In my marketing class, we’ve been talking about branding: identifying a need and positioning your product as the one to satisfy that need by delivering unique benefits. We recently completed an assignment to remind us that this concept not only applies to products, but also to job candidates. When interviewing for a job, think of the employer as the customer and yourself as the product. The employer is looking to satisfy a need in their company and it is your responsibility to position yourself as the one to satisfy that need by delivering unique benefits.
When developing your personal brand, you should first think about the qualities you possess. Think about how you would describe yourself and then ask your friends, family, and colleagues how they would describe you. Compare your description against theirs: is the way they see you the way you want to be seen?
Once you have an idea of the characteristics you possess and could bring to a job, research the job of interest. What are the culture, values, and vision of the company? What are the skills needed for the job? How does the company position itself: what makes it unique?
Then, evaluate your fit for the role. How do your skills line up with the company’s needs? What is the unique benefit you could bring to the company? With these answers in mind, develop a positioning statement for yourself. A simple template for a personal positioning statement is: For (company), (your name) is the (job of interest) that delivers (need of the company) because only (your name) has (the unique skills and benefits you could bring to the job).
Thinking about your personal brand and developing your own personal positioning statement before an interview will help you “sell” yourself by emphasizing the benefits you can bring to the employer.