Is it time for a BRAND new You? The first 5 steps!
One of the areas I see current job seekers struggling with is the notion of Personal Branding. Yes, it’s probably becoming a little cliched at this point, but at the same time, it is also essential in today’s job market- How else can you stand out in the most overcrowded job market in decades? So, in an attempt to help break this concept down into very concrete steps, I have come up with 10 steps to branding yourself? I start out with five today, and will followup up with the next five. I want you to give these all a little (if not a lot) of thought! and let me know what you think, and where you realize there is room for improvement.
1. Assess yourself. Take the time to identify what’s unique to you—for example, your strengths, skills, values, passion and style. It’s not as hard as you think, either—to know yourself is to brand yourself! Assess what these things are. What events have shaped or changed your life? What’s your true passion? What makes you special and interesting? How have you overcome challenges? What kind of effect have you had on others and your surroundings? But most of all, how can you use your passion to make a difference, in whatever it is that you set out to do.
2. Brand your resume – Most resumes I see are generic laundry lists of duties that have been assigned. What does that say about you? Not much. Throughout your resume, there should be words and phrases that tell the story of you doing what you love. The best way to do this is to track your accomplishments, reached goals & challenges overcome —jot them down in a notepad or type them in a simple Word document. When the time comes to update your resume, review your written accomplishments and add them to your resume in a concise, colorful way, and if you get stuck, reach out for help! (Seth Godin has an interesting, if not controversial view about resumes in an older blogpost called “Why Bother Having a Resume?” http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2008/03/why-bother-havi.html- Definitely good food for thought)
3. Brand your emails. Do you have a signature at the end of your email? I’m constantly amazed at the number of people who waste valuable advertising real estate at the bottom of their emails! Never mind the folly of having no contact information at the bottom of their email—but what about all that FREE advertising space to let people know what you do & what you can do for them? If you have a LinkedIn profile (a rhetorical question at this stage, I hope), why isn’t your LinkedIn button–or at minimum, your URL–there so that someone can instantly access your profile and get to know everything about you?
4. Brand your volunteering. A recent client of mine, Cheri, didn’t just go to her volunteering site and wait to be told what to do. She was a proactive diva— suggesting new projects, and regularly coming up with alternative ways to do things. Another client, Leslie, a docent at Carnegie Hall, had years of experience helping her company save money. In her volunteer capacity, she has kept her eyes open for various ways that Carnegie Hall’s decision makers could improve their bottom line. Both of these women have made themselves known as insightful, proactive and creative professionals that have a lot more to offer than what meets the eye.
5. Brand your networking endeavors. What type of networker are you? As intimidating as it may seem, you can’t afford to be a reluctant one any more, so here’s a way to embrace this daunting activity: Start out by asking questions and instead of focusing on yourself, focus on the other person. Become a giver first, not just a receiver. Give some real thought to what you can do to help this person, or what resources you may be able to pass on. That way, you forget about the oh-so-counterproductive (and ultimately disappointing) “what’s in for me” mentality. Another reason focusing on others is so important: Not only will you start to develop a relationship with the person you’re helping, but you never know what might valuable piece of information that person may pass on to you. So the next time you’re mustering up the motivation to attend a networking event, stride into the room with an updated attitude and goal: To help as many people that you meet as possible. Wouldn’t you like to be remembered as someone who is out there, giving? Your turn to be on the receiving end won’t be far off!
Could you be making a few changes in the way that you present yourself to the world? Share your thoughts here. Also, if you tweet, Feel free to share this article on Twitter, and if you don’t tweet yet.. Then its time you gave it a second glance.. There is a lot going on there!.. follow me on twitter @careerfolk.
For the next 5 1/2 steps to Personal Branding click here