Archive for May, 2012

Is Your Personal Brand The One You Want It To Be?

May 31, 2012

What is your personal brand?

Don’t have one, you say? Wrong! We all have a personal brand – it just might not be what we want it to be.

What is a personal brand? It is that word, or phrase, that comes to mind when people think of you. Perhaps your personal brand is “whiner.” Perhaps, on the other hand, it’s “the one who gets things done around here.”

Whatever that brand is today, you can make it what you want it to be – and you should. As you know, the days of working for 40 years at one company are long gone. As you navigate through the many organizations where you will be employed during your career, you will be establishing your brand and a strong brand will help you make career decisions and it will help you attract the kind of organizations where you want to work.

Your brand is not what you say you are. You can’t become “the one who gets things done around here” simply by saying so. You must deliver before you can boast.

Before you deliver on your brand promise, you need to figure out what your unique value is. You need to first find what you do extremely well – what you do better than others / what you are passionate about / what employers will value.

Your job is to discover that one thing, by thinking over your career to date, taking assessments of yearly reviews, or by asking people who know you.

Once you have discovered that one thing that makes you unique, then I recommend you invest in your own professional growth in order to build your capacity to deliver that one thing even better. Most professional sports players spend countless hours with coaches and in practice trying to improve their skills. Investing time, money and effort in yourself is one of the most beneficial things you can do.

Finally, articulate what you do best in short concise statements, called accomplishment statements, so that others can see the specific value you are able to deliver.

ACTION: Take the time now to name up to three words that best describe you; and ask others to describe you in one or tow words – that’s a great place to start.

I welcome your comments.

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A 60-Second Commercial – Essential For Anyone Who Has a Career

May 25, 2012

I attended a local Chamber of Commerce meeting recently to do some networking. Of course, the question most often asked of me, and the one I always asked of other was, “What do you do?” While I was prepared to answer that question with my 60-Second Commercial, many I talked with were not. There were some answers to that question that left me confused as to what they did, and others who went on and on about themselves until I zoned out.

When attending a networking event, make sure you go with a purpose in mind. That purpose could be to meet five specific people, it could be to find out specific information that you want, or it could be something else. Whatever it is, keep your goal in mind while attending the event. Know what will make the event successful for you – have a plan of action in mind for each event you attend so that you get the most from it.

Part of your objective at each event you attend should be to let others know about yourself. This is best accomplished through a 60-Second Commercial – your answer to the question, “Tell me about yourself” when you are in an interview or “What do you do?” when you are networking. Your 60-Second Commercial is a great tool to use at any time, but it’s essential when conducting a job search. Make sure you have one that shows your uniqueness. It can be used:

  • While responding to the question, “Tell me about yourself” when networking
  • At any networking event
  • during an informational interview
  • At a pre-screening interview
  • At a job interview
  • In social situations with family and friends
  • Wherever there is an occasion to market yourself

Do you have a 60-Second Commercial that lets you hone in on exactly what you do and succinctly states what you do and succinctly states what you are looking for, or the value you bring to your job? Is it clear, simple and to the point? Check yours now and see if others know exactly what you do, or want to do and what you have to offer an employer. If you do not already have this important tool, now is the time to get one.

I would love your feedback on having 60-Second Commercials.

Are You Using Your “Job Search” Time Wisely?

May 11, 2012

Or – Are You Wasting A Lot of Time Spinning Your Wheels?

Learn how to eliminate time wasters

When I talk with people looking for jobs, many complain that it is taking so long and that they spend more time than they would like on non-job searching activities. If this is you, I want to give you some tips to eliminate time wasters as you conduct your job search.

 

 

  1. Designate an “office” for your job search. I recommend a plastic file box with a snap-on lid, but it could be something as simple as a milk crate. Also, make sure you have a specific physical space with computer, phone, and supplies where you can work.
  2. Make a file for each company you explore.  This should include the resume and cover letter you sent, the job posting, contact names and referral source – anything you know about that company.
  3. Check your email only at certain times each day.  It’s easy to lose focus on what you need to do and to waste time with email. I recommend checking it first thing in the morning and maybe about 1:00 in the afternoon. Spend your time on functions that are more important – like researching companies where you would like to work.
  4. Keep your files close at hand.  Make sure you can access all necessary information about a company when a hiring manager calls. You cannot afford to rely on what you “remember” about the opportunity; rather – you must recognize and respond to with with genuine interest!
  5. Set your goals each week for what you will accomplish and post them where you can see them.  How many resumes will you send? Which companies will you research? Which networking events will you attend? Who will you call on this week? Identify the elements of your job search and quantify them. Only then will you know if you are making progress.
  6. Just say “no”!  To your neighbor, friend, or spouse who things that as long as you’re not working … you can paint the living room, babysit the neighbor’s kids, or hang out and watch TV. Tips for saying no: (a) Stop, listen, and give your full attention to the request; (b) Say “no” right away, politely, but firmly – but don’t build false hope; (c) State your need to focus on your job search; (d) Refrain from making excuses since this only annoys people.