill a need or solve a problem. When you figure out the motivation or reason behind WHY they are trying to hire for a position you can be strategic in how you position yourself.

Here are some questions you can ask yourself to help develop your unique strategic positioning.

  • What is the Company’s Need? What specific problem are they trying to solve with this job? Are they trying to make money? Save money? Save time? Keep existing customers? Acquire new customers?
  • What are your Core Abilities? What special abilities do you possess that separate you from other candidates for this position?
  • What are your Values? What is your belief system (behavior and ethics) that is inherent to you? Does this set you apart?
  • What is your Connection to the Company’s Need? Do you possess something special that solves your target employer’s problem? 

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