Branding Yourself for Success

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Job seekers looking to inject their search with a sense of urgency and purpose can be overwhelmed by factors beyond their control. One thing you do have complete control over is your product — you. Branding yourself for success is the surest way to garner the attention and favor of potential employers. Here are some ways you can distinguish yourself and communicate your essence so that hiring managers take notice.

Blurb Appeal
A blurb is defined as a short publicity notice, and this is a good guideline when presenting yourself. Whether it's your resume, a cover letter, or your "elevator speech", your audience appreciates brevity. "The resumes that get my attention are the ones that don't waste a word," says Hiring Manager Monica Daniels. According to Daniels, "Word clutter can even torpedo a cover letter. And in interviews, I've learned that the people who have a talent for getting straight to the point are the ones who ultimately succeed." In short, keep it short. On your resume, keep sentences concise and use bullets to make for easier reading. Distill your accomplishments into a 60-second speech that conveys your career accomplishments and what you can do for an employer. Rehearse your speech so when called on, you can deliver it to perfection.

Make the Most of Your Resume
If you make a mistake in person, you can gracefully correct yourself. Not so with your resume. It gives a job seeker one chance to shine and it's crucial that you make the most of it. "Resumes that highlight job duties squander a great opportunity," says Daniels. "A good resume focuses squarely on accomplishments and achievements without boasting." Triple check your resume for typos and grammatical errors. Avoid submitting an all-purpose resume that isn't specifically tailored to the position. Potential employers will recognize that you didn't take the time to present your skills and accomplishments as a close match.

Impress and Leave an Impression
When you make it to the interview stage it's good to keep in mind that you're doing something right. Your goal in the interview is both to impress and leave an impression. Introduce yourself and your background succinctly in 20 seconds or less. Keep in mind that you are branding yourself and keep things upbeat. Above all, take the time to listen and formulate responses relevant to the interviewer's questions. And remember to always avoid money talk until you've received an offer.

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