Branding Yourself!

School is over and it is time to get the job you have dreamed of. You have applied to different companies hoping to get called for an interview. However, you are not alone. Behind that dream job, there are thousands of people waiting for the same call, people who have the same skills and education as you. So how are you going to stand out from the crowd? What does it make you unique and different from the rest? The answer to these questions is to “Brand yourself.” I am going to give you some tips to prepare you for the big day-your interview.

Before we start, let me define what “brand yourself” means. First of all, defining yourself  as a professional has the same importance as the resume and the cover letter. It is essential that you know who you are, your qualities, your skills, and your achievements. Think about yourself as a product, what do you have in you that would make you stand out in any aspect of your job and career? What do you have to offer to this company that would make the interviewer put you on top of the list? This approach of branding is used by marketing companies to sell to customers their products. If you believe in yourself and commit to these steps, you would be able to share your personal brand in a way that will make you unforgettable to your interviewers.

You have scheduled an interview for next week so let’s prepare you for the big day!

Steps:

1. Discover yourself: Write down all the qualities that make you unique. Find out who you are; what you have done in the past (achievements); why the company should hire you. When you are making the list, think about strong words that describe your talents and show your professionalism.

2. Research: This step is essential. You need to collect all the information you find about the company you applied to. This information will determine if your qualities and skills will benefit the company. Also, knowing about the company will show the interviewer how familiar and interested you are with the company. Do not make up stories. Be honest if the interviewer asks you something about the company that you don’t know.

3. Professional outfit and make a list: Plan ahead what you are going to wear for the interview. Your outfit needs to look neat, formal, and professional. For women, try to wear something comfortable. Avoid high heels, and extra accessories that can create a distraction. For men, play safe with your outfit and use neutral colors. In addition, make a list of all the things you need for your interview. For example, copies of your cover letter and resume, pen and paper if you need to write information down, directions to the company. Also, bring your documents such as I.D and social security.

4. Be on Time: I highly recommend you to arrive to the interview 15 minutes earlier. This will give you enough time to relax and get everything together before you get called.

5. Be cordial: Always maintain a positive attitude. Once you walk in into the company, make sure you greet everyone you bump into. You never know if one of those people can be the interviewer. Once you are in the waiting room, maintain a good posture, turn your cellphone off, avoid playing with your hair or biting your nails. You need to keep a professional attitude during the entire interviewing process because  you never know who is watching you.

6.Be Confident: “Brand yourself” do not brag. This where the first step comes in place Believe in yourself. Show your confidence telling your stories about  your previous experiences but make sure they are short and concise with a valuable content. Use real examples, do not make up stories. Listen to the questions first and do not interrupt the interviewer. If it is necessary you can take a short moment before answering.

7. Questions: After you researched the company, you can elaborate some questions for the interviewer. Otherwise, interviewers tend to ask if you have questions for them towards the end of the interview. Ask questions about the position and the company. Also, you can ask about when to expect a notification or if it’s ok for you to follow-up if you don’t hear back from the company.

I hope this information is valuable to you and can help you to stand out from the crowd. Feel free to leave comments. I would love to hear from you and your experiences and if this information help you to get the job!

If you would like more information about this topic you can go to the following link. This blog has more helpful information regarding branding yourself.

http://www.greatresumesfast.com/blog/2011/08/03/tips-for-branding-yourself-in-an-interview/

Laura Boullosa is a senior student at the University of South Florida and she hopes she can move to Switzerland to do her masters.

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