Monday, June 21

Brand Your Graduate


June: it's that time of year again when hundreds of thousands of college graduates hit the job market. When it was my turn, it was one of the happiest moments in my life. Today, with the economy the way it is, I'm not so sure that's the case anymore. Sure, the celebration of the college years is an incredible milestone, but the thought of entering the job market is enough to scare even the most confident.

So what's a Mom or Dad to do, aside from offering emotional support and the warmth of a home-cooked meal? Help your college grad become a brand!

The great thing about marketing is that anything can be a brand, even a person. I've been doing some speaking engagements for my new book, and one topic that keeps coming up from the audience is personal branding. It's a hot topic these days with so many people looking for work, including new grads.

So the best help you can give the job seeker in your family is to help them create their own personal brand. How? Let's take a few tips from classic package goods marketing.

First assess your skills. Write them down in priority order and start to make some logical sense out of them. A brand would call these skills your "assets". Then write down a mission statement. What do you want out of life? What is your goal?

Now do some research. Find possible industries and companies that need your kind of skills and that would help you to achieve your goals.

With knowledge in hand, you can start to package your skill set, your assets, into a tight bundle of benefits for a potential employer. Time to write your resume. Don't do a data dump, but rather a carefully written sequence of your skills and achievements designed to show an employer that you will hit the ground running.

Fully prepared, you can start to market yourself. Get online and create a LinkedIn profile and become active on Twitter. Network to find people in the industries and companies that you are targeting. Most people are more than willing to help, especially for someone who has their act together.

Choose your language smartly, all to support your brand which should be a summation of all your skills, goals, and knowledge of your future industry.

As a newly minted brand, rather than just another college grad looking for a job, you will be well on your way towards landing a highly competitive job because you will make it easy for a potential employer to pick you out of a lineup.

Best of luck to all the college grads, and their moms and dads!

What's your experience? Jim

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