There is something magical about a new tailored suit. It felt like the pin stripes and crisp blue tie were wearing me instead of the other way around. It was the third interview. I wasn’t even nervous. Maybe it is human nature but once you get to that stage your confidence level goes on acid ( not steroids, those effects are definitely more predictable). *
“I’m sorry to have to tell you but someone else was offered the position.” Oh dang, there goes my dream career; there goes my passion for working with a start up; there goes my opportunity to be in it from the ground floor.
As a result of this temporary rejection I ramped up my efforts and repositioned myself for success. And it worked.
That’s what this post is about: how to brand yourself so that employers will take a greater interest in you; how to enable yourself to stop blindly submitting resumes; how to be that needle in a haystack; how to get a job using branding and social media. How to sell you.
“The trouble ain’t that there is too many fools, but that the lightning ain’t distributed right.”- Mark Twain
You can impact what people see; it is simple really: emphasize your strengths with humility and work on your weaknesses in secret. One of the best ways to do this is by using social media to create brand “You,” as Dan Schawbel puts it in his awesome book called Me 2.0. I highly suggest his book on how to build a powerful brand to achieve career success.
Steps to Branding Yourself
- Buy your own domain name. You can use www.Judaborrayo.com as a basic template or imitate the blogs that you most read. Why? Because you read them for their “expertise.” Your favorite bloggers are probably excellent marketers. No need to recreate the wheel.
- Use social networks like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter to boost your brand. More on that later.
- Upload/Link to any related projects that you have completed; whether a school project, internship, or a backpacking trip, etc. So long as it shines light on your accomplishments or strengths. And be specific: “I worked at a restaurant” sounds like you watched people eat ribs all day; instead use numbers and define what you mean by the word “multitasking,” on your website, social networking accounts, traditional resume, and online resume.
- Showcase how you have lead others. If you are looking for a job worth having then you will probably be leading in some way. Make clear your experience, but don’t boast; do mention accomplishments; do put credit where it is due. Few things are accomplished alone.
- If your job calls for being creative, be creative. Don’t send in a plain resume. Don’t expect to stand out by sitting down.
- Always, Always, Always write with your own voice. Express your personality. If you think employers won’t like your personality- work on your character. Seriously, do it now. And Read this.
Sharpen your writing skills
Good writers tend be good thinkers, and good thinkers create ideas that get written about.
How do you improve your writing skills? It won’t happen from watching big brother 3 times a week or sitting around reading comic books.
My friend, you must read and write to get better at writing. Benjamin Franklin actually had a system for this- a system I highly suggest- but for now, just read the following book:
The Elements of Style, by William Strunk and E.B. White.
This book will teach you how to follow the rules of writing, but even better, it will illuminate the right times to break them. For effect.
And at under 100 pages, I know you can push through it.
Curious about how the man on the hundred dollar bill did his thing? Read his autobiography or check out this article called, “How Ben Franklin Learned to Write.”
Anyways, back to how to get the job you want (and qualify for).
Do the work for recruiters
Create documents that paint a portrait of who you are, and make it easy for employers to get to know you before they get to know you. What you will need:
- A resume that is clear: one that is verb/results oriented and can be slightly tailored to each employer or role.
- A cover letter template that reflects exactly (honestly) what the job you qualify asks for. Do not exaggerate; do not lie about what you did- it will come back and bite you in the ego.
- Multimedia that looks professional, for your social media accounts, and pictures for your site that represent your beliefs. If you are a calculated risk taker, upload pictures of you skydiving or cave diving. If you are strongly detail oriented, then perhaps you should reveal video of a project you worked on that was recognized for its complexity. If you are an awesome public speaker, then upload a speech. You get the idea…
- A WiseStamp E-mail signature – This will allow you to leave a signature after every email. You have the ability to link to your social networking accounts, website, email, and phone number. Why not use that to your advantage?
Always emphasize your strengths and how you can impact that companies bottom line. Allow them to see that you are an awesome resource- that you will help them be more profitable.
Know where to look for jobs
You can save a lot of time if you simply eliminate the 80 percent of places that tend to be saturated with people submitting resumes in a manner that resembles someone who can’t see.
Monster might work for you. Career builder may be your messiah. I really don’t know where you may find that dream job, but I have found that using these websites has never led to even a phone call for me.
My suggestion is to use other resources, such as your College’s career website, LinkedIn, Twitter, or even Indeed.
I suggest LinkedIn as your primary method of searching because:
- You can paint your resume on a beautiful canvas that is easily accessible
- You can network sinfully
- You can search for jobs in specific fields, locations, etc.
- You can research recruiters
- You can learn what the requirements are and truthfully customize your documents to fit those needs
Twitter is also a great tool for finding job openings and contacting those with influence. I suggest using http://twitter.com/#!/search-home to search for keywords like “Social Media Jobs” or “Brazilian Bikini Model Masseuse.”
If you went to College, use your schools career website. The employers that submit jobs to them are probably looking for alumni from your school. I actually acquired my new job after I applied and followed up through FSU’s Seminole Link career site. (#winning)
**note: remember the goal is to create a brand; to make yourself memorable; to express to others who you are AND who you want them to see- so make sure that you are consistent with what you post in your social networks, and be sure to create a brand around it.
My brand is a constant work in progress, but feel free to imitate some of it with hopes of surpassing anything I’ve done.
Another great resource for researching jobs
Head over to this website and you can save tons of headaches and have a better time connecting with the employees and employers of the companies you are interested in.
Glassdoor is an incredible website where employees anonymously upload salary information, steps to the interview process, and reviews of the company. You can learn what kind of questions to expect, how things are run at the company, and it allows you to confidently negotiate your salary.
An oldie but goodie
Awesome talk from branding King, Steve Jobs.
Good luck my friend
The next step is the interview process. If you want some information about that, just let me know and I’ll sit down and make notes of what I do. I am way too comfortable in 9 out of 10 interviews that I tend to sit in on- probably more than I should, but that helps me stay focused and sincere.
But anyways, I’ve got to go back to roaming around Atlanta and reading sales books. I was recently hired to do door to door B2B sales (just look at you, Juda! Already a pro in using acronyms!) Once I start working, my next goal will be “mastering” door to door sales in 30 days. And by “mastering” I don’t mean I’ll be a Zig Ziglar in 30 days. I hope to learn more from door to door sales than I can imagine.
Do you have any questions about this blog post? Are you looking for more advice on a particular aspect of the job search process (especially related to using social media), then feel free to post it in the comments. Also, suggestions are more encouraged than showers.
Thank you for reading.
“The ability to perceive or think differently is more important than the knowledge gained.”- David Bohm, American Physicist
*In case someone took this literally: I have neither taken LSD nor steroids. I only do PCP and whippets.***
*** In case my sarcasm was not evident: I have never even seen PCP or done anything with a whip-cream can other than derive deliciousness for my ice cream of choice. Usually the Blue Bell brand.