Brand yourself like a small business
When you find yourself swimming in a sea of candidates competing for the same job as you, now you know exactly what it feels like to be a small business that’s trying to grow.
Used by ancient Egyptians 3000 years ago in farms to distinguish one cow from another, branding in business is used to carve out a space in the mind of its target consumer. In the job market, it’s used to set apart one candidate from the other.
What’s a brand character?
Every successful product or business has a clear and distinct brand character. A brand character is a set of human traits associated with a brand. For example, Nike’s brand character is the true athlete who will go to any lengths. Starbucks’ character is the seasoned and sophisticated coffee aficionado. McDonalds’ is the kid friendly thrifty pal.
Often brands take on the character of its founder such as Richard Branson’s Virgin-the debunker of the establishment or OWN network, the spiritual woman’s advocate or the Trump brand that stands for affluent, over the top excess. In all cases, a brand’s character is communicated in every aspect of its interactions with the world—in its products as well as the colours, words and images they use in their ads and websites.
How to use a brand character to find a job?
You are your own brand and your job is to establish your brand character in such a way that your dream employer will remember you in the multitude of interviews that has become a haze for them.
The first step is to determine what your top 3 human characteristics are: i.e. what do people notice immediately when they meet you and what do your friends and family consistently say that you’re like?
For example, my client George, a graphic artist with 20 years of experience was looking for work. We identified his top 3 characteristics as: 1. Environmentally conscious 2. Artistic 3. Passionate. We then incorporated those specifics into the wording of his cover letter, his resume and the way he was presenting himself on social media (ie. Posting articles and links to events about his interests).
He landed a job beyond even his expectations—he became an ambassador to a giant recycled paper manufacturer. His dream employer was drawn to him and noticed him because of his clearly established brand character.
You too can attract your dream job through clarifying and communicating your brand character. After all, don’t you want to be as memorable as Nike to your dream employer?