Learn to stand out from the crowd and be successful in today’s job market.
How successful do you think entrepreneurs like Sir Richard Branson and Donald Trump would be if nobody knew who they were? Whenever Trump or Branson has launched a new business, they haven't just promoted the business; they have been right in there promoting themselves. They know that to be successful, you have to brand yourself first—then all else will follow.
The same applies for job seekers. Imagine you are one of 10 brilliant marketing professionals or CEOs all applying for the same vacancy. You all have excellent qualifications and experience. Any one of you could do the job. How can you give yourself the edge over the competition?
By branding yourself.
If you want to get ahead in today's competitive job market, you can't afford to be one of the crowd. You can't afford to be modest and discreet. You have to get out there and blow your horn. You want people to say, "Oh, Jane Doe, I've heard of her. She's that CEO! We should speak to her." Establish yourself as the expert and then, when you land the interview, prove it.
This is the power of personal branding—identifying your unique promise of value.
Utilize the power of the internet. In addition to posting your resume on job sites, join forums and online groups that include people with similar interests and career objectives. Don't underestimate the value of social networking. Consider blogging to display your expertise. Use LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter to establish your brand online. These all look great on a resume and help establish your brand and credibility.
Use your brand in your online signature. What's your brand catchphrase? What distinguishes you from other marketing professionals? Perhaps you are establishing yourself as a marketing professional who thinks ahead. If so, your signature could read:
Designing Marketing Campaigns for the Future
Don't be afraid to tap into your network. As a job seeker, one of your most valuable assets is credibility. If people don't trust you, it doesn't matter how impressive your resume is; they will be hesitant to hire you. Make sure you have excellent references and testimonials. If you know people who know people you want to know, ask them to introduce or put in a good word for you. The power of this type of credibility will open doors.
Don't sell yourself short. Sell your brand first, and success will be yours.
Marshall Brown is president of Marshall Brown & Associates, Washington, DC, and a certified career and executive coach. Email: [email protected]