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.