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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Questions to Consider Before Accepting a Job Offer

January 29th, 2016

You’ve worked hard to impress your employers and land your target job, and finally your efforts have paid off. You have an offer! After a drawn out resume review and a nerve-wracking series of interviews, you finally got the call and now you’re reviewing the terms of a written agreement. It’s natural to be excited, and a after a long search, it’s natural to feel a sense of relief. But be careful. Read the terms and make sure everything meets your expectations before you sign. Here are a four questions you’ll want to answer as you do this.

What benefits will accompany this salary offer?

Of course, you’ll have to confirm that the salary on offer meets or exceeds the average for your area and your industry. And you’ll need to make sure this compensation accurately reflects your skills and contributions. But you’ll also need to make sure the health insurance, pension, and other benefits that accompany the offer measure up to your expectations. During the interview, it’s awkward to ask frankly about salary. At this point, it’s not only appropriate, it’s an absolute necessity.

Will this job take you where you need to go?

It’s nice to be able to collect a paycheck. But will a paycheck be enough to satisfy you in one, three, and five years? You have personal goals and long term plans for your career; will this company be able to promote you when the time comes? And will they be able to provide you with the experience and exposure you’ll need in order to move forward if you decide to look for opportunity elsewhere?

Will this company respect and accommodate your needs?

If you have personal needs and requirements of any kind, will you need to give them up in order to work for this employer? If you have to leave on weekends or limit your working day to 40 hours, that’s a need. If you have any religious obligations, medical needs, allergies or handicaps that require accommodation, can this company provide those accommodations? If you’ll be taking on a long, expensive commute and you’ll need parking or transportation vouchers, can the company offer them? Don’t make assumptions or leave these things to chance; get them worked out now.

What will your job description include?

This may seem like an obvious question, but some employers expect candidates to accept or reject an offer without actually reviewing a job description in writing. You’ll want to make sure your duties and responsibilities in this position align with your expectations and don’t include any tasks that you’re unable or unwilling to take on.

For more on how to review your job offer and ask the right questions before you accept, contact the job search and staffing team at PSU.

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