“Jobs for life” and “iron rice bowl” are concepts that have become extinct.
Global competition, automation and digital transformation have combined to make lifelong employment all but obsolete. Organisations have had no choice but to work leaner and lay off employees since payroll is the biggest expense for many businesses. One of the great benefits of having gone through recessions for many companies was that they learnt how many employees they could do without. But that is only one side of the story. On the other side of the employment equation, professionals with transferable skills have developed a taste for job-hopping. Rather than rely on a single company for sustained employment, they are starting to rely on themselves. No longer defined by a job title or confined by a job description, working professionals are making a brand out of themselves. In this age, it is all about knowing your worth and letting it be known to the (working) world.
You might have heard of company and brands. But what about your personal brand? Employees are starting to build their own brand. Personal branding is about taking a proactive approach to standing out and managing your career development. In fact, personal branding is important to the success of a job search. Managers, hiring professionals and recruiters receive hundreds and perhaps thousands of resumes for a single job opening. Thus, the pressure is on for job applicants to make an effort to stand out in the sea of resumes. How can you write a good resume that will land you a job interview? There are several basic types resumes such as the chronological, functional and combination formats. The chronological resume works well for those with solid work history and people who are looking to advance further in the same industry or field. But if you are thinking to do a career switch or is a fresh graduate, the functional resume will highlight your skills and experience to emphasize your suitability for a job position. Job seekers have also come up with unique and creative resumes formats such as infographic resumes and graphic resumes that are visually striking at first glance, but these may or may not work with all employers. Therefore, knowing the type of industry and work you are targeting for will determine the style of resume you need to impress your potential employers. More importantly, substance will rule over style in all resumes and the readers will need information presented in an easy to read manner to get the right attention from them.
While good personal branding on a resume might grant you an opportunity at securing a job interview, how can you sell yourself during interviews? Many individuals make the mistake of thinking that the focus is on themselves when they should be focusing on the interviewers. Behind every question, the interviewer wants to know, ”What can you do for me?”. Job applicants need to recognise and address the specific wants and needs of each job position. You must learn to think, act and talk in terms of what is important to the interviewer. Play up your skills by turning them into benefits. Maximise your references and job testimonials from past employers that could back you up as a strong candidate. Be prepared for a variety of interview situations and prove that you are perfect for the job. Ask questions to get as much information as possible and listen carefully to the answers. Like it or not, rejection is part of the interview process. Be sure to thank interviewers for their time and assure them that you will heed their advice. Ending the interview on a positive note will create good impressions on the people you want to make an impact on.
In addition, a study has found that 70 percent of employers use social media to screen candidates before hiring. Most of us probably realise that we need to market ourselves and create a social media presence as well. Your online presence extends from email to websites, blogs and social networking sites such as Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter etc. Think of your social media profiles as assets that you will be building throughout your career. The networks that you build can help you stay connected with people you know and build new connections with people you do not know. The more people you know, the easier it will be to open doors to new opportunities. A good way to proactively build your online brand is by making consistent postings that position you the way you want to be seen by others. It could be relevant information you publish on Twitter, videos on your latest projects or thoughtful insights on blogposts. Even if you are one of the very rare people who do not have some kind of social media presence, you can find all sorts of stuff about yourself online. Whether you like it or not, your colleagues, manager and potential employers are going to check you out online. Thus, make an effort to brand yourself online with the same efforts you dress for success at work.
In conclusion, no matter how talented you are, it doesn’t matter unless your bosses recognise those talents and think of you as a valuable employee. Build a successful career through the subtle and amazing art of self-promotion. In other words, know your worth and let it be known to everyone.
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Topics: Talent Management