So, is there anything you can do to improve your chances of being the successful candidate?
You may have heard people talk about personal brands. Personal branding is a term I use at Scaramanga to describe the effect you have on others and the impact you create, just as a product or company brand is designed to embody specific values and make you, the customer, respond to it in a certain way.
You can use the strength and power of your personal brand to market yourself more effectively and get yourself noticed.
Start off by looking really in depth at what your goals are, not just for the next twelve months, but look ten years ahead. Plot out your career path to achieve those goals and break it down into individual steps. These may be a level of expertise or responsibility, or getting experience in a certain industry, or even more training.
Once you know where you want to go, start to look at what strengths, expertise and experience you already bring. Ask what it is about you that makes you stand head and shoulders above the rest.
Then, ask the same question of your family, your friends, work colleagues past and present. Build up a good picture of how you see yourself and how others see you. Others will almost certainly say things that surprise and delight you – it is all too easy to be hard on ourselves, so feedback from others is invaluable.
Look next at how you can market the uniqueness that is you. What will the right potential employer value above all else? Bring these qualities to the fore in your CV and covering letter. Put across your personality and how you, as a person, are right for them.
Once in your new role, get to know the people who can influence your career and let them know about your strengths and success stories you are involved in. Write blogs, volunteer for projects, show willing and eager to progress, and, look the part. Dress for the job you want, not the job you have.
When you are building your personal brand, whatever you do, don’t pretend to be something you’re not. Others will sense there is something wrong and instinctively distrust you.
So, for a successful personal brand, set your goals, work out what sets you apart, communicate your uniqueness and promote your success. And don’t forget, you already have a personal brand, whether you are aware of it or not. The real question is whether it is working for you or against you.