How Do You Stand Out In A Job Search?

By Lida Citroen, principal, LIDA360
Author of “Reputation 360: Creating power through personal branding” (Palisades Publishing, 2011)

Without a doubt, your most critical asset when in a job search is your personal brand. In a market as competitive as today’s, your skills and knowledge are most likely replaceable and hard to differentiate.  On a daily basis, recruiters and hiring managers meet candidates who look and sound just like you. Unless, of course, you stand out from your competition by designing your personal brand and marketing yourself to get their attention!

In my career as a corporate and personal brand strategist and counsel for executives of Fortune 500 companies, I have had the honor and pleasure of helping all kinds of people: Leaders in innovative education technology; venture capitalists with a passion for sustainability and impact investing; outspoken advocates for the advancement and empowerment of American adolescents; cancer survivors; disabled U.S. war veterans; coaches; consultants; moms, dads and their college-age kids. My clients aren’t celebrities, but they are well known in their respective industries.

What they all have in common is the realization that to be successful and compete in today’s environment, it is critical to manage your reputation and build your relevancy in the marketplace.

Here are some ways a clearly defined personal brand can help you:

Separate yourself from the crowd. Keywords may help get your resume in front of human eyes, and your experience might get you to the interview, but it’s your personal brand – those qualities, values and reputation that make you unique – that separates you from the other candidates in order to get you hired. Focus on what makes you different, compelling and interesting. Your resume represents your past. What does your future look like?  How will that benefit the company you are interviewing with? What is your unique selling proposition – what makes you, you.

Move out of the resume rut. Your resume is one tool for communicating your skills and expertise – and every other candidate will have one. When you put intention into building a personal brand, you branch out to other outlets (i.e. portfolios, profiles, websites, social networking, in person events) to communicate your value and expertise. Build your reputation across multiple touch points.  For instance, building a strong online presence helps recruiters learn more about you – as they Google your name, they will gain insight about your personality, interests, hobbies and maybe volunteer interests. Now you become a real person, not a list of skills and experiences on paper.

Target your efforts. The process of personal branding is all about strategy, being intentional, genuine and focused.  If you were a company marketing a product, you would not leave it to chance that your customers would find you and appreciate your value. You would be focused and strategic about targeting the right audience, in the right way, to get the right result. It’s not about fate or chance or luck, but rather about the work and creativity you put into your search and communicating how you can add specific value to target employers.

Make it easier for others to help you. When you’re clear about who you are, what you offer and what you want, you can clearly articulate that to others who may be in a position to connect you.  If you’re not clear about what you want, your networking efforts get watered down and others don’t know how to help you, even if they want to.

The ability to articulate your personal brand is critical to a job search in a market like this one.  Throughout my new book, “Reputation 360: Creating power through personal branding,” I walk you through the process of developing and marketing your personal brand – from targeting audiences to creating elevator pitches and style/image advice. I also share case studies of successful people to illustrate how people come to the realization that they need to create a reputation that allows them to stand apart from the competition in order to achieve their goals. As a job seeker, this could be mean the difference between sending random resumes and landing a great job! 

Based in Greenwood Village, Colorado, Lida is the author of “Reputation 360: Creating power through personal branding” (Palisades Publishing, 2011).  An accomplished speaker, author and advisor to Fortune 500 CEOs, executives and businesses, Lida captivates audiences with her empowering message about intentionally managing your brand and reputation to attract opportunities. For more than 20 years, Lida has brought her unique, engaging and actionable techniques to clients, earning her acclaim internationally as an expert in reputation management and personal branding. Learn more at http://www.LIDA360.com and www.Reputation360Book.com .

(c) 2011 Behind The Moon, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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Five Ways To Avoid The Summer Sales Slump

by Liz Wendling, Sales Coach for Women

The heat is on and talk of the dreaded summer sales slump has begun. The same excuses have surfaced and they have arrived right on schedule. Any of these sound familiar? “I may as well take off early today, nobody’s buying.” “It’s too hot to sell anything to anybody.” “All my customers are on vacation.”  Really?  Are you just going to give up and stop selling for the next ninety-four days?

Many people do take vacations in the summer – a week or so here and there – but they are still working the rest of the time.  Even if your particular business slows down during the summer months that does not mean you throw in the beach towel, take a siesta and wait for fall.

Smart business owners are seeing the summer as a good opportunity to re-evaluate their business plan and goals. They are using this time wisely to plot out new strategies and experiment on new methods to increase their sales performance. Some are even hiring a sales coach to help.

Here are five sales strategies to avoid the summer slump:

Change your attitude – Your attitude creates the space in which you will perform in your business. If you believe the summer is slow and your sales will slump, than that is what you shall receive. Continue your sales activities like it is February or March. Perform in the same manner as you would in those months.

Commit to win – It is the commitment to win that gives you the edge, and gives you the creativity and the innovation to restructure and redesign your sales strategies.  Making a commitment to win gives you the ability to think differently, which creates new opportunities that will give you the advantages you need to succeed.

Sharpen your tools – Most salespeople don’t spend enough time working on improving their sales skills and techniques. If your business is slower in the summer, take the time to learn how to sell more effectively and get involved in a sales coaching program. Begin now by putting your own plan in place to sharpen your sales skills and hone your sales techniques. Great salespeople do not blame the seasons for their slump.

Increase sales activities – In the summer months, companies and salespeople cut their sales activities.  They actually have said to me, “If we are not going to sell anything, what is the point?”  It is completely backwards thinking and the type of thinking that will keep you exactly where you are. Increasing your sales activity will increase sales results.

Don’t believe the hype – One of the biggest problems with this summer slump chatter is that salespeople use the chatter to fuel the fire and make excuses about themselves and their business. People tend to believe everything they hear and see instead of challenging the summer slowdown belief.  If you perceive no one is around and everyone is on vacation then you are setting yourself up for a negative, self-fulfilling prophecy and your sales will take a long siesta.

The options are endless to avoid the summer slump; have a summer special, make a few more calls, prospect, follow-up, reach out to old clients, visit existing clients, go to more networking events, ask for referrals. I could go on and shoot a few more holes in the summer sales slump excuses but I think you get the point.

Liz Wendling, the sales coach for women is one of Denver’s top sales coaches. Liz believes everyone is in sales and specializes in teaching women and business leaders how to prosper by overcoming the fear and anxiety inherent in sales. She coaches women (and smart men) on how to create immediate sales results, achieve lasting business success and permanently raise their bottom line. For a FREE download of the Seven Deadly Sales Mistakes And How To Avoid Them! Go to www.salescoachforwomen.com or e-mail Liz@salescoachforwomen.com.

(c) 2011 Behind The Moon, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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Feel free to share this article in its entirety and include the Bio information above along with live link back to this blog post.  Thank you.

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