Career Branding: Market Yourself

April 20, 2017

Self-marketing is more than selling your skills. Everyone has skills. Skills get you in a door but do not necessarily get you the job. Potential employers will appreciate career branding efforts.

 

Goals of Career Branding:

  • Networking 

  • Identifying transferable skills and industries transferable skills may fit into.

  •  Resolving possible setbacks (Resume, Education...)

Questions to ask yourself before you get started:

  • What are you going to market about yourself?

  • Who are you going to market to?

  • Why are going to market yourself to them?

 

Getting started --

 

Journal:

A journal will assist with career branding and remembering the following details.

  1. Who, what where when and how(s) of your contact(s)

  2. Lessons learned

  3. Preparation for job performance reviews

  4. Career goals

  5. Job interview questions

  6. Personal mission statement and slogan

  7. Checklists

 

Market Research:

Understand trends in your career field and up your business acumen. Consult resources such as the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Outlook Handbook. Interview industry professionals. Study the companies you would like to work for.

 

4 P's of Marketing:

The 4 P's (Product, Promotion, Place and Price) are also known as a marketing mix and can be applied to your career search.

 

Product

You are the product with unique characteristics and skills. Let potential employers know your work experience, leadership experience, professional memberships, technical skills, education and training.

Make sure your on-line marketing tools (i.e., Facebook or MySpace) are cleaned up and employer ready. You do not want a potential employer to see something on your personal networking sites that will land you in trouble.

Do not forget "packaging", to properly present yourself and your credentials to potential employers.

Promotion
This is your cover letter, resume, phone calls, correspondence and interviewing. Promotion tools include anything that you can use to get a job interview and ultimately get a job offer.

Be memorable by utilizing multimedia marketing like email, follow-up phone calls, or try using regular priority mail envelopes to send resumes, cover letters and other "marketing materials". This increases your career brand and distinctiveness.

Place
This includes everywhere employers can access you. How are you reaching employers or people who can connect you with employers?


1. Internet job-searching and applying to job postings
2. Cold calling
3. Networking with current and former coworkers, colleagues and alumni
4. Speaking with recruiters at staffing and employment agencies and company HR departments
5. Visiting your university career centers and alumni offices
6. Attending professional association meetings and seminars

Price
What is your price? Price includes all aspects of the compensation you can receive from potential employers, as well as your strategies to get the price you want, and that the employer feels you deserve. Your price not only includes salary, but also insurance, benefits, paid time off and perks.

 

Self-Analysis:

Career planning takes self-analysis. Examine your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.

 

Strengths
Internal, positive aspects which you can capitalize upon, such as:
1. Work experience
2. Education
3. Technical skills and knowledge (e.g., computer skills)
4. Personal characteristics (e.g., superior work ethic)
5. Strong network of contacts
6. Involvement with professional associations and organizations
7. Enjoying what you do

Weaknesses
Internal, negative aspects that you plan on improving, such as:
1. Lack of work experience
2. Inconsistent major with the job you are looking for
3. Lack of specific job knowledge
4. Weak technical knowledge
5. Weak skills (leadership, interpersonal, communication, teamwork)
6. Weak job-hunting skills
7. Negative personal characteristics (e.g., no motivation, indecisiveness, shyness)
8. Weaknesses identified in past performance appraisals

Opportunities
External, positive conditions out of your control, but you plan to leverage or add value:
1. Field trends that create more jobs (e.g., globalization, technology)
2. Field needs your set of skills
3. Opportunities for advancement in your field
4. Location
5. Strong network

Threats
External, negative conditions out of your control, but you may be able to overcome:
1. Field trends* that diminish jobs (e.g., downsizing, obsolescence)
2. Companies are not hiring people with your major/degree
3. Competition from college graduates with your same degree
4. Competitors with superior skills, experience or knowledge
5. Competitors who attended better schools
6. Limited advancement in your field (too competitive)
7. Limited professional development in your field
8. Find hiring/employment trends in your field. Go on-line to ABI/INFORM, Business News Bank, and Lexis/Nexis.

 

Elevator Speech:

Be ready to deliver a 15 second speech about yourself. Below are some topics to consider including. 

 

1. A greeting
2. Your name
3. Your industry or field
4. Accomplishments, background, qualifications and skills
5. If you are graduating soon, what school and what degree
6. What you want to do and why
7. Why you enjoy what you do or want to do
8. What interests you about the listener's company/business
9. What sets you apart from others

 

Finally, capture interest and request action.


At a career fair: "May I have your business card, and give you my card and resume? Can you add me to your company's interview schedule?"

 

Networking: "What advice do you have for me? What employers do you suggest I contact?"

 

On a cold call: "When can we meet to discuss how I can help your company? May I send you my resume?"

 

Put as much time and effort in yourself as you expect an employer to put in you. Good luck on your search and call EHD Tech to assist you with your staffing needs at 615-953-1907. 

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