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If you have been reading articles or listening to news reports about the job market, you are aware that you are in a tough job market and that you will have to do something to make yourself stand out from the rest of the crowd.
You realize that you are competing against the odds. The question is, “How can you make yourself stand out when there are so many other candidates looking at the same job?”
The answer is to “BRAND YOURSELF.”
What this means is you have to discover WHAT MAKES YOU UNIQUE.
Let’s assume that you have an outstanding resume and that you make it to the top of the stack of resumes of people to be called for an interview. You, and maybe nine or ten other equally qualified people for the position, that is.
Because companies have so many candidates to choose from they are interviewing more people so that they can select the “best.” When you are lucky enough to be invited to an interview it is essential that you be ready to sell yourself – to let the interviewer know what makes you unique – what makes you a “remembered” person — what added value you can bring to the position—in other words, why you are the best person for the job? Your goal is to leave behind an impression of your “brand.”
By doing some basic preparation, you can determine your uniqueness and where you should focus your attention to create your personalized branding. The first step in this process is to identify your five areas of strength. These strengths are the areas where you do very well. This will take some work and some thought on your part.
“What is your area of expertise?”
“What are your strengths?”
“What is your work ethic?”
“What would your co-workers or former bosses say about you?”
Think about previous performance appraisals – what was said/written about you?
In order to help you through this process here is Branding Exercise that will help you get started.
Use whatever application works best for you to do this exercise– paper/pencil, spreadsheet, word document – the point is to get it down in writing. (“Winging” it does not work when interviewing in this environment)
When you have identified your five unique areas, try your hand at writing yourself a “commercial” or statement about yourself, incorporating this information into your statement. This is where you “brand” yourself into a product that is better than the others; someone who leaves an impression behind.
What is the impression you want to leave behind? The guy who wore the funny looking tie? Or the woman who is known for her organizational skill and her ability to come in and bring order to chaos?
In summary, by narrowing your uniqueness – by branding yourself into these five basic points you can guide the conversation to include this information. By focusing on five areas of strength, you will become more focused and feel more confident and in turn become more “remembered.”