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Want to be HIRED? BYOB

Build your own Brand

Personal branding is the continual development and practice of marketing yourself as a career professional in your chosen career path or industry. While it doesn’t take a huge marketing team or millions of advertising dollars, your personal brand is something you can easily develop and advertise by carrying it with you at all times.

For beginners, it’s how you dress, how you speak, and how you act, especially, on and offline - at all times. It’s the impressions other have about you based on your appearance, conversations, and your actions.

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· 10 Benefits of Personal Branding (Susan Chritton)

· Permission to be yourself: expressing your authentic self.

· Gains in confidence: knowing your strengths and how many positive qualities you have.

· Building credibility: show your brand through past actions.

· Showcasing your specialty: your unique combination of life experience, work experience and personal characteristics.

· Leaving your mark: people will remember you from your actions, your expertise and emotional connections you make.

As you go through the hiring process, employers will be wondering about you and the brand you represent through your appearance, and body language while listening to your answers during interviews. They’ll be checking for accuracy in all that you say and do, while figuring out if you’re a good or bad fit for the position.

Employers want to know:

· What makes you a good candidate for this job?

· Are you credible? What’s your work history, certifications, or credentials?

· Do you have the hard skills needed for the job?

· What makes you better than other candidates they’ve already interviewed? (What sets you apart?)

· Do you have the right personality for the position, and will you fit into the company’s culture. How will you work with other employees?

To answer all these questions and more, you can easily start to brand yourself.

Five Easy Tactics for Building and Strengthening Your Personal Brand

1. Track accomplishments and gain experience: your previous career accomplishments are the foundation of your brand. Begin building your brand by tracking your past accomplishments. Then, identify important new experiences you need to have; plan ways to get those experiences; work your plan. As you gain new experiences, add them to the list of accomplishments that are the foundation of your brand.

2. Complete education and training: to excel, you may need to complete additional education, training, or certifications. Identify any education or training and locate the resources that you need. Your career advisor can help with this.

3. Become an expert: being an expert is a powerful element to add to your brand. There are several things you can do to begin to establish yourself as an expert in your field including:

· Write articles that share your knowledge and get them showcased on the internet or in industry publications.

· Seek out conferences, workshops, and meetings where you can give speeches and presentations. These might include informational presentations at local civic clubs or business groups.

· Develop your own professional website where you can publish articles and blogs.

· Get published. Seek out journalists and reporters to quote your thoughts, ideas, and opinions. (This is easier than you think, especially with our capability to reach across the world with the internet.)

· Remember to promote your awards and recognition through social media sites: LinkedIn, You Tube, Twitter, and Facebook.

4. Promote your Brand: you can have an amazing brand, but if no one knows about it, you are not going to have much success with your job search. To promote your brand, create the following branding tools for your job search:

· Craft your 30 second elevator speech, and use it!

· Print professional business cards

· Create Career portfolios (both hard and electronic versions)

· Develop your Social media presence (LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, etc.)

· Ramp up your resume that reflects your brand

5. Build relationships: in marketing, there is nothing more powerful than word-of-mouth. Keep in good contact with everyone in your network of contacts – your friends, colleagues, customers, clients, and former bosses – and be sure they are aware of your brand identity and know about your most recent successes. This will ensure that your network is delivering the right kind of word-of-mouth information about you, your skill set, education, and accomplishments. Keep building relationships and adding contacts to your network – especially new professional associations.

Let’s Start building your brand: YOUR 30 SECOND ELEVATOR PITCH

An elevator pitch is exactly what it sounds like—a short and sweet summary of you, your work history, your skills, and your future employment goals—all must be quickly conveyed during the short length of an elevator ride. This also known as your “sales pitch” that you can share at the drop of a hat. (Would you know what to say, or how to introduce yourself, if you were riding in an elevator with a future hiring manager?)

Coming up with your elevator pitch is a great way to start branding yourself, and is one of the most effective tools you can utilize when job searching. It’s great to use as you are out connecting and talking with people who can help get you hired, and as you introduce yourself in interviews.

Your goal with your elevator pitch is to always leave your audience with wanting more.

Remember: Your elevator pitch should never sound rehearsed, but should be as comfortable for you to say as you can make it. You can do all this with practice- of course. Your elevator pitch is a big part of how you will introduce yourself in Job Club each week as we make introductions with each other, and future people you meet.

When creating your elevator pitch consider including the following items:

· Name

· Industry/area of experience

· Years of experience

· Areas of specialization, skills, strengths

· End with an engaging question (to continue the conversation)

You can use your 30 second pitch:

· Networking with new contacts

· Job Fairs

· Introducing yourself to employers

· When delivering resumes or sharing your business card

· During Interviews (The introductory, “Tell me about yourself” question)

· Telephone inquiries

· Follow-Up contacts

*See resource handouts for sample elevator speech templates

Discussion Questions:

· What job searching tools help you build your brand?

· What can you do on a daily basis to promote your brand?

· Does the way you live, act, and interact with people every day add to or detract from your personal brand? What about your online life?

· What talking points can you come up with to showcase your brand?

GAIN THE EDGE TIP: Brand yourself, or you can be sure that others will do it for you!

Sample Elevator Pitches

-Begin with a firm handshake and good eye contact.

1. Big work history, and a lot of skills, try this:

Hi. My name is__________. I am a _____________ with more than __________ years of experience __________. My best skills are __________, _____________, and _________. I have a specialty in___________.

Tell me more about how your company __________?

2. Recent graduate, try this:

Hello, my name is__________. I’m a recent graduate of __________. I’m very interested in a __________(type of position) career. As you can see from my resume, I just completed an internship in the _________(division/department) of the __________ (company). In that position, I gained some valuable experience in __________. I’ve also taken some excellent courses in __________. I’m very interested in talking to you about ___________opportunities with your organization. Can you tell me more about your company?

3. Not much work history, try this:

Hi, my name is __________. I am interested in working in the _________(type of industry). I am a good fit for this type of work (or company) because ________________________________ . When can we follow-up to discuss further?

Want to be HIRED? BYOB

GAIN THE EDGE TIP: Brand yourself, or you can be sure that others will do it for you!

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