Career Resources How to Brand Yourself

How to Brand Yourself

Focusing your direction
In today's world, it is likely that your career will move through several distinct phases. To adapt and move forward in a changing job market, you need to know your skills and interests, and how to relate them to an array of career alternatives. To conduct an effective job search, you must also know what you are offering to employers and where to offer it in the job market.

The first step is to take a good, hard look at yourself, where you are in your life and in your work, what is important to you, and where you want to go with your career. This process of personal assessment allows you to get to know yourself a little better, and to see yourself the way others may see you. To begin this process, bear in mind the following important steps and considerations:

What is it that you want to do?
Choosing a direction is sometimes the most difficult step in a job search. You want to find a job that will work for you. Look for content, not just titles. Employers rarely look for people to "do anything." They want people who know they can do "something," and add value to the organization's enterprise.

Research the product that's you!
Tom Peters, author of “In Search of Excellence,” calls this the "'Brand Called You' or 'Me, Inc.' Process." In essence, you are trying to create a brand for yourself, just like Nike, Coke, and The Gap have done. Start by identifying the qualities or characteristics that make you distinctive from others who will be competing for the same type of jobs. What have you done, where did you do it, and what skills did you use? What would your colleagues or customers say is your greatest and clearest strength and your most noteworthy personal trait? Forget your former job titles and focus on what you have achieved to date. Think about all areas of your life, not just your work experience.

Determine your values and interests
What are the things that are important to you? What do you enjoy doing? What have you done that resulted in a sense of satisfaction and pride? What do you like most about work? Least? What kinds of people do you like to work with? What type of products, services, or activities do you want to be associated with? Where do you want to live? What kind of lifestyle do you desire?

Self Assessment Questions

Your next job
Take the opportunity to describe some of the things you would like to have in your next job. You may write a job description if you like, or you may list some of the elements you would like to have in your next assignment. Let it flow; be creative. Tell your friends and contacts about some of these elements so they can assist you in investigating opportunities. The following sample phrases may help you. Feel free to expand or combine them.

  • Opportunities to help others
  • Analyzing data/numbers
  • Contact with the public/customers
  • Writing summaries or reports
  • Mobility - getting away from the office
  • Running equipment
  • Supervising others
  • Working alone/independently
  • Working as part of a group or team
  • Selling or persuading others
  • Finishing work or projects
  • Doing research/considerable reading

Your Personal Marketing Strategy
The second component to launching an effective job search is to take all of the resources above and create a strategy that is unique to you and specific to your needs and interests. Your strategy should include the following steps:

  1. Identify your targets. What organizations offer the kinds of options you identified in your personal assessment?
  2. Once you have defined your targets, you must identify the right person to contact. Get friends and family to help with the research on organizations and contacts.
  3. Hone your interviewing skills. An interview should be a two-way flow of information between two people who have something important to discuss and who both wish to make a good decision. Anticipate the interviewer's questions and prepare concise answers that focus on your past accomplishments. Practice interviewing and ask for a critique. On the day of the interview, dress as if you already have the job, and follow-up with a thank you note.
  4. Keep comprehensive records. Make notes about which people you have contacted by telephone, what the response was, your impressions of interviews, and your feelings about the organization and the interviewer. This will help you to learn from and improve upon each job search experience, and to know appropriate times for re-contacting people.
  5. Stay on track. Set goals and strive to achieve them. Decide how many contacts you want to make, and then stick to it. If you have a disciplined program and you're on track, you're more likely to maintain momentum and self-confidence.
  6. Involve your friends and family. At the very least, you need the support and understanding of your spouse, partner, or a very close friend or family member. Tell him/her what you're doing and ask for insights and ideas.

HR Answers, Inc.
7659 SW Mohawk St.
Tualatin, OR 97062
Phone 503-885-9815
EdgeLink is a boutique staffing firm based in Portland, OR that specializes in technology placement.  We develop close, long-term relationships with proven and promising technology companies that value strong ethics, integrity, and a winning attitude. These partnerships provide solid opportunities for talented individuals seeking the next step in their careers.