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Personal Branding in a Job Search by Greg David of Gregory Laka and Company


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The critical importance of personal branding in a job search and/or responsible career management.

Published in: Technology, Business, Career

Personal Branding in a Job Search by Greg David of Gregory Laka and Company

  1. 1. Personal Branding: The Essential Key to a Successful Job Search. Greg David, President Laka & Company
  2. 2. What personal branding is NOT! • Defining yourself by TITLE or DEPARTMENT. – Example: I am an accountant. – Example: I am a computer programmer. – Example: I am in sales. – Example: I am an attorney.
  3. 3. What personal branding IS: • Defining SME to capture attention, create value, and define a critical positive impact that you make. – It is specific. – It is positive in emotion. – It is desirable for others to have. – It makes your competition less desirable.
  4. 4. What personal branding IS: • It consists of many small and not so small items, it intertwines, and creates an identity that you wish others to know you for. • Everything counts! Nothing is too small! From your email address, to your resume file name, to the online footprint you manufacture. IT ALL COUNTS!
  5. 5. What personal branding IS: • Branding is making yourself: – RELEVANT to others. – DESIRABLE to others. – DIFFERENT than your ‘competition’.
  6. 6. The old search process.  • “Moths to a light” demonstrates the outdated, and unsuccessful process of job seekers (moths) flocking to a light (job). HINT: It doesn’t work.
  7. 7. The new search process!  In the new job search process, the job seeker is the light, and moths are jobs. The trick is to get them to flock to you. HINT: It cuts a job search cycle down significantly and makes future job searches a snap. In fact, the longer and more successfully you do it, the less likely you will be hurt in the future.
  8. 8. Personal Branding BASICS: Where to start.
  9. 9. Defining Your BRAND. • Who are you AND what do you do? • Define Subject Matter Expertise (SME) ? • What impact on others does it have? • What pain do you eliminate? • What benefit do you create? • How do you help save time or money? • How do you increase revenue or profitability? » Write down these bullets quickly!
  10. 10. Exercise One: Brainstorming. • Use a legal pad to write down as many answers to the questions on the previous slide. Fill as many pages as you can. Write quickly. • You will need to do multiple drafts to make your words and thoughts meaningful. Write, define, refine. » Challenge: Can you fill 10 pages? 20?
  11. 11. Exercise Two: Defining Your Market. • What geographic markets need you? • What industries need you? • What size organizations need you? • What organizations need you? • What departments need you? • What roles need you? » You’ll need to research!
  12. 12. Exercise Three: Defining Your Advantages. • What is your SME (Subject Matter Expertise)? • How does it directly affect: increased profit, customer satisfaction, customer loyalty, improved revenue, market share, lower costs, or entrance into new markets? » Advantages are skills.
  13. 13. Defining Your Weaknesses • Comparatively---to others who do what you do- ---how are you poorly positioned? – Years of experience? – Cost? – Risk of turnover or stagnation? – Performance? Ease of managing? – Ability to learn? – Flexibility? Adaptability? Desire to grow? – Past observed shortcomings? – Are you a ‘moldable piece of clay’ or a ‘weed’? » Weaknesses are bad habits.
  14. 14. An exercise NOT for the weak BUT the STRONG! • Contact multiple prior managers for real and honest feedback to improve yourself, and the value you bring to the table. • Go to work on those issues immediately, and be able to show tangible corrective action taken. • Stay with it for a minimum of one year or until it becomes part of a NEW you.
  15. 15. Defining Your STRENGTHS. • Comparatively---to others who do what you do- ---how are you PROPERLY positioned? – Years of experience? Cost? – Able to act as a ‘catalyst of change’? – Performance? Past achievements? – What are you learning at a rapid rate of speed? – Flexibility? Adaptability? Desire to grow? – How are you a ‘moldable piece of clay’ & not a ‘weed’? » Strengths are a mix of positive competitive positioning and positive habits.
  16. 16. Defining Your Tools • Word based. • Paper based. • Media based. • Technology based. • Examples of work/portfolio based. • Web based.
  17. 17. BRING Clear Substance Quickly (CSQ): • How easy is it for others to get their questions answered about you? • How well do you communicate? • How quickly do you provide substance that matters to others?
  18. 18. Defining WORD based BRANDING. • THINK: VERBAL & WRITTEN: – Elevator speech. – Value statement. – Mission statement. – Subject Matter Expertise (SME). – Biography. Articles or books written. – Speaking engagements.
  19. 19. Defining PAPER based BRANDING. • THINK: – Business cards. Handbills. Resumes. – White papers, SME documentation. – Articles written about you, items authored, etc. – Examples of work. – Positive past employment reviews. Awards. – Certifications.
  20. 20. Defining MEDIA based BRANDING. • THINK: – CD’s. – DVD’s. – USB memory sticks. – Virtual based presentations.
  21. 21. Defining TECHNOLOGY based BRANDING. • THINK: – Email address and resume file name. – Vcard (your electronic business card). – Electronic signature. – Set up of your PC and email product. – PowerPoint, white paper, video, etc. ‘style’. – “Follow me” phone service. » Are you creating ‘an experience’ for the viewer?
  22. 22. Defining PORTFOLIO based BRANDING. • THINK: – Examples of work. – Letters of recommendation from past supervisors, clients, etc. – Employment reviews documentation. – Letters of commendation and awards. – White papers, SME documentation. – Articles written about you, items authored, etc. – Certifications.
  23. 23. Defining WEB based BRANDING. • THINK: LinkedIn, Plaxo, Facebook, Twitter, blogs/vlogs, websites, uploaded content (video clips, presentations, white papers, etc.). • What is your web sized foot print and what does it say about you? • Can anyone even find you on the Internet or web---what is your online identity and visibility?
  24. 24. Your online identity and visibility: 0-100%? • Vizibility’s Online Identity Calculator: Provides you advice on how to build a stellar online identity that is aligned with your real-world personal brand.
  25. 25. Niche sites to be on: • (focused on Boomers, founded by founder Jeff Taylor). • (start up and small business site---advice and right time, right place job opportunities). • (great social site to demonstrate your SME).
  26. 26. More niche sites to be on: • Filled with great ideas, tips, and the occasional connection to a new job. • Use email campaigns to share your SME. • You might score big with a job at a startup.
  27. 27. ‘Swiss Army Knife’ web sites: • 5 star job site. • search on ‘job search personal branding’. • • another terrific tool for a job search. • A MUST HAVE TOOL!
  28. 28. Steps to get started
  29. 29. Day One • Complete ‘legal pad’ exercises to define and refine YOUR branding. – This can take 1-4 hours or more. • Register with social & business networking sites and create a profile. – This can take 1-3 hours or more per site.
  30. 30. Day Two • Author/Re-author: – Resume(s) and cover letters. – Handbill. – Business card. • Have SME information on back of card. » This will take 4-8 hours or more.
  31. 31. Day Three • Set up/re-configure PC and email product to accurately show your name. • Set up/re-configure profiles on LinkedIn, Plaxo, etc. • Set up/re-configure XOBNI, GWABBIT, Act! or Goldmine, and Skype (with video). • Set up a reach me anywhere phone account. » This will take 2-4 hours total time.
  32. 32. Day Four • Write five draft ‘PowerPoint’ presentations on a topic in which you are an SME. – Write one every two hours. – Simple and powerful in content. – Needs to evoke interest, and capture attention. – Depending on topic, 5-20 slides.
  33. 33. Day Five • Revise PowerPoint presentations until at final edit. • Have approved by an expert for quality of content and to ensure grammatically correct. • Upload to public sites. » This will take 2-4 hours total time.
  34. 34. Day Six • Write five draft ‘articles’ on a topic in which you are an SME. – Write one every two hours. – Simple and powerful in content. – Needs to evoke interest, and capture attention. – Needs to impress, not alienate.
  35. 35. Day Seven • Revise ‘articles’ until at final edit. • Have approved by an expert for quality of content and to ensure grammatically correct. • Upload to public sites.
  36. 36. Day Eight • Mirroring your ‘articles’, develop an outline to create a video based version of your ‘articles’. – This will take 30-60 minutes for each. • Develop a script to use for each. – This will take 60-90 minutes for each.
  37. 37. Day Nine • With a backdrop in place and an assistant, create the video clips. – This should take 15-60 minutes per clip. • If necessary, perform any necessary editing of the video clips. – This should take 0-60 minutes per clip. • Upload video clips. – This should take 15-60 minutes per clip.
  38. 38. Sites to upload SME info to: • • • • • • •
  39. 39. More sites to upload SME info to: • • • • • • •
  40. 40. Day 10 • Incorporate the links from all ‘articles’, PowerPoint presentations, and uploaded video clips into: – Cover letter and resume. – LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest. – Make sure all uploaded content contains links back to all other content.
  41. 41. Day 11 • Blog: Go to or another blogging site on the Internet and create an account. • You will need to write 3 times per week to gain an audience.
  42. 42. Day 12 • Use the internet and library to become an expert blogger and use sites like to become even better, learning from others mistakes, and their successes. • What do you have to blog daily or regularly to help others? Keep it positive, passionate, and help others learn more, and more about you.
  43. 43. Day 13 • Twitter: Set up your account, profile, and what your Twitter space will look like visually. • Use the search feature to search on others you want to follow, & do it! • Make sure you link your Twitter, Blog, and LinkedIn account to maximize exposure and others following you.
  44. 44. Twitter: Helpful sites • personal-brand/ • er-personal-branding-checklist/ • branding-experts-to-follow-on-twitter-in- 2010/
  45. 45. Day 14 • VLOGS: Take your blog to the next level, and make it a video based blog. – With audio and video based content, you take the benefit of a blog to the next level. • ging/ht/howtovlog.htm • uxWFw
  46. 46. What to do daily & ongoing. • When applying for particular jobs, reference specific links to your virtual SME information wherever applicable and in all cover letters or emails. • Contribute to your blog/vlog, Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, etc. daily. • Share original content and content from other sources.
  47. 47. What to do weekly and ongoing. • Brainstorm daily on new, innovative ‘articles’, Power Points, and video clips you can develop and add one SME topic per week to your collection. • Read, read, read. Research, research, research.
  48. 48. Use old fashioned ways to fuel your success. • Spread your branding message using ‘others focused’ vehicles. – Kids based organizations, coaching, etc. – Faith based organizations. – Community based organizations. – Teaching opportunities. – Political office campaigns. – Associations and not-for-profit groups. – Fundraisers.
  49. 49. I don’t have the time to do this! • For the unemployed, take a look at how they spend their time in a job search. They have the time. 009/07/31/business/20080801- metrics-graphic.html
  50. 50. I don’t have the time to do this! • Measure the time you spend clicking, applying, emailing your resume, and measure your results at the end of a week. Then a month. • There is more than enough time to do personal branding and the results are far better!
  51. 51. I don’t have the time to do this! • If you are working, you are at a huge disadvantage in a job search. You cannot be as responsive, cannot interview as easily, and cannot respond as nimbly. • Personal branding makes the jobs come to you. Just be savvy enough to hear the knock of opportunity.
  52. 52. Recommended Reading • Me 2.0: Build a Powerful Brand to Achieve Career Success by Dan Schawbel • How YOU Are Like Shampoo for College Graduates: The Complete Personal Branding System to Define, Position, and Market Yourself and Land a Job You Love by Brenda Bence • Storytelling about Your Brand: Online and Offline by Bernadette Martin • I'm in a Job Search--Now What???: Using LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter as Part of Your Job Search Strategy (Thinkaha) by Kristen Jacoway and Jason Alba
  53. 53. The real question is: What is it that you want?
  54. 54. Do you want this?
  55. 55. Or do you want this?
  56. 56. On second thought…
  57. 57. Don’t just become a light, become a beacon! Gregory David (Laka), President Laka & Company 312-528-9107