Contemporary Image-Builders Lead to Lucrative Job Offers

What’s all this talk about branding? If you’re a job seeker this term can make the difference between who garners offers. Where did this business jargon originate and how do you keep informed? What ever happened to just getting educated, gaining experience and qualifying for a job and just plain getting hired?

Has hiring really become more complicated than before or have we just configured fancy terminology to define standard rules of engagement? Let there be no doubt about the increased competition to stay afloat in business, government and not-for profit these days, consequently Boards and senior-decision makers are far more selective. No one can afford to gamble with their executive decisions.

Nevertheless I maintain that while adorned with fancy verbiage, the demands of executive image have always required clarity in definition to predict future performance. And with three decades as a job search coach I stand witness to the difficulty executives, managers and professionals experience defining who they are, discerning what they’ve done and discussing what they have to offer. And so we apply new words to old concepts.

When I was in high school we had a delivery driver who wore a crazy red hat. Rain, snow, and on the hottest of days he was known as the guy in the red hat. Years later, there were many who never learned his name but all know which person we meant when we described him.

Your Brand – How do you want to be categorized and identified by employers? What do you want to be known as? Are you the acquisition king, the deal-maker, the turnaround solution? Despite stellar careers, few executives can define who they are when required to package their careers.

All who work are defined by the functions they perform, i.e., financial, operational, administrative, technology and the environments in which they are performed, i.e., manufacturing, financial service, retail, distribution and education. If you have graduated to leadership and you now run the company the definition still applies, but now under the identity of senior management. However when asking an executive who he is, he is more than likely to tell you what he’s like. An exercise that will help initiate self-branding is to imagine a prospective Board willing to listen to only one illustration of your success. Your only chance to impress will be to tell a story of your biggest achievement. Your best approach will be to define what you are and then, by example, how well you’ve done. Companies who need heroes can relate to that! Perhaps you catch the ball before it drops! Without question, that’s a brand. Adopt it and tell the world!

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