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July 9, 2012
Develop and Market Your Brand to Land Your Dream Job
Part 1: Define Who You Are

Regardless of the economic climate, it’s vitally important for job seekers to understand their unique value proposition and be able to develop that into a branding statement. Your branding statement can then be easily translated into your elevator pitch, your cover letter, LinkedIn profile, and any number of marketing avenues. But first you need to know what you bring to the table.

Knowing your brand in order to land your dream job is a critical first step in your job search. So how do you know what it is? These steps can help you get started.

Your branding statement can be a combination of many things, including: your skills, your work experience, how you stand out from your peers in your industry, and your values. I like people to include all of these things when possible in their branding statement because I find it makes it a more comprehensive document that they can draw upon when needed for any marketing opportunity, whether it’s a networking event or a job interview. The key is to have it committed to memory, not word for word, but embedded in your mind so you can use it, and any piece of it, at any time.

Starting with your skills and work experience, review your resume; have a friend look at it with you to help you identify the skills and experience you have to offer a potential employer. Include traditional work experience and other experience as well — don’t discount what you’ve accomplished outside of work if it’s relevant! Working with a friend can be incredibly helpful. That second pair of eyes can be invaluable and help you pull things out you may otherwise miss. Make a list of these skills and experience on a separate sheet of paper.

Next, take a look at LinkedIn and review the profiles of local professionals in your industry. Ask yourself, what skills or experience do I have that not everyone else does? How can I stand out from the crowd in my industry? Perhaps you’re an interior designer with experience reading and understanding construction documents as well. Or a nurse with a specific skill set unique to working with a certain population. Review the profiles of at least 5–7 peers to identify your unique value proposition; what combination of skills and work experience you bring to an employer that most people don’t.

And finally, be clear about your values and how these enhance your brand. Are you committed to continuous innovation? Interested in leaving a legacy behind in your work, meaning you want to be part of projects that have a lasting impact on an organization? Include these in your branding statement as well. They round out your skills and give an employer an additional perspective on who you are as a potential employee. It’s all about clearly defining the value you bring to a potential employer. To be able to do that, you must know yourself well and understand your brand inside and out.

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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.* http://www.HallieCrawford.com
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