I want to share my annual thoughts on job search trends slightly different this year. Instead of one list where I share a list, I want to take a deeper dive into each one I share and then write a round-up linking to each article.
Let’s start by stating the obvious. You’ve heard me say that job search is a lifestyle. You’re going to need to market the brand you have. It’s more than titles, acronyms, and letters behind your name unless it’s an M.D., JD., and a few others. Even MBA letters behind a name has lost it’s essence. It won’t evolve into anything significant until it’s visible with applied knowledge.
If you’re differentiating yourself from your peers and competitors, you’ll lump yourself in with everyone else. It would help if you wanted to stand out, but listening to many folks who are telling you a brand is something you create. If you’re making a persona instead of exploiting the one that markets yourself, you’re doing it wrong.
Yep. I used “markets.” Get used to it as of right now. We’re all trying to get some visibility. It’s not magic. It’s intention.
Let’s talk about the title with the letters behind it. Many experts will say on LinkedIn it doesn’t matter. Titles are marketing if they’re useful and universally known. Labels are marketing if you do something, only 50 people in the world do. Titles are helpful when you are professionally involved in an industry where you’re paid to have those skills, and everyone knows what it is. OK, so maybe I’m wrong about this. It may get you some helpful LinkedIn SEO.
But it’s not your brand.
I’ll argue if you can’t capture your brand in fewest words as possible, then you’re thwarting your marketing efforts. It’s work well spent if you want your brand and work to be its referral engine. People need to scan and click. Take their thinking from them, and infuse it wherever possible, with as fewest words as possible.
We’re remote, and we’re online. Present yourself as a gold mine, not a land mine:
- How are you valuable?
- What do people need from you (what have you been told)?
- What solutions are you known for?
You have to explain a title, and if you have three inexplicable titles, people may not ask anything of you.
For many years, my wife and I contracted our electrical work to George. Whatever electrical job we needed doing for our two-flat, George has been our go-to guy. We thought that’s all he did, and in fact, we also enjoyed his company. We know that he also owned several pieces of property.
We didn’t know he retired from the government after 32 years of finding hidden money as a tax accountant. We didn’t realize this until this year about George.
If we’d known, it wouldn’t change our relationship with him. But he only wanted us to understand what is relevant to us. George solved one problem for us. He has received a plethora of referrals from us just for his work he’s done for us. George created the demand for his work only as an electrician for us.
Be like George.