Volume 13, Issue 04 | ISSN: 1528-9443 | Fourth Quarter: November 2012
What You’ll Find: Job Action Day 2012
Personal Career Branding
Editor’s Note: About this Issue…
In many ways, Job Action Day has come full circle. Quintessential Careers founded the event on the eve of the 2008 presidential election with the idea that the new president needed to lead the charge for employment and re-employment of those crushed by the 2008 financial collapse. At the same time, we recognized that government can do only so much, and job-seekers must take ACTION and initiative to succeed in a difficult market.
Job growth has chugged along for 30 straight months under the current administration. The trajectory is right, but the pace and quantity, for some, have been disappointing. Partisan gridlock in Washington has not helped. The incremental growth only goes to underscore the importance of action on the part of job-seekers themselves.
We strongly advocate that whoever is elected on Nov. 6 — and we mean not just the president but the Congress, as well — do more to get Americans working.
But we also advocate that job-seekers take action for themselves. This year, we’re suggesting that you “Put Your Personal Brand into Action,” our theme for Job Action Day 2012.
Career branding strategies should be used in all aspects of career development and job-hunting, including on resumes, LinkedIn profiles, personal Websites, social-media activities, interviewing, and salary negotiation.
Job Action Day 2012, the fifth-annual initiative spearheaded by Quintessential Careers, includes 6 expert and empowering articles,2 book excerpts, a book review, blog posts, and a collection of tips from authors and experts — all intended to give you information, ideas, and concrete steps that you can take to tackle your career brand.
(See Job Action Day 2012 for the complete, updated list of Job Action Day 2012 Blog posts.)
One of your Job Action Day proactive steps could be to check out job listings in our new, improved job-search portal.
–Katharine Hansen, Ph.D., Master Resume Writer, Credentialed Career Master, Certified Electronic Career Coach, and editor at kathy(at)quintcareers.com
Job Action Day 2012: 10 Reasons To Love Your Personal Brand
by Meg Guiseppi
Are you someone who thinks personal branding is not for you because it’s all about self-promotion, and you never liked tooting your own horn, or people who do?
Besides, you say to yourself, branding is for products. You’re not a “brand,” you’re a person, right? You may not like to think of yourself as a “brand,” but you do already have a brand, whether or not you choose to take control of it.
Instead of dismissing personal branding as merely ego-stroking, think of it as educating people about who you are and what you have to offer.
If you’ve done the back-end personal branding work, our full article will explain what your brand will do for you.
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Job Action Day 2012: You are the Face of Your Brand
by Wendy Terwelp
Your image is part of your brand. Having your smiling face in your social-networking profiles helps build your “know, like, and trust” factor. People do business with those they know, like, and trust.
Not only that, have you ever said, “I know the face; I just can’t remember the name…”
Your face, your professional headshot, helps people remember you.
When attending networking events, you leave with loads of business cards, many with names, contact information, and logos, but no face. How do you remember if the name you found on LinkedIn is the right person you met if the profile has only a silhouette?
That smiling mug of yours is part of your brand, use it!
Job Action Day 2012: Employers Don’t Give A Damn About You
by Rick Gillis
OK, that might be a bit harsh… but now that I have your attention let me explain. Employers don’t care about you as a job-seeker — not because you aren’t a wonderful person worthy of being hired but simply because that’s not what they are in business to do. They are primarily in the business of advancing their own interests. This notion is important to your job search.
At the heart of this discussion are two ideas: first, that your sense of urgency does not have any effect whatever on a hiring decision (said another way — your job clock and an organization’s timing are rarely in sync) and second, with regard to you and your candidacy, it is incumbent on you to create a sense of urgency on the employer’s part; that urgency you so badly desire — but in a cool and calculated manner.
So how do you do that? Preparation. There are no shortcuts. I require my clients to compile a professional and personal list of their most notable accomplishments.
Job Action Day 2012: Tell An Exciting Story to Communicate the Value of Your Personal Brand
by Nancy J. Miller
You show your brand through the story you tell about yourself. When you tell an exciting story you connect with people so they will like you, care about you, and want to work with you. As Quint Careers Associate Publisher Katharine Hansen writes in her book, Tell Me About Yourself: Storytelling to Get Jobs and Propel Your Career, “Knowing how to tell your story makes you unique and gives the interviewer something to like about you.” When people like you and the story you tell about your passions and interests, they will remember you when they need your skills and abilities — whether you are interviewing for a job, attracting clients, or business partners.
You market yourself when you have a title for your story — when you can say in a few words what your story is about. An author sums up his or her story with an attractive title and book cover that grabs the attention of the prospective audience. When the author is asked, “What is your book about?”, a one- or two-minute description entices the audience to want to know more about the story. When you effectively brand your skills for business or employment, you are able to sum up your strengths and skills in a sentence or two. When you put a title to your skills and expertise, you market your brand and energize yourself to take action.
Job Action Day 2012: Branded Career Communications for Job-Seekers
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 hope to successfully out-maneuver your competition.
Job Action Day 2012: 5 Video Resume Branding Tips for Job-Seekers
by Josh Tolan
When it comes to crafting your personal brand online, job-seekers can choose from a number of ways to show employers and other professionals what you’re all about. From blogs to Twitter to online portfolios, dozens of platforms are available for you to showcase your unique skills and expertise. But your personal brand is about more than that — you also have to showcase your personality and ability to communicate.
You could be churning out tons of useful information for your audience on your social networks, but how do you give others a real feel for your presence and personality? After all, no one wants to hire a robot, and demonstrating your communication skills is a critical aspect of positioning yourself as hire-worthy.
One way to reveal your personality is by creating a video resume to enhance your personal brand. It’s a great way to stand out to employers and give your audience a feel for your real-life presence.
Job Action Day 2012: The Value of Creating an Adaptive Professional Brand
by Nacie Carson
Excerpted with permission from the publisher, Wiley, from The Finch Effect: The Five Strategies to Adapt and Thrive in Your Working Life. Copyright © 2012
I’ve had people ask me if defining a professional brand is the best use of their time in this tough economy: “Shouldn’t I be spending my time sending out resumes or something?” But here’s the thing: you already have a professional brand.
Everything about you is constantly coming together and being communicated to the outside world. Everyone already sees a “You, Inc.,” especially in the workplace. As Susan Walaszek [founder of HR Compliance Consulting] points out, “The resume and interview presentation, the clothing one wears, the events one attend , a d the body language of the individual all are a ty e of branding n terms of the level of professionalism, approachability, and personality.”
But if you don’t consciously refine and project a particular brand, then what “You, Inc.” is communicating to the world on your behalf is up to the gods. In the best-case scenario, you aren’t actively leveraging your assets and are missing opportunities; in the worst-case scenario, you are projecting a message that is inaccurate, unhelpful, or damaging.
Job Action Day 2012: Your Personal Brand Needs You
by Tim Tyrell-Smith
Editor’s note: This article is excerpted from the author’s book, HeadStrong: The Keys To a Confident and Positive Attitude During Job Search.
Know yourself. Don’t accept your dog’s admiration as conclusive evidence that you are wonderful. — Ann Landers
Who are you? Really. How would you like to be perceived? And which of these personas ends up speaking on your behalf to recruiters, hiring managers and peer networkers?
Knowing who you are, where your natural talents truly fall, and how to get those ideas across quickly are key to establishing and building a personal brand.
Quintessential Reading: Job Action Day 2012 Review of The Finch Effect: The Five Strategies to Adapt and Thrive in Your Working Life
Reviewed by Randall S. Hansen, Ph.D.
The Finch Effect: The Five Strategies to Adapt and Thrive in Your Working Life, by Nacie Carson. Hardcover, 208 pp. ISBN: 1118134281. Publisher: Jossey-Bass. Pub. Date: May 2012.
If you’re frustrated with your current job, disappointed with where you are in your career, and unsure of how to make the changes you need to succeed, The Finch Effect, by Nacie Carson is the perfect book for you.
The workforce mythology that many of us believed — that employers value and respect workers and actively encourage professional development to move worker’s careers forward — is now a myth. Workers have to proactively take charge of their careers or face stagnation — or worse — elimination.
I love this book for a number of reasons, starting with Carson’s charge that the workplace and the job market have changed forever — regardless of the strength of the economy. The strategies she suggests are solid, and include key exercises for helping readers implement them into their careers. This book is informative and useful for all job-seekers/workers.
What’s driving the changes in the workforce? In the past decade, employers have outsourced jobs to emerging job markets outside the U.S. while replacing other full-time jobs with non-traditional workers (including contractors, part-time workers, freelancers, and temporary workers).
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Quintessential Site of the Issue:
Job Action Day 2012: The Personal Branding Blog
Led by personal-branding expert Dan Schawbel, whose stable of bloggers contributed tips to our Job Action day efforts, this blog teaches users how to create their careers, using the personal-branding process outlined in Schawbel’s book, Me 2.0. You can learn how to position yourself for success so that you become known for your passion and expertise. Content includes video podcasts, interviews with experts, insightful articles, research reports, games and much more.
Some of the New Job and Career Sites Added to Quintessential Careers
Bragbook Multimedia — where job-seekers can create and share a digital, multimedia career portfolio showcasing your personal brand — including introduction videos, and relevant materials associated with a candidates education, work experience, and extracurricular activities. No-cost for basic services.
Disabled Person — a job site for job-seekers with disabilities, in which you can search job listings (by keyword), post your resume, and register for job alerts. Also includes some career advice. No cost to job-seekers.
Jackalope Jobs — harness the power of your professional and social network! Using your social connections (and the social connections of the people you’re connected with) to help track down job opportunities that best match what you seek. Logon with Facebook or LinkedIn accounts. Job-seekers can also search job postings. No cost to job-seekers.
Spark Hire — a video-powered hiring network that connects job seekers and employers through video resumes and online interviews. Job-seekers can set up a profile, record a video resume, search job listings, and participate in job interviews. No cost to job-seekers for basic services.
Many other great new additions to Quintessential Careers can be found in the latest additions section.
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If you’re an author, speaker, blogger, consultant, or entrepreneur — your perceived value is directly linked to your personal story. People need to know that you’ve been on a journey and have something to share about it. By following proven principles, you can reinvent your bio into a story that communicates in a more real and relatable manner. Revamp your story and you’ll more easily attract the opportunities, relationships, and rewards you’ve always wanted. There’s a new way of distinctive storytelling — without the need for bragging, arrogance or self-importance.
Quick and Quintessential Tips to Guide Your Job Search and Work Life
- Career author Susan Whitcomb recently sent out an interesting “before” and “after” comparison of verbiage from a LinkedIn profile by colleague Deb Dib, who is leading a virtual bootcamp on “Writing for the Social Media World: Tips & Tricks for LinkedIn Profiles, Resumes, Bios & More.” The graphic shows the value of a branded online presence. You can see the comparison here.
“You’ll note,” Whitcomb writes, “that the ‘Before’ excerpt is written in anonymous, third-person format with a broad-stroke approach, while the “After” excerpt blends personal with professional, is penned in first-person, and focuses in on the client’s true passion — business development for bio-tech. The “After” excerpt also weaves in a differentiator — ham radio survival games — and links that to his approach in the competitive business landscape.
- Speaking of LinkedIn, one of our Job Action Day 2102 writers, Meg Guiseppi, offers a wonderfully comprehensive blog post entitled, “How to Get Your Personal Brand Into Your LinkedIn Profile,” in which she advises a keyword-rich headline; a photo consistently used not just in this profile, but across the board online; regular updates, recommendations, and many other profile enhancements. See this excellent piece here.
- When she struck out on her own, “Shameless Self-Promotion” expert Michelle Villalobos said she “tried to step into the box of being an MBA and a consultant and it didn’t work,” writes Brooke Howell, who reported on Villalobos’s talk at the National Association of Women Business Owners Women’s Business Conference.
“Things turned around when she decided to be — and brand — herself,” Howell reports. Villalobos warned that “if you don’t brand yourself, then others will do it for you.”
The balance of Howell’s article offers 10 terrific tips from Villalobos about branding yourself and communicatingthat brand. Find it here.
See our entire collection of Q-Tips: Quick and Quintessential Career & Job Tips.
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