GRADUAN® Team shares a brilliant idea on how you can stand out from the hundreds of graduates in the job market.
Think of McDonald’s and Cola-Cola and you will understand the power of branding. Branding is the combining of tangible and intangible traits and characteristics of a product to make it unique. Manufacturers and companies “brand” products with a promise of its value – that the product is “better” than those of their competitors in the market. But this promise must be delivered in order for the product to be marketed successfully.
You can apply the concept of branding to yourself in your search for the right career. Branding, in fact, is essential to your career advancement, as it helps define who and what you are, how “great” you are and why potential employers should hire you!
Branding is all about building a name for yourself. If you don’t brand yourself, others will do it for you. So, be proactive, take the extra effort to establish yourself as a brand. In his book, The Brand You (Reinventing Work) : Fifty Ways to Transform Yourself from an ‘Employee’ into a Brand that Shouts Distinction, Commitment and Passion!, management guru Tom Peters wrote, “Regardless of age, regardless of position, regardless of the business we happen to be in, all of us need to understand the importance of branding. We are the CEOs of our own companies: Me,Inc.”
How do you go about building yourself as a brand? Read on to find out.
Building your brand starts with listing your past accomplishments and achievements from which you gained new and important experiences. This is the foundation for any career branding exercise. Take the time to plan and focus on what you want as a brand name for yourself. Assess your weak areas and develop a strategy to gain the right experience needed to overcome them.
Experience can be gained through many through many different channels. Seek out internships, freelance jobs or volunteer your services to gain that necessary experience.
While your first degree is necessary to start you off in your career, additional qualifications can help your excel and greatly enhance your career branding. Ask your employer for an education reimbursement benefit because some companies do offer this.
Don’t underestimate the power of self-promotion. Even if you have a fantastic brand, no one will know about it if you don’t promote yourself well. And no one can promote you better than you can.
For fresh graduates, your best promotion tool is your resume. So it’s to your advantage to spend time in understanding the fundamental aspects of writing a good resume and cover letter.
List your key accomplishments, skills and education. Develop a portfolio of important documents, such as transcripts, awards, honours and testimonials. These are your branding tools, so use them to promote yourself. Employers won’t know about your accomplishments and added value unless you tell them.
The best “free” way of promoting yourself is through networking and the power of W-O-M or word-of-mouth. The people with whom you network, and these are basically your friends, colleagues, former employers, teachers and lecturers, will have a thing or two to say about your accomplishments.
So keep your network strong and expand it by staying in contact with the people around you.
Word-of-mouth is what people say about you. Make sure that your network knows of your most recent accomplishments and successes so that they will put in some good words of you.
Now that you have a brand name, you must continue to improve and strengthen it. There are many competing brands (other graduates looking for a career, just like you!) that employers may choose from. The more you cultivate your brand, the more successful you will be in your career search and planning.
As in any business activity, preparation is perhaps the most important element in your branding strategy. The strength of your preparation will carry you through the entire job search process.
This marketing preparation includes asking yourself the following questions:
Once you’ve done your marketing preparation, you can begin to write your cover letter. The keys to a successful cover letter are:
A resume is a document that describes your education, work experience and skills. But again, what makes an excellent resume is marketing. You have to consider yourself a product, with the employer as the buyer – why should the employer buy (hire) you?
Your resume is a key marketing tool in your career search. To help your succeed, your resume should:
What you really need to ace your interview session is confidence, which can be learned. No matter how introverted you are, you can learn to master interviews or at least survive them!
Practice makes perfect. Learn the basic rules, practise and refine your techniques as much as possible. Good marketing preparation will you to the interview, but it is the interview that will determine whether you are successful in getting the job.
Some basic facts about interviews that you need to know:
Although this is the final step of your career search, it is as important as the first step. If you do not follow up after the interview, you might as well consider going back to square one, as the interviewer would have forgotten about you. When you follow up on your interview status, you are serving a crucial “wake-up” call or reminder to the potential employer.
How do you follow up?
Branding is essential to your career advancement, as it helps define who and what you are, how “great” you are and why potential employers should hire you. For fresh graduates, your best promotion tool is your resume.
Good marketing preparation will get you the interview, but it is the interview that will determine whether you are successful in getting job.
United Overseas Bank (Malaysia) Bhd
United Overseas Bank (Malaysia) Bhd
Tech Mahindra ICT Services
Wow them with your answer, not make them go huh?
She got her big break from the brand that brought you Kit Kat!
Here’s what you should follow...