Get yourself a shiny new workbook, set yourself some goals and enjoy the journey, you’ll be amazed by what you’ll learn about yourself!
If you’re looking to return to work or thinking of changing jobs, then it’s time to start thinking about selling yourself to stand out ahead of the competition. With only 6% of jobs advertised as part time or flexible, it is a very competitive market and you need to hone your selling skills in the best way possible.
For working mums or people returning to work after a career break, it might be hard to find the time to do a job search, or maybe you lack confidence to put yourself first. If this is the case, then why not treat yourself as a project and use it as a chance to empower yourself to grab that dream job.
Celebrities treat themselves as a brand, so why not you? To get a job, you’re selling your talents and skills, so it makes sense to commoditise them to present the complete package. These days, employers are paying more attention to your CV personal statement or cover letter, so it is now more important than ever to sell ‘Brand You’
Find out what makes you different
First of all, you need to find out what your unique selling points (USPs) are, but don’t do this alone. Ask friends, partners, husbands, kids and even work colleagues what they see as your unique skills and talents. Even if it’s not work-related, they can be translated into ‘work speak’ on your CV. For example, if you’ve been doing volunteer work or supporting baby groups during a career break, then don’t leave these out. It’s still work.
Before you start focusing on your brand, you need to set goals to give yourself a direction. Think about what you want to achieve and set a timeframe, although do make the timings realistic. If you’ve been out of the workplace a while, then it may take a little longer to get a job, so be generous with your timeline. Imagine the confidence boost you’ll get if you get a job before your deadline. Set high goals and don’t be afraid to stick to them, you’re more likely to get a better outcome this way.
Set your target audience
As with any good brand campaign, pick your target employers and adapt your ‘key messages’ accordingly. This means using the right language for your target market or industry to show your knowledge and expertise. Make sure you tailor your CV, cover letter or personal statement to your target audience.
You need to walk the talk. There’s no point in looking great on paper and then turning up to an interview without considering how to present yourself. Think about all the little details, as they make all the difference, so appearance and body language are really important and something you need to think about. Body language accounts for 93% of messages you send out during an interview, so don’t ignore it.
Put yourself first
If you need a reason to put yourself first, then this is it. It is so common for people to put their job search on the backburner due to family, workplace loyalty or other commitments, but don’t be afraid to change your priorities. This reclaimed assertiveness and confidence will come across in interview.
Linkedin has become a useful tool for employers, so make sure your profile and photo is up to date. Don’t forget to manage your connections as well. It’s a small world and you never know, your connections may be the first to know about the latest jobs at their company or elsewhere. Twitter is also a good way to communicate with your target audience. Sending out useful, relevant tweets will help you get noticed and show you know your market well.
Once you’ve followed these steps, you are ready to sell ‘Brand You’. Put yourself front and centre and go get yourself that ideal part time or flexible job.