Personal Branding — How to Stand Out in a Competitive Job Market

If you’re looking for a job, you face fierce competition. How can you stand out from the rest of the pack? What can you do? I have three words of advice. You must be:

  1. Relevant. If you’re not relevant, you are obsolete.
  2. Different. If you are not differentiated, you are not marketable.
  3. Findable. If you are not findable, you do not exist.

That was the premise of two workshops on personal branding I led this month for the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance. The sessions were mostly attended by university students who will soon be entering the turbulent job market. Hundreds of students, along with their faculty representatives, came from across the nation for the annual Alliance Management/Leadership Institute, the nation’s largest leadership development and networking symposium for students, faculty and nonprofit professionals.

Following is the structure of the workshop, and also the sequence of the upcoming blog posts where I will elaborate on my suggestions for personal branding.

1. How to Be Relevant in a Competitive Job Market

A. Know Your Brand

B. Convert Features into Benefits

C. Focus on Your Cover Letter

2. How to Differentiate Yourself in a Competitive Job Market

A. Know Your Competition

B. Create a Unique Elevator Speech

C. Blend Personal and Professional

3. How to Be Findable in a Competitive Job Market

A. Want to Be Found

B. Expand Your Digital Footprint

C. Share Your Content Online

I enjoy leading workshops and writing blog posts, not so much because of the wisdom I might impart, but rather because of the conversations that ensue. I learn from others.

Collectively we are all smarter than any of us individually, so I welcome your thoughts on any of these topics. Tell me what you think.

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