During a recent workshop I conducted for a group of young, up and coming marketing professionals I asked the participants to pick the one piece of advice they received about establishing a personal brand during their job search that they felt would help them the most, and I added my take to them.
Last week I gave you five responses to ponder, and this week I added five more:
6: Don’t envy the competition, get to know who they are and learn as much as you can from them
In business and in life nothing is totally new so look into the past so you can see what the future holds for you. Believe it or not there is as much opportunity around you as there is competition, so Step One is to stop feeling sorry for what you lack and start concentrating on the valuable contributions you can make. Just as I developed a thriving business by knowing what others in my field have to offer and where they fall short and leave room for improvement, so should you. In a job search this starts with your resume. It needs to accentuate the positive based on the employer’s standards of excellence, not yours. This will continue throughout the interviewing stage, during negotiations, and after you get the job and are looking to climb the ladder to the top. Competition drives some people to sink and some people to drink, but when it comes to the winner’s in this world competition drives them all the way to the highest heights and beyond.
7: Be accessible to people when they need you the most, rather than the other way around
I have a friend, Andy, who I don’t see or speak to as often as I did when we were younger and worked in the same field. But to this day, I know if I was stranded with a flat tire in a blizzard 30 miles from home at 1:30 AM all I’d have to do is make one phone call to Andy and he would be there ASAP to rescue me; and he’d have a hot thermos of coffee to boot. If you want to succeed in business and networking this is a role model to follow. There are a lot of ‘what have you done for me lately’ people out there and we find out when it’s too late that we can not depend on them. But even they will go the extra mile for the Andy’s of this world because they know there is a reciprocal value in that relationship.
8: Emulate the Marines – Be the best that you can be
As an employee, manager and business owner I can personally state that I have the utmost respect for people who give 100%, and I think most people will agree with me. They may not be as productive as others who are more naturally gifted, but there is no substitute for men and women who take themselves and their jobs seriously, work as hard as they can to be a success, and exhibit both honesty and integrity in the workplace at all times. If you want to establish a personal brand that will open doors and get you the respect of others this is how it’s done.
9: When conducting a job search talk about the benefits you provide not the benefits you’ll receive
Once again, starting with your resume tell people what is in it for them if they interview and hire you rather than dwell on what is in it for you. Decision makers do not seek out skill sets and experience as much as they look for value. Use your resume to set the tone and keep the focus on your value to the company and what you will contribute on the job when you speak with the decision makers on the phone and in person. Most of all leave employee benefits out of the conversation until the time is right and they are serious about hiring you.
10: Follow-up is the key to success
I would be a much richer man than I am today if I had a dollar bill for every person who told me that they lost out on a deal or a job because they were a minute, an hour or a day late to follow up on a lead, a job order, a sales presentation or a job interview.
Networking without follow up is like a tree that falls in the barren wilderness without anyone around, it makes an enormous thud that no one will ever hear or care about. Don’t make a pest of yourself but do follow up with recruiters, on interviews and with the people you have given out your resume to so they can send it to people they know. The best way I know of to follow up is to be quick, straight to the point and have something positive you can leave with the other person like a referral, some news you just heard, and best of all a friendly smile and a warm and sincere hello and thank you.
Perry Newman, CPC CSMS is a nationally recognized executive resume writer, career coach, AIPC certified recruiter and SMMU certified social media strategist known for his ability to help his clients get results. You can view his sample resumes at http://www.perrynewman.com, and email him your resume at firstname.lastname@example.org for FREE resume critique.
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