by Susan Guarneri
You know that competition for jobs is tough. But did you know that 75 percent of the American workforce is in job-hunt mode? According to a recent survey (Jobvite Social Job Seeker Survey 2012), that percentage is up from 69 percent in 2011. What that means for you: settling for the same job-search strategies that may have worked for you 5 or 10 years ago is likely not to produce great results anymore.
So, what can you do to improve your job-search results? Personal branding can often be the tipping-point factor in both getting on an employer’s radar screen and getting hired.
You need to know the full array of your career assets (skills, strengths, unique brand attributes, leadership/team style, and more) if you are going to successfully out-maneuver your competition.
First, you need to become intimately familiar with your personal brand. You may think you “know” your brand already. In fact, this is a comment I hear quite often from prospective clients. While you may have a good grasp of the skills you are good at, I would bet you can name other skills (equally as strong or even stronger) you would not include on your list.
Your personal brand is all about how others perceive you. So it makes sense to get feedback from others who know you well. Their insights into your brand attributes, skills, strengths, and leadership/team style are your secret weapon in developing a powerful edge in your job search. The 360Reach (Premium upgrade) is my personal-branding assessment of choice to get that feedback.
The personal brand you uncover via this feedback method is not set in concrete; in fact, it is a diagnostic of the current state of your personal brand as perceived by others. It is based on your behavior, actions, and communications. So if you want to revamp your current personal brand to be more in line with your aspirations AND to be more relevant to your target audience of employers, you can do that.
Second, you eventually have to express (communicate) your current or aspirational personal brand. You can enhance your job-search efforts immensely with distinctive branded marketing communications and web/social-media content, including audio and video. What better job-search edge than to outshine your competition, both offline and online, with personal branding and a differentiated Brand Value Proposition (BVP)?
You may already recognize the need for a professional resume and LinkedIn profile that include your personal branding differentiators and value statement. But there are many more opportunities for you to stand out with branded communications. Get creative! Go beyond what most of your competitors are doing in their job search.
An array of branded career communications can boost your job search with added flexibility and enable you to be more proactive. Best of all, you will always have what you need at your fingertips to immediately respond to inquiries of interest and grab the best opportunities before they are gone.
Here are Suggestions for Branded Career Communications for Job-Seekers
- Branded Professional Resume: 2-4 pages
- Branded Resume: 1 page
- Branded Digital-Note Resume: 1/3 to 1/2 page for mobile devices
- Branded Networking Resume Personal Marketing Brief: 1 page
- Branded Leadership Brief: 3-5 case studies, 1-3 pages
Branded Cover Letters
- Branded Approach Cover Letter: 1 page
- Branded Digital Approach Note: 1/2 page for mobile devices
- Branded Job-Posting-Response Cover Letter:1-2 pages
- Branded Job-Posting-Response Digital Note:1/3 to 1/2 page for mobile devices
- Enhanced References List: 2 pages
- Branded References List: 1 page
- Branded LinkedIn Summary: 2000-character limit
- Branded LinkedIn Profile (includes Summary, Experience, Education, and other categories and sections that will best showcase your personal brand differentiation)
- Branded Twitter Profile
- Branded Blog or Website Profile
- Branded Facebook Profile
- Branded Google+ Profile
- Other Branded Social Media Profiles (where you need to be seen by your target audience)
- Branded Bio or Executive Summary: 1 page
- Branded Bios for article by-lines and public speaking: 50 words and 100 words
- Branded Bio for introductions: 25 words
- Branded-Audio Scripting (Content)
- Branded-Audio Coaching (Delivery)
- Branded Video Scripting (Content)
- Branded Video Coaching (Delivery)
Interview/Post-Interview Branded Communications
- Branded Accomplishments Worksheet
- Branded Thank You Letter
- Branded White Paper
- Branded Differentiation Summary Fact Sheet
This article is part of Job Action Day 2012.
Questions about some of the terminology used in this article? Get more information (definitions and links) on key college, career, and job-search terms by going to our Job-Seeker’s Glossary of Job-Hunting Terms.
Known as the Career Assessment Goddess, Susan Guarneri integrates career-assessment insights, personal branding, proactive job-search strategies, and accountability to help professionals and executives find their ideal career. Susan is a Reach-certified Master Personal Branding Strategist and holds a master’s degree in counseling from The Johns Hopkins University, along with 15 careers certifications. With 25+ years of career consulting experience, she has worked with Fortune 500 companies, non-profits, educational institutions, and government agencies. Co-author of Job Search Bloopers (Career Press), Susan has been published in 100+ books and articles. Visit her Website and LinkedIn Profile — and connect through Twitter: @susanguarneri.
Enhance your career brand! Find great articles, tools, and resources for developing your personal career brand, as well as key self-marketing techniques to get hired or promoted in our Personal Branding & Career Self-Marketing Tools for Job-Seekers and Career Activists.