Senior Executive - HR

SELLING oneself is possibly the most stressful task to go through - this is probably the main reason why most politicians, artists, models and actors prefer to have agents or PR representatives to help them market their skills, craft the right kind of image and make them stand apart from the competition. However, since most of us are not blessed with that kind of luxury, we have to learn to be our own brand ambassadors. Whether you want to market a product or sell yourself into an organisation, it finally boils down to `brand building'. Part of personal branding is to create a `branded skill set'. We must market our abilities, make ourselves distinct and memorable and enhance our networking skills so as to promote ourselves through contacts and acquaintances.

Here are some basic do's and don'ts:

The first rule of marketing a brand is `Know thy product'.

Since you are the `product' in this case, you need to really get to know yourself well. You need to be confident about your abilities, skills, experience, education and personality in order to make an impression on the interviewer. Prepare a detailed career profile and review it against a job description or requirements list prior to attending any interview.

Develop a Portfolio.

It may sound trite, but do spend some time to develop and customise your portfolio for each interview that you attend. Your true ability and potential may not be reflected in an unexciting inventory of hackneyed tasks that you do on a daily basis. Spend some time and effort to determine the extent of your true worth - your skills, potential, what exactly you have to offer, how you can meet the employer's needs and fulfil all his requirements. Package yourself well. Every brand needs packaging, and if you get your image right, everything else will follow suit. Your appearance and how you carry off the first few moments of the interview can make a powerful impression. So, polish your shoes, wear smart clothes and be on time. Making the right impression will ensure that you appear positive and confident rather than shy and defensive.

Find out what the employer is looking for.

Providing the customer with what he wants is a basic canon for sales people. Employers too will have a list of requirements that they are looking to fill. Find out what kind of person the employer is looking for, and if you fail to meet the criteria, show your interest in learning more about it rather than whipping up a porky pie.

Impress with élan.

The employer's opinion of what you have to offer will be based on the manner in which you present yourself. Say it well and say it once. It would be a good idea to prepare a `30 second capsule' briefly outlining your education, experience, strengths and capabilities in the best light possible; and be sure to practice, practice and practice till you feel confident.

Be yourself during the interview.

Don't put on airs and don't try to make yourself something that you're not. Expressions like "I can do anything" or "I can do whatever you want me to do" usually make you sound desperate, not impressive. Be honest and realistic about your capabilities.

From India, Bangalore
Rajat Joshi
HR Consulting ,Trainer -Creative Thinking & Past Life Therapist

Hi Anu,
A great one..
Above is very true..the question is how many of us really know themselves really many of us have taken Johari window test...the fact is we all learn to overcome our limitations while on the job and opportunities we get on the workplace....

From India, Pune
Sr Project Manager

Hi Anu,
Good post.
Yes, you have to know thyself thoroughly.
The question raised by Rajat is very valid even today when techniques for measurement, identification and betterment of self has progressed tremendously. Johari window test is ofcourse a tried and tested method.

From India, Madras
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