I was talking to a recruitment consultant last month and found myself agreeing with her when she said the current economy makes this an employers’ market.
Large numbers of people without work provides employers with a rich selection of talent sitting on the shelf from which to choose.
It is possible that the most attractive prospects at eye level are younger people. Younger applicants, offer new perspectives, fresh out of school or college. They are perceived to be more malleable and less expensive than mid-career job changers.
All of which made me think about personal branding. Having a good professional reputation, can improve personal marketability, whatever age you are. It can make you stand out from the other people looking for an opportunity to shine.
In my recent experience of attending public meetings and community events, reputation isn’t always something people consider when they represent themselves, or speak on others’ behalf.
For instance what would you think if you heard at a Town Hall meeting that a representative of a faith organisation was prepared to ‘use force’, if that got his planning application approved?
On the other side of the coin how does a Community centre volunteer come across as she describes her venue as an ‘exciting place, from the time the doors open to when they close’?
Each speaker is making a statement about who they are and how you might relate to them.
If reputation is important the challenge is to establish and enhance one’s own. That involves finding a unique selling proposition for yourself, to be known for your: attention to detail; ability to influence others; technical competence and so on. Having earned that USP the trick must be to keep building on it.
Trying to build on an established USP can be risky too. As I mentioned in previous posts, Nick Buckles – head of G4S, the Olympic contractor providing security staff – recently found that out the hard way. How difficult will it be for his organisation to enjoy its previous tried-and-trusted status I wonder?
Not ready for the ‘Reduced To Clear’ shelf just yet? It might be worth asking questions:
Am I presenting myself as offering Everyday Value (reassuring, dependable, nothing fancy)?
Or do I work at becoming a Premium Brand (luxurious, different, something-a-bit-special)?
I’ll do some market research on my own offer and let you know what I find.
- How to research your competition in your job search (halliecrawford.com)