As many of you will know, I specialize in helping professionals differentiate and get hired into their dream jobs at top companies. I started Magnify Your Marketability with the goal of developing top talent to help address the global talent shortage issue. By 2015, only 20% of the population will be qualified to take on 60% of new jobs that are created. A huge issue that the job market will face going forward is that the demand for top talent exceeds the supply.
Here’s where I come in – I help my clients understand their passions and hone in on their strengths so that they can differentiate themselves. I developed my unique and comprehensive 4 D’s formula to help with this, and I’m going to go over it now for all of you on how to differentiate as top talent!
1. DISCOVER your essence.
The key to this is to get crystal clear on who you are and what you want. When my clients are in this stage, I help them become more aware of their character and values. Not only should you aim to find out who you are, you should also consider what you stand for. If you’re not clear on these, you may enter a new opportunity with an employer who doesn’t value the same things you do, and that won’t be a good environment for you to thrive in.
Next, consider your SIN – Strengths, Interests, and Needs. What are you good at? What are you interested in? What is the demand for your skills looking like? Don’t forget to do your research and analyze the ‘need’ piece – you want to go where you’ll be able to add value, and an understanding of which industries need people like you will be very important for your success.
2. DEFINE your brand.
Personal branding is one of the top four skills that employers look for. Branding comes down to four elements:
- Your identity: What do you stand for? What are your values, and what makes your personality unique?
- Your reputation: What people think about you, what do they think of? To get a sense of this, you can send out an anonymous survey to some of your contacts. Knowing how others perceive you can be key to leveraging your brand!
- Your promise: This is your commitment level, motivation, and potential for development.
- Your unique value: What makes you different from everybody else? What can you bring to the table? What is your edge?
Having a brand that resonates with people is so important. Without it, you’re just another resume in the pile!
3. DEVELOP your marketing strategy.
This is your game plan from a job search and networking standpoint. If you want to get hired fast, you need a strategy. Sending out your resume randomly to companies just isn’t going to cut it. My top tips for you when you’re solidifying your strategy are to answer these questions:
- Who? Who do you need to connect to? Who do you have in your network who can help you connect to hiring managers, recruiters, or key players in your target organization?
- What? What is it that you want?
- Where? Where does your target organization recruit? Do they go to industry events or career fairs to find talent?
- When? Different industries have different hiring seasons. For example, consulting and accounting or financial services firms are generally very busy in the fall, whereas there will be a need for marketers in the early new year.
- Why? Why this industry? Why this company? Why this role? Why you? If you can nail these four questions, your interview will be a breeze!
- How? How do you go about your job search? What methods are you going to spend time on? What are some networking events that you should go to?
Remember this: if you apply solely through online applications, you only have an 8% chance of getting hired. Doing your research and developing a strategy can mean the difference between spending months unemployed or getting hired into your dream job!
4. DELIVER your message.
To differentiate yourself, you should aim to master your glowing introduction. An introduction is a 20-30 second blurb that shows the person you’re talking to what you’re passionate about, where you currently are in your career, and the credibility and experience that you have. Talk about your passions first so that your words resonate with your audience. Then, move on to your present situation: where you are in your career and where you want to go from here. Finally, wrap it up by briefly going over your past experience to build credibility.
Do you have questions about how you can differentiate yourself? Ask them in the comments section!