This article is part of an ongoing series of guest articles by James Fitzsimons, Director of Elevate Career Advice. Make the next step in your career count – visit Elevatecareeradvice.com.
“Brand You” is what you bring to the table. It is your education, skillset, personality, work ethic, work experience and more. You need to know this before you go anywhere near a job application or interview.
One of the many questions you might ask yourself while you are on the job hunt is, how can I make myself stand out from other people applying for the same job? How can I win the company over and show them that I am the best choice out of all the applicants? Elevate Career Advice has the answer and that answer is called selling “Brand You”.
What most people don’t realize is that the employment/recruitment market is all about the human touch. It’s about that one answer that the interviewer just cannot forget.
You need to let your own personality shine through every part of the application and interview process. If you can sell your own ‘brand’ to the potential company and they hire you, it shows that you can sell anything for them. Selling “Brand You” is all about being able to promote yourself to a potential employer, company and/or recruiter.
There are 6 steps Elevate Career Advice recommends you follow in order to be sure that you are selling “Brand you” in the right and most effective way:
Step 1: Identify Your Core Values and Skills:
This first, and very important step, is all about self-discovery. To sell “brand you”, you need to know what “brand you” is in the first place. To do this you have to:
Identify what you are willing to do and not do. If you like where you live, you may not be willing to relocate or if you have a family with young kids, you may not be able nor willing to work at weekends.
From here, carve out what your values are. This is all about figuring out what is most important to your lifestyle. For example, is it having a large salary, being able to travel or having the opportunity to meet new people.
Then shift to looking at what your attributes are. Decipher your constant and core personality traits in both your professional and personal lives. For example, consider if you are the type of person who can work in a team or do you work best alone? Are you a fast or a slow learner?
Consider what your achievements and skills are. Write out a list of all your skills, achievements and certificates that you have accumulated over your lifetime. These can range from operating a coffee machine from your Barista days right up to managing a team in a Fortune 500 company.
This will help you to plan out your unforgettable elevator pitch and increase your chances of being hired.
Step 2: Getting External Opinions
An important part of defining “brand you” is looking to the people you know around you, whom you admire and getting their input. An external opinion will give you a non-biased and different perspective on you and what the strengths and weakness of your character are.
Ask a family member, friend, a professional or colleague who you trust to give you honest and helpful feedback. They should understand your professional and personal strengths and weaknesses and should be able to give you recommendations on the best way to present them to an outside party.
Step 3: Identify Your Transferable Skills
Remember that list you wrote out of your skills from earlier? Re-open it and start analysing which of these skills can transfer across from one industry to another. The ability to identify and articulate how your skills can be an asset to the potential company is key to making yourself seem like the strongest and most able candidate.
For example, if you wrote flexibility and adaptability down, make sure you have anecdotes where you show those skills and make sure the story is applicable to the line of work you are applying to.
Step 4: Your CV
The CV/ Resumé is often an employer’s first point of contact with you during the recruitment process and creates the first impression of you. Bearing this in mind, it is important to make sure that your CV showcases exactly who you are and what you are about so that it helps to sell “brand you”. It should have your passions, interests, work experience and skills on it, laid out clearly and in the most persuasive manner.
After reading it, the potential recruiter/employer should be able to tell exactly what type of person and worker you are. Also make sure your CV is reflective of not only your own brand but also of the industry you are applying to.
Step 5: Social Media Footprint
Another important part of selling “brand you” is to make sure that your online presence matches your brand. Make sure that all the information across your CV, cover letter, job applications and social media profiles is consistent. Before you start your applications make sure that your professional profiles, such as LinkedIn, are up-to-date. Much like a CV, make sure that the information on it represents who you are in the best light possible.
Make sure you include examples of your previous work or something from your portfolio on your profile in the ‘featured’ category to ensure that you and your work stands out. Also, be sure that your profile picture is a business-like picture of you and that the cover banner on your profile is also reflective of you and your personality. Once you are happy with your profile, make sure you use your network efficiently.
As suggested by the Networking Institute make sure you connect with people, not only who you know but also try and connect with new contacts on LinkedIn. These people might be able to help you to prepare for your job application, could work in the company you are hoping to join or could be an expert in the industry you are applying to. These connections can give you a stronger idea of how to present yourself in the best way possible.
Step 6: Interview Preparation
The final step is to take all you have done above and make sure you can articulate it in a clear and impressive manner, keeping in mind that you may be asked about “brand you” in a pressured environment such as an interview. A lot of the time the interview will be the first time you meet your potential employers face to face and so is the biggest opportunity you will have to sell “brand you”.
No matter if you are a graduate or at C-Suite Level, Elevate Career Advice recommends a minimum of 4-6 hours of preparation for a job interview. This preparation might include research on the company, research on the people who work there, research on the person who is interviewing you as well as practicing answering interview questions. Do all this and there is no doubt that you will be able to sell “brand you”!
More more career advice and tips visit Elevatecareeradvice.com.