In an arena where companies now have their choice of personnel, having a personal brand – especially one that meshes with the branding message of a company, can make all the difference about who gets hired, promoted or fired.
If you leverage these marketing techniques and package yourself to appeal to the targeted company and or key stakeholders, career success is certain.
1. Do A Deep Dive: You wouldn’t begin to create a marketing campaign without researching what matters to your target audience, would you? You wouldn’t plan a trip without a road map. Cook extravagant meal without a recipe. Take a final exam without studying. Well maybe you would, but you also know the results. You must be informed. Do your homework on the company you’re interviewing with and about the position you are seeking. Be sure you’ve garnered information on the company, the competitive landscape and the interviewer so you can effectively communicate and persuade them to select you over another candidate.
2. Do Sweat the Small Stuff: It may have been bothersome when your mother picked lint off your jacket when you still lived at home but I’m sure she never let you out of the house with a wrinkled shirt or un-pressed pants. Building a polished and professional image and brand takes effort and the care in the details quickly let’s an employer know that you won’t let things fall through the cracks.
3. It Isn’t an Interview…It’s a Daytime Date: Just because the lights aren’t dimmed and you’re not waiting to order drinks doesn’t mean you’re not on a date. An interview IS a date. It’s a chance for you and the interviewer to get to know each other better and if you don’t talk or ask questions, that won’t happen. Turn the interview into a conversation. Hopefully, being prepared and well versed on the company and the competitive playing field, you should have some questions to ask. This is as much an opportunity for you to decide if you like them as it is for them to decide if they like you.
4. Suit Up: Professional athletes suit up to play and win. They have their uniforms you have yours. An interview situation should be no different. You’re suiting up for one of the biggest competitions: the one for your job! So, “Suit Up”, literally. Remember this general rule, if you’d wear it out on the weekend, don’t wear it to work. The old saying “dress for the job you want” holds true Monday thru Friday – even once you have the job.
5. Know your Elevator Pitch: The premise is that you’ve stepped on the elevator and the CEO of your company, your manager or someone you’d like to work for is already inside. You have five floors to make an impression. Recall your research: start the conversation. Keep it about the company.
6. Build a Fan Base: There is a reason Cheerios and Raisin Brand will always have a place on supermarket shelves. They’ve got fans. For the job seeker, begin by building relationships with people outside of your current business unit and begin to learn all areas of the company (sales, marketing, finance). This will help round out your knowledge of the company and provide insight into other potential career opportunities.
7. Adapt to Market Conditions: US Labor of Statistics predicts that every American worker will change “careers” – not jobs but careers – at least three times throughout the course of his or her professional life. It’s critical to one’s professional career, to project an image of being adaptable and flexible in any situation. If you’re going on interviews and not getting a call back, revisit your pitch. If you are currently working and getting passed over for promotions, take a step back and understand why.
8. Protect Your Personal Brand: It is essential to maintain and refine your brand on an ongoing basis. With social media outlets such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. becoming the trend, I caution individuals to be mindful of the implications to their professional career with inappropriate postings, content or graphics. Many companies are using these tools to review potential candidates. Why? Because they have invested a lot of time and money in building their corporate brands and want to ensure their employees reflect that image.
When the candidate pool is Olympic size, packaging your unique self is critical to career success. The above tips will get you there!