Part 2: Communicate Your Brand
One of the most important parts of the process of branding yourself is being able to communicate your value and your brand easily, effectively, and with confidence. Without this important step, you won't get very far in your job search. Understanding your unique value proposition and being able to powerfully convey that message is something you need to be able to do consistently and continuously in your search.
In our first post about branding, we discussed how your branding statement can be translated into your elevator pitch, your cover letter, LinkedIn profile, and any number of marketing avenues. Sharing your brand through social media and other online and offline communications vehicles is the next important step in your job search. We find that being able to leverage both of these effectively in today's job market, where so much networking and job seeking is performed online, and much of it still in person as well, is critically important. To conduct a job search today, you need to be able to speak about your brand in both arenas: online and in person.
Here are two steps to begin this process.
1. Write and speak in an authentic tone of voice when you're writing your branding statement, your resume, your cover letter, or even writing about yourself on LinkedIn or in a LinkedIn group. If you are a more formal person, use a more formal tone. If you’re more casual, use that tone instead. Always err on the side of being more professional, but use a tone and language that suits you and communicates your personality. If you try to write something that doesn't feel like you, it will come off as stiff and inauthentic. You want your branding statement to work as easily in casual conversation as it does in a professional networking event. Have it committed to memory so much so that you can use it in any situation and easily adjust it as needed. Avoid using industry-specific jargon when you're talking and, when you're saying your statement out loud, watch your tone of voice and be sure to say it with enthusiasm and inflection. Smile!
2. Once you've written your statement in an authentic manner that speaks to your personality, your goals and talents, it's time to share your brand through social media and other communications vehicles. We've referenced some of them above. Your resume and cover letter are the obvious ones; that goes without saying. Your branding statement can be a part of your professional profile or summary of qualifications section at the top of your resume. Your LinkedIn profile is next. Use your resume to build your profile, but don't make it a carbon copy. Adjust it somewhat and pare it down to fit into LinkedIn’s format. Make sure that it speaks to the results you would bring to a potential employer. Facebook is being used more frequently as a networking tool. As you know, watch what you post, but with the ability to group contacts according to interest or need, you can now create a group of professional contacts you want to keep in touch with regularly. Use your branding statement at in-person networking events, both professional and personal, and practice it in advance in front of the mirror so it flows easily and effortlessly. Use your statement to participate in LinkedIn industry groups as well, using it as the signature line there as well as with the professional email address you use for job search purposes. The key to utilizing social networking for your job search is to participate regularly, keep in touch with your contacts consistently, and provide value.
Guest Blogger Hallie Crawford is a certified career coach and founder of HallieCrawford.com. Her team of coaches help people find their dream job and make it a reality. She is regularly featured as an expert in the media including the Wall Street Journal, CNN, and US News & World Report. Visit her website at www.HallieCrawford.com for more information about her team's career coaching services. Set up a Complimentary Career Strategy Session with Hallie Crawford to get advice on your career goals. *Mention you saw us on Talent Zoo and receive a free bonus if you purchase a product or sign up for coaching.*
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