The ability to communicate “why you” is important in job search. It can help you stand out from other job candidates and make you memorable. You want the interviewer to say, “Oh, I remember (him/her)!” in a positive light and hopefully as someone they recognize could fit the job.
There are multiple ways to use your brand/position throughout your job search. Your LinkedIn Headline can be your personal position tagline. Your tagline can also be used on your resume and as your tagline on your Twitter account. You can use it as the subject line in an email to a prospective employer, hiring manager, or recruiter.
Your full brand/positioning statement can be included in your LinkedIn Summary section, worked into the Qualifications Statement or Summary on the resume, or incorporated in your cover letter. When networking, your brand/positioning statement can be the answer to the question, “What do you do?” In an interview, your personal brand/position can be used when asked, “Tell me about yourself.”
To identify how to brand/position yourself, it helps to examine a couple of key issues:
1. What is the Company’s Need? What specific problem are they trying to solve with this job? Are they trying to make money? Save money? Save time? Retain existing customers? Acquire new customers?
2. What are your Core Abilities? What special abilities do you possess that separate you from other candidates for this position?
3. What are your Values? What is your belief system (behavior and ethics) that is inherent to you? Does this set you apart?
4. What is your Connection to the Company’s Need? Do you possess something special that solves your target employer’s problem?
Be aware of the kind of work you are willing to do, and the kind of work you don’t want to do. Make a list of the things you like to do, and what you don’t like to do.
Look to your work history for clues. What in your work history did you do to make things better? Look for instances where you showed leadership and accomplishments.
Check out your existing online profile. What comes up when you Google yourself? What is your social media presence? What are you known for online?
Begin with the end in mind: What job do you want? Then figure out what qualities, attributes, and skills are required for success in that job. Do you possess them? How can you demonstrate that?
To help you identify your positioning, here are questions you can ask yourself:
Why do I want this job?
What can I offer?
What do I want my next employer to know about me?
I’m the kind of person who…
I’m the person people turn to when…
What are my top achievements in my career?
What can I do that others with the same job title can’t do? What makes me different from other employees with my job title?
How have I improved my work environment?
What part of my job do I like best?
Why am I good at what I do?
Am I willing to go beyond what’s in my job description? What examples of this do I have?
What role do I play in helping my co-workers and/or customers achieve the results they are seeking?
What kinds of customers do I most enjoy working with?
What training do I have that qualifies me to specialize in this field?
What life experiences have I had that would be valuable to others?
Is there an area where I’m better at something than others? How am I more productive and innovative than other candidates for this job?
Is there a specific result I can deliver in this job?
How does my work contribute to an employer’s bottom line?
Additional resources to help you identify what makes you stand out:
- Performance evaluations
- Customer appreciation letters
- Look through your emails to see what great things people have said about you and your work
- LinkedIn recommendations
- Letters of commendation from colleagues and supervisors
- Ask people you know (and people you work with) for feedback. How do others see you?
Brand/position yourself effectively to attract connections, opportunities, and job offers.