Job Interviews - You Are Your Own Brand

The Sun

By guest columnist Marisa R. Santoro

If you’ve been out of the job hunt for a while, you should know that the rules have changed - things are far more competitve these days.

What follows doesn’t just apply to landing that next job, though. It’s also a wake up call that should scream: 'This is the next move which will make me h-a-p-p-y'.

The questions you need to ask yourself are: Who am I ? and What am I selling ? Remember, you are your own brand. You need to convince a hiring manager why they should buy into you! You have one shot to answer the questions taped to his / her forehead: 'Why should I hire you ?' 'What makes you unique ?'.

Now here comes the tough part. Write down all of the things that you do well – not just related to your specific job skills. Do you speak another language, or play the guitar ? Are you a good networker ? Are you super organized ? These talents you can throw in as chit chat during any pregnant pauses of an interview. And they can turn it around.

You should also get the skinny on anyone beforehand. Have a peek at their very public profile on Linkedin.

Create your banner ad, which is the first thing they should see at the top of your Resume / CV. Branding can mean a variety of things. It can be an online presence, a blog, you can be a subject matter expert in a certain area. Write down all of the things you did in your career and it will just flow; just make sure it lands with a splash!

The top one third of your resume is your most valuable piece of real estate – your bio in a few sentences. It should answer the question: 'So, tell me your story ?' This brief summary of Fabulous You is your 30 second elevator pitch. It’s what you would throw out at cocktails when you’re getting warmed up during good networking. Your two minute commerical is in the interview - your one shot to expand on all of this. Two minutes is the golden rule; go on longer than that and they’ve hit the snooze button.

Finally,  and most importantly, before your curtain closes and you exit the interview, turn around and remind them why you can 'repeat' your successes again and again.

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