Written by Dave Cullen
The competition in the job market has never been more intense. Every day, the inboxes of recruiters and hiring managers are bombarded with applications from highly qualified candidates with exceptionally well crafted CVs and cutting-edge interview technique. Successfully landing a job in today’s challenging economic climate is not about mass emailing a generic application to as many employers as possible; it’s about learning to adapt and develop your personal brand. During the Celtic Tiger years when jobs were more plentiful, being able to produce a strong CV and work your way through an interview were enough to place you in strong contention for a role. However, these days’ job search standards have been raised considerably and much more is expected of candidates in terms of preparation and technique.
Employers have had to rethink their candidate profiling and screening methods in order to weed out the best from the rest. In many cases, candidates are expected to express their worth in terms of the economic value they can deliver to the business. This is where the personal branding phenomenon has emerged and what makes it such an effective method of delivering results, is that it provides an employer with a clear picture of the candidate’s character, previous experience, ambitions, abilities and goals. In short, personal branding helps you to sufficiently differentiate yourself from the competition.
Your Personal Statement
The first step in developing your personal brand begins with your CV. Personal profiles on CVs are more successful than objective ones because they demonstrate exactly what a candidate can offer to an employer. The following personal branding statement is a series of impact statements, which need to be backed up with examples. “Goal-orientated sales director adept at high volume customer account management. Proven ability to manage resource-intensive projects. Respected leader, with highly-effective communication, multitasking and analysis skills. Fully committed to providing and implementing dynamic, flexible solutions to the ongoing objectives of the business.” Try to develop your personal brand by customising your career mission statement to the needs of your prospective employer. Ultimately, your objective should be to advertise how you can provide a solution to an ongoing problem within the organisation.
Although you may be a job seeker, you should really try to consider yourself more like a salesperson; the product you are marketing is of course yourself. Your aim, before and during the interview process is to showcase your strengths, talents, abilities, experience, knowledge and achievements. Your primary goal here is to demonstrate your relevant transferable skills for the role you are applying and express how they can benefit your prospective employer. Ultimately, the interviewer or hiring manager want to know how you can be of benefit to their business and align with their objectives.
References and Testimonials
Another potent self-promotion technique is the use of testimonials and references. An excellent way of showcasing your capabilities, work ethic, experience and career successes is through the use of professional endorsements. You should consider sourcing your references from not only your former employers but also colleagues and clients. Your references act like short success stories, designed to underline your credibility as a candidate. It is always good practice to personally thank each one of your representatives for their testimonies. It is vital that you recognise the positive contributions of those in your network.