Friday, November 7, 2008

Personal Branding is Your Interview Suit

You know that suit (or "outfit") that hangs in the corner of your closet, anxiously awaiting its next interview adventure with you. It's a beauty, right? It's crisp and clean and is probably one of the best cared-for items you own.
Lately, especially in the current market, I've had calls from several good friends who are looking to market themselves. Most understand that a paper resume is not the full picture anymore. As I've attempted to explain the modern job hunt as I see it, I always end up discussing personal branding. There are many differing opinions of what personal branding is, but my short definition is that it is your online profile. It is the services you use and how you choose to use them.
Many think this is just another buzzword...another one of those items a shady "executive search" firm can charge you untold thousands for. (If you're listening bogus exec search firms, we're on to you.) This "branding" is actually what you are doing all the time. The job hunt is everywhere. People are watching you and your work all the time to see if you're a good fit for their company. Maybe they'll need you five years from now.
A friend recently told me they didn't see the point in keeping up a blog. It's easy for most to see how networking services like LinkedIn and Facebook can help(or hurt) a job search, but blogs are often tougher wrap your mind around. Blogs are for talking about why Star Wars is better than Star Trek, right?
Even slow futurists will tell you that knowledge brokers and empathetic communicators will be the United States' greatest export in future years. By proving your ability to communicate, interact and present yourself on a daily basis, you are only increasing your ultimate value. So, does your online profile provide you the same benefits as your interview suit? Think about it.

Photo gracias: Paul Goyette

1 comment:

Sonja said...

I like your analogy that your "brand" is your online presence. I've done some thinking about this and basically put everything on line under my name now, instead of aliases. As a freelance writer, I need to take credit for what I've done. The other thing is, of course, I can't ever put anything out there that I don't want everyone to know about. It's been a little bit of a dilemma with my new blog, which is local lifestyle, but I've had to determine that the same rules, nothing put online by me that I don't want everyone to read -- is operative.

Thanks for posting!

Sonja