Welcome to our RIT Alumni Virtual Job Club! This 10 week program will allow you to stay connected to fellow RIT job seekers and get information that can help with your job search – all without interrupting your busy summer schedule to come to campus! We invite you to participate fully in the Club; do the assignments, comment on the blog postings, and ask questions of our career experts; we’re all here for your career success.
We’re going to start this series with a discussion on personal branding, and its importance in your job search. Before you put together your marketing tools – resume, cover letter, LinkedIn profile – you should do some self-assessment, to determine what sets you apart from the competition. This then becomes the basis of your personal brand – what you’ll be using to sell yourself to prospective employers, as companies use brands to sell their products (think of Nike and Coke).
To help determine your personal brand, consider the following:
• What are your core strengths and areas of expertise? In what areas do you excel? Examples could include performing analysis, leading others, identifying problems, managing conflict, communicating.
• What have you accomplished; what are your notable achievements? What problems have you solved in previous experiences?
• What is your value; what do you have to offer employers? Think of the adjectives you use to describe yourself, and think of how others would describe you. Examples: collaborative, flexible, forward-thinking, visionary, genuine, self-aware, creative, efficient. These are your brand attributes.
• What are your weaknesses? Be cognizant of any weak points as you put together your brand.
• Who is your target audience? Research your targeted industry and career field to determine where you will best fit, and what those companies most want and need in a candidate. You can then include appropriate key words in your branding statement.
• What differentiates you from your competition? Why should employers choose you over other candidates? What value do you offer, and what can you offer that other candidates can’t?
Once you’ve determined your personal brand, incorporate the elements above into a concise branding statement that gives a clear summary of your unique and desirable set of qualifications. This statement, and all elements of your personal brand, can now be incorporated into your marketing materials, giving people a consistent message about who you are and what you have to offer. Don’t forget to include your brand in your resume, cover letters, 60-second commercials, interviews, your LinkedIn profile, and when you network with colleagues. Take the time to determine what your brand is, and a branding statement that describes your brand, and you’ll be in a better position to marketing yourself – and your unique value – to your future employers!
Tell us what you think – have you defined your brand, and developed a strong branding statement? Did going through the process of defining your brand help focus your career interests and help you see how you can better sell yourself? Is your brand clearly reflected in all your marketing materials? If not, start your self-assessment, and work on developing a branding statement that clearly identifies your unique attributes and value.
Your homework for this week is to first, post below and introduce yourself to the group; tell us who you are, and what your career and job search goals are. Second, share your personal branding statement with the group if you’d like.