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Businesses think a lot about their image. They build brands and hire marketing teams to make sure their message is clear and on target. The goal of most businesses is to attract clients who are willing to buy their products or services.
Similarly, when you apply for a job, you're selling your expertise, knowledge and abilities. That is why you must develop a brand that meets what employers are looking for.
There are many aspects you may not be able to change about yourself and experience — from your appearance to your base education. The good news is these often don't matter if you know how to package your points of strength correctly, while downplaying the impact of any shortcomings.
Of course, it is not only a matter of selling your skills. If you know you're actually a good fit for a particular job, you will be able to position in a way that helps you land it. So don't think that having a great resume or a perfect attitude, for example, will get a job you're not qualified for.
Here are a few points that can help package yourself as the best fit for a job you qualify for.
It is the tone you use and selection of words included in the written communication. If sure of your ability to do the job and excel at it, say it. Express why you think so in concise, clear statements.
There is no need to brag. You just need matter-of-fact statements that back your claim to be a good fit.
Although these statements may correspond to the job requirements, make sure they are not word-by-word from the job post or in the same order. Having said that, if you will address particular job requirements, make sure to mention the specific relevant experience.
In this case, mention — verbally or in writing — that you're talking about the ability to fulfil the job's duties.
Confidence also becomes more naturally if you are more comfortable with the interview setting and performing well under pressure. Make sure to do your research, rehearse answers to potential questions, and have plenty of time to get to the interview.
The more relaxed you're during an interview, the more likely the claims about experience and knowledge prove credible.
Just like companies do, you need a few selling points that you will push during an interview. You can't cover everything — and many aspects of the experience may not matter. So if you see that the employer is big on, say, phone manners, a particular certification or even punctuality, make sure to stress this point.
But that is not everything; you may be able to bring to the table a new perspective as well. For example, if applying for a customer service job, and you speak multiple languages (that were not required), you can still stress how this can be helpful.
In short, find something that sets you apart from the rest of the candidates — something that helps hiring managers remember you. Many candidates try to be polished, script-driven, and template-safe, and that doesn't help them stand out.
If you think you've got what it takes to do the job, communicate that clearly and push your selling points. Let the employer's representatives know that you can go the extra mile because of those additional skills.
You're the type of candidate who once gets up to speed will be a proactive team member.
Build your brand
Your brand includes the skills you present to future employers, strong points and reputation. In your career, you will need to have some focus on what you do best.
Take any job in any industry, there are probably many factors that can make you successful, you may be best in one or two of these areas — and that is your edge. That doesn't mean you're less qualified if the employer is looking at other areas.
But having this niche that you do well will help you be more than be OK in every aspect of the job.
Apply with a brand
Focus on your strength points.
Use a confident, relaxed attitude.
Go for jobs you qualify for.
Identify and stress your edge.
Get some tips on defining and building your self-worth
Source: Rania Oteify, Special to gulfnews.com
The writer, a former Gulf News Business Features Editor, is a Seattle-based editor