By Stephen Van Vreede (@ITtechExec)
In today’s competitive job market, it’s essential to distinguish yourself from all the other candidates out there; whether they are strong or weak, you’ve got to stand out from the pack. One of the most effective strategies for differentiating yourself is in crafting a personal brand message.
Personal Brand Message
Your personal brand simply communicates what makes you special to a prospective employer. The brand statement needs to by clear and concise. Your audience should be able to read it in 5 seconds or less. This will help them to understand it and retain it.
Value in Your Brand
One of the core elements in developing your brand is in the value you offer. Too many job seekers and resume writers focus on things like years of experience, education or certifications, and soft skills. The problem is that there is little that’s unique about any of these things. For example, many candidates have 10-plus years of experience, a Bachelor’s degree, and are dedicated and hard-working. No, those things are nice, but not always valuable to an employer.
So how do you determine your value? Start by thinking about the things you have done that others weren’t able to do. Consider the following examples:
- As a developer, you may have been able to solve a software defect that had been plaguing an enterprise application for years.
- As a project manager, you were brought in to take over failing projects and consistently got the team in order to meet the scope, milestones, and deliverables of the project.
- As a CIO, you were able to put together a new IT organizational model that helped to dramatically improve service delivery with a reduced cost structure.
The Value Proposition
All these things create value. In addition, they can all be used as a foundation for creating a strong value proposition. The developer can highlight their ability to solve intractable problems impacting global operations. The project manager can brand themselves as a project turnaround specialist. The CIO can position themselves as a change management and business transformation leader.
Many candidates worry about being pigeon-holed in the job search when they brand themselves specifically in this manner. The concern is that it limits their opportunities. Actually, what it really does is create a focused image of who they are and what they truly offer. It makes them something other than a commodity, which is important. Remember, commodity prices are set by the market demand and all are priced at the same level because all the products are the same. This approach tells the company that you’re not the same at all. You’re unique. You’re valuable. You can command a higher compensation because you’re worth it.
The ITtechExec Way
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