Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Be Your Own Branded Product to Get that Job

Have you stumbled upon an interviewer who is quite different? This is one who does not go through the questions on the paper or the list and instead asks you to "market yourself in five sentences." I have. Even if you will not meet this at all, it's best to be prepared.

When you apply for a job, what does your resume say about you? Mine says I have three years of experience in information technology, much of that in management. But that’s all that it says.

In the new job marketplace, employers are absolutely inundated by resumes from the huge number of people looking for work. They just glance at the sheets and continue to the next candidates'. So how can you get your resume to the top of the stack noticed?

How to be Wanted

Look at yourself as a product, like Apple or whatsoever. This will give you a whole new range of opportunities in the workplace.

What makes Apple, well, Apple? There are a couple more of companies who design software, mobile phones and other digital next-generation technologies. But why do people reach and become gaga over Apple instead of the other brands?

Apple does it by advertising itself as filling the needs of the buyer, especially user interface wise. It's the friendliness and ease of use. It's slogan says, "Think different."

Your search for a job, from the employer’s perspective, isn’t about you but about them. What benefit will they get if they buy your product?  They don’t care about what you can do or have done except how it benefits them.

So you need to brand yourself. You do in the world what only you can do, and there is no one who does whatever it is you do the way that you do, and you have umpty-x number of years of experience at doing it. Although that’s powerful stuff right there, it doesn’t mean anything to a potential employer. They look at those resumes that say “here’s a need you have, and here’s how I can fill it.” The resume that catches their attention is the one that makes it easy for them to see the benefit in hiring your over the other candidates. They read the ones that have a strongly branded product.

To be a brand, however, you need to think outside the box. Do a SWOT analysis of yourself. Look as deeply into the company as you can and place yourself in their shoes. Who would you want to hire for this job if you were them? How can you adapt what you do to help them?

Finally, there is one more thing that Apple has that the others don’t: confidence. The new employment market is very much like a retail market. You will do well if you can focus on what a potential employer needs and aligning yourself, your brand and your unique way of doing business to fulfill that need.