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​How to successfully market the most important brand: yourself

by Nastasia Whyte

As an IT Specialist with work experience and a strong technical as well as educational background, you are finding it easy to find suitable opportunities. However, you are unsure on how to stand out from the masses and promote your own brand? Then read on for five key tips from an experienced IT Recruiter.

Create an Elevator Pitch and not a cover letter

Start by creating your elevator pitch, which is a statement of who you are, what you want to do career-wise, and what you can provide to a company.

The key to creating your elevator pitch is to identify your strengths and explain how they can benefit the potential employer. While your elevator pitch is short, creating one means taking a deep dive into your work history, education, and combined experiences to identify what you bring to the table. With a solid elevator pitch in place, you can build on it and use the pitch to market yourself throughout your job search.

The elevator pitch should be the first thing that catches Recruiter and Hiring Manager’s attention. This means you should place it at the top of first page of your CV. The pitch should take up about a quarter of the page. Adapt this for every role, specifically listing your experience for the role and industry you’re applying to. It may sound like a lot of work, but you just need to make small tweaks and you can skip the cover letter in exchange.

Maintain an online presence

Create an online presence that supports your brand: Your job search goals and career choice can help determine the best online outlet. If you are in a field where you create something—articles, artwork, website designs, etc.—create an online portfolio to promote samples of your work. In many fields, it can be helpful to have a presence on social media sites, such as Twitter or LinkedIn, or to develop a personal newsletter, or you may just want to have a website with your resume and experience clearly written.

Use anecdotes and examples

Once you’ve defined what you expect and bring to the table, you will soon be at your first interview. During this process it is vital that you don’t only list your skills but use anecdotes and examples as proof. Share examples and tell stories that demonstrate your abilities. For interviewers, this creates a more persuasive, engaging experience. (Think about how commercials make a case for products—a pasta sauce ad doesn’t feature a person talking to the camera about its attributes, but rather, a family enjoying dinner together.)

Not sure how to frame examples of skills as stories? Try using the STAR method (that stands for Situation, Task, Action, Result) to develop a narrative.

Promote your network

Everyone has probably heard the phrase, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” And while what you know does play a significant role in landing a job, it’s hard to deny that building a strong network can also be an essential element of a job search and career success. There’s plenty of advice for helping you start, grow, and enhance your network. But it’s important to remember that while your network is there for you, in some respects, your network isn’t about you. A crucial yet often overlooked part of networking is what can you bring to others in your network? What is your value to the other members of your network? How do you help them? Helping other people in your network can go a long way toward spreading goodwill throughout and makes it more likely people will want to help you when you need it most. Even during your job search, make sure you’re balancing the types of communications you have with your network.

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