Top Job Seekers Need a Top Reputation

January 16th, 2017

When it comes to pitching a product or service to a potential buyer, sales and marketing experts recognize the value of branding. Marketing pros want their product to inspire certain feelings and spark certain connections in the mind of their audience, and they want their target buyers to remember the product and think about it long after their initial interaction has come to an end. As a job seeker, you need to become your own marketing expert, and you need to apply all the tools of trade as you pitch and promote your product: You! Here are a few tips that can help you grab attention and stay top-of-mind.

Keep it simple.

Of course your resume and cover letter contain volumes of information about who you are, what you can do, and what you’ve done in the past. But if you had to, could you simplify your message and distill it into a single sentence? How about five words? How about one? Think of a single word that captures the kind of energy you bring to the table. Then build your brand around that word.

What can you offer that others can’t?

You’re great at your job, for sure. And you have the years of experience, certifications, and personality traits that your target employers are looking for. But so do most of the other candidates seeking this role. What can you offer that these other competitors can’t? What makes you stand out from the crowd? Take that special talent or area of value and pair it with the word (or simple sentence) you generated above. An image of your brand may be taking shape at this point.

Adopt a signature color.

In our culture, certain colors bring widely accepted associations. For example, red suggests passion. Yellow suggests a sunny disposition. Green suggests creativity, orange implies friendliness, and purple invokes regal dignity. Blue often suggests intellect and cool headedness. If you were to attach a color to the memory of yourself, what would it be? Once you settle on a color that you’d like associated with your name, bring a bit of that color to your interactions with potential employers. Place a dash of it in your resume and wear an accessory to your interview, like a scarf or a pocket square. Think in the same terms as you choose your font, layout, and any other aspect of personal style.

Consider your voice and communication strategy.

Once you’ve adopted a brand, try to keep your presentation consistent. If you’d like to be remembered as passionate and committed, bring a passionate flair to your statements and assertions. The same applies if you’d like to be remembered as cool and collected, or upbeat and sunny. All of us are all of these things at various moments; we contain multitudes. But simple statements and simple associations are easiest to remember.

For more on how to establish and maintain a personal brand during your Charlotte job search, reach out to the local employment experts at PSU.

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Are You Managing Millennial Talent Effectively?

January 6th, 2017

As an experienced manager, you already know that not all employees will respond the same way to the same communication styles and coaching techniques. Some employees appreciate criticism, some resent it, some prefer a hands-on approach, and some thrive when their managers take a step back and allow them to take full ownership of their projects. These preferences and quirks don’t always correspond perfectly to certain identity factors, like age or background, and it isn’t easy to divide employees along clear lines (for example, it’s never wise to assume that men like to be treated one way and women another). But in some ways, millennial employees tend to stand apart from their gen X and baby boomer counterparts, and taking note of these differences can help managers to understand the needs of this unique demographic. Here are a few tips that can help you maintain productive relationships with your younger workers.

Treat them like adults but respect their lack of experience.

Generations ago, a 22-year-old person could be considered a fully realized adult, but in today’s complicated world, that expectation just isn’t reasonable. Respect your millennial employees by recognizing the limits of their experience. When they make mistakes, coach and teach, don’t berate. Help them grow; don’t insist that they step into the workplace already knowing everything they need to know in order to succeed.

Technology is great, but it isn’t everything.

Just because your millennials have mastered social media does not mean they’re “tech-savvy”. It doesn’t mean they can manage an SQL database or update a legacy IT system or even confidently connect their own devices to the company network. Again, keep your expectations and assumptions under control, and keep communication channels open. Explain what needs to be explained, and ask what needs to be asked.

Recognize the way they’ve been raised.

Studies show that when compared to their gen x and baby boomer peers, millennials tend to be more empathetic, more comfortable with supervision and oversight, and more willing to take innovative risks. Some of these “millennial” traits are simply products of age; everyone goes through similar growth phases during their early twenties. But some of these traits are unique and have not appeared prominently in previous generational cohorts. This may be due to rise of the internet, hover-parenting, a 24 hour news cycle, a cultural shift, or any number of other factors; we may never know for sure. But if you keep an open mind and listen carefully when your millennial employees tell you who they are and what they need, you get the most out of these relationships, and you’ll attract and retain a group of hardworking, ambitious future leaders who will choose your company over the competition.

For more on how to build strong relationships with valuable young employees, turn to the Cleveland County staffing and management experts at PSU.

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