Advice for Job Seekers

The inspiration for this post came from the article titled Nonprofit Brand as Place which was written by Tom Peterson earlier this year. In some circles, a “brand” is a mark burned onto property (cattle, horse, etc.) to identify the owner of that property. According to Peterson, today a “brand” is widely considered to be the “logo, typeface, color, packaging, jingles and ads” that define an organization or a product. In other words, branding is the “overall experience anyone — a supplier, customer, employee, or passerby — has when they brush against your organization.

2013-1009 Coke Polar BearsWe see recognizable brands in movies, television ads, newspapers, and magazines. We hear recognizable brands on the radio. At some point, corporate brands become so well known that they don’t have to mention the corporation’s name. Organizations and products without branding are not memorable and quickly disappear into obscurity. If corporate leaders recognize the importance of their brands, then they must also recognize the importance of hiring personnel with values and traits aligned with the their brands. Furthermore, branding must be vital to recruiters who are trying to place people at organizations. Recruiters are unlikely to recommend hiring a person whose set of values and traits greatly differs from the potential employer’s desired values and traits.

If an employer is looking for a potential employee who has 8 years of engineering experience, recruiters for the position are unlikely to consider any person who brands themselves as a soon-to-be graduate of the best liberal arts high school in the world. However, if that same person describes his or her value to the organization, a recruiter might be willing to help the student find other opportunities within the company or industry. Your personal brand is critical.

Your Turn
2013-1009 Different Egg

  • What are you trying to accomplish with your brand?
  • What makes your brand memorable?
  • What differentiates your brand from the others?
  • Who are you trying to impress with your brand?

Thanks to Chelle for sharing the article with me; Frank Pray, Heather Wieshlow, and Tim Tyrell-Smith for helping me understand the value of branding for reasons other than corporate marketing and organizational fund raising; Tom Peterson for writing the article upon which this post is based; and all the people who either directly or indirectly made it possible for me to include the pictures I used in this post.

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