Bottoms Up to Branding

By Alesia Benedict, CPRW, JCTC GetInterviews.com

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Do you remember the Cheers theme song lyrics? The lyrics go like this:

Making your way in the world today takes everything you’ve got.
Taking a break from all your worries sure would help a lot.
Wouldn’t you like to get away?
Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name
And they are always glad you came.
You wanna be where you can see our troubles are all the same.
You wanna be where everybody knows your name.

You get extra points if you can read that without singing the tune under your breath. The point is there are lots of people out there struggling in the employment market, trying to get their name to the top of the list – trying to get recognized and establish a relationship with an employer. It can be quite an effort and it does take all you’ve got. Job seekers need to be working smart and have a strategy. Here are some tips for working your job search branding efforts to the max:

Be Selective

If you are targeting a company and you submit your resume for several different positions at that company, you are only shooting yourself in the foot. The applicant tracking systems companies use will show the hiring manager if a job seeker has applied for multiple jobs and that is an immediate turnoff. Don’t carpet bomb your resume to a company. Make sure you are an excellent fit for a position and go after that position – not anything that is even partially in the ballpark.

Be Specialized

Employers are not hiring generalists. When positions come open, they have very specific skill sets and employers are seeking candidates who fit those parameters very, very closely. Right now, you have to have experience doing the job to get the job. Even if you have done similar things in related positions before and have the transferable skills, you won’t get very far when up against candidates who have the exact experience and qualifications required. This might not be the best time to make a career change but rather consider a lateral move instead and bide your time.

Be Consistent

One of the secrets to a successful job search is to be consistent in your contact with employers and recruiters. Establish a follow-up routine and stick to it. Your goal is to establish name recognition in the mind of the recruiter or hiring manager. You want everyone to know your name so you pop to mind when an opportunity comes up.

Be the Best

Branding is not an effort to be launched when you are unemployed; it’s too late then. To effectively brand yourself, you need to make it part of your career development. Strive to be the best at what you do, win recognition for your performance, and work to establish your reputation within your industry as THE person who knows how to do something. If you are an engineer, be the expert in some aspect of your field. If you are in customer service, establish a reputation for being the person to handle certain types of issues. Branding is something you build out, not build up.

Be Connected

People hire people. Technology has made processes of hiring run faster, but with technology has come volume which presents a whole new set of problems. When you get down to brass tacks, it is still a person deciding to hire a person. Applicant tracking systems, skills evaluation, and other technology only manages the process up to that point. Some of the most important requirements for a job cannot be evaluated, tested, or outlined in a resume – they are assessed face to face. Work to build and maintain a very strong professional network of connections that is both broad and deep. It is your most valuable asset next to your reputation.

To further your career, find a great job, and build your career, everyone needs to know your name – colleagues, vendors, customers, and most importantly prospective employers. You have to pay attention to your career branding and your reputation. Work to build them. Nurture them. And when you need them, you will see a great return on the investment of your time.

About the Author:

Alesia Benedict, Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) and Job and Career Transition Coach (JCTC) is the President of GetInterviews.com, the country’s leading resume writing firm. They provide professionals with customized, branded resumes and career marketing documents. Her and her firm’s credentials include being cited by JIST Publications as one of the “best resume writers in North America,” quoted as a career expert in The Wall Street Journal, and published in a whopping 25+ career books. Established in 1994, the firm has aided more than 100,000 job seekers to date. All resume writers are certified writers. GetInterviews.com offers a free resume critique and their services come with a wonderful guarantee — interviews in 30 days or they’ll rewrite for free!

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