7 Things All Interviewers Want To Know About Your Brand

Cheryl Simpson

Your career brand is multifaceted and the good news is that, once defined, it can be shared with interviewers in many ways. Which is more good news, considering that your interviewers want to grasp the essence of your brand when they speak with you. In fact, all of their interview questions are aimed at clarifying your brand so they can evaluate its match to their needs.

Let’s take a look at seven questions interviewers ask themselves as they get to know you and the best ways for you to clarify Brand You™ in your interview responses.

1. What Sets Your Candidacy Apart?

What skills, experience, and credentials to you possess which make you a stronger candidate than the others who have applied? As interviewers slog through dozens of resumes and meet with candidate after candidate, they need to know what makes you different. They also need you to tell them this rather than expect them to figure out.

TIP: Summarize your strongest skills, experience, and credentials early in the interview, perhaps as a reply to the ubiquitous “tell me about yourself” question. Try this deceivingly simple but highly effective way to package your brand in reply to this question.

2. What Measurable Impact Have You Had To Date?

What specific measurable results have you achieved throughout your career that positively impacted your employers’ top- or bottom-lines? Define your revenue, sales, market share, profitability, cost reduction, productivity, and/or efficiency impacts in numerical terms.

TIP: Craft 5-8 CAR (challenge/action/results) statements that demonstrate the challenges you’ve faced with other firms, the actions you took to overcome them, and the measurable difference you made. Each CAR should address one or more of the key impacts employers are looking for; these are outlined in the job description and the job posting.

Read all 7 things and the complete Careeralism article

7 Key Ways To Promote Your Personal Brand For Your Job Search

By now you understand finding the perfect job requires more than simply writing a resume and posting it online. In fact, if you are going to take the “apply-on-line” approach you should spend no more than two hours per week at it. Less than 5% of jobs are ever posted online, so if you are going to find your next job fast you need to spend your time elsewhere.

How To Promote Your Personal Brand
The successful and savvy job seeker will develop a compelling personal brand and spend 75% of their time (or more) promoting it. Here are seven key ways to promote your personal brand.

1. Buy Printed Business Cards
I am consistently shocked by the number of job seekers who have absolutely NO way of letting other people know how to contact them other than by shoving a resume in their face. And no, the one’s you print at home on your own computer are NOT good enough! Business cards are inexpensive. Sometimes you can even get free business cards from places like Prints Made Easy or free shipping from stores like Office Max.

As for what to put on your card? I recommend the minimalist approach. Put your name, e-mail address, phone, and LinkedIn profile address. You don’t need a title or a cute picture. Get a non-glossy finish and leave the back empty so people can jot down notes about you.

When you’re done reading this article, learn the three rules to smart business card etiquette.

2. Develop A Concise Elevator Pitch
Give just enough information to make people want to ask you to tell them more. Don’t focus on your past, instead focus on your future. Nobody cares you have 15 years experience in micro-processors. They want to know what you can do for THEM now! Be memorable, but not flippant or “cutesy.”
Lastly, rehearse it at least 100 times out loud BEFORE you use it in a group. You want it to be polished, but not too formulaic.

4. Listen And Build Trust
Networking is NOT about you. It’s about building a relationship. It’s about helping people in your network of friends and colleagues connect for mutual benefit. It’s about finding out what someone else needs and helping them.

The 1 Thing You Must Do In Every Job Interview

I recently interviewed an excellent candidate for a position at our growing startup, Likeable Local. The woman had an incredible resume, an infectious personality, and, seemingly, a good work ethic. She was dressed for success, with a style fitting our culture. She answered my questions well, and seemed like a potential fit for our company. Yet, despite all of this, she didn’t receive another interview, and we chose to not hire her. What went wrong?

When I asked her what questions she had for me, twice, the job candidate replied, “None, really. I’ve been following you guys online for awhile and feel like I know everything already.”

That was a fatal error, of course. By not asking questions, she told me she wasn’t truly interested in learning more, in creating value, and in our company. She wasn’t interested enough in learning more to find out if we were a fit for her. Confidence is great, but nobody can “know everything already.” There are certainly things I don ‘t know about our company and its future – and I’m the CEO.

I didn’t hire an otherwise well-qualified candidate because, in her lack of questions, she displayed a lack of passion for, interest in, and curiosity about our company, the position, and the fit.

The most important thing you must do in every interview is to ask great questions.

The key is to ask great questions- not to ask questions that you should know the answers to already (“What does the position entail?) or questions that make it all about you (“What is your vacation policy?”)

Don’t ask questions to check a box. Ask questions out of authentic, genuine curiosity.

Here are 9 questions you can use or make your own on your next job interview. Of course, don’t ask all nine, but choose a couple and tailor them based on your unique circumstances:
1) Who would make the ideal candidate for this position?
2) How will the work I’ll be doing contribute to the organization’s mission?
3) What were the best things about the last person who held this position?

4) What are three ways I can contribute to the company beyond the job description?

Questions 5- 9 and the complete article

Dave Kerpen loves interviewing great candidates for his companies. Dave is the founder and CEO of Likeable Local. He is also the cofounder and Chairman of Likeable Media, and the New York Times bestselling author of Likeable Social Media and Likeable Business.To read more from Dave on LinkedIn, please click the FOLLOW button above or below.

Posted by:

Dave Kerpen

7 Stand-Out Tricks That Will Help You Land an Interview


What do you do when 30 other candidates are competing with you for the same job—and many of them are more qualified than you are?

You need to do something to stand out. You need to have something unique, something that makes you what Seth Godin calls “The Purple Cow.”

Here are seven of the easiest and most effective strategies to do that.

Before you start, note that not one of these, in isolation, will do the trick. The secret is to implement as many of them as possible, because not only are they synergistic, but the more of these steps you take, the less likely other candidates will be to have done the same.

1. Get introduced

This is absolutely the best way to stand out in a sea of strangers. Being introduced to a hiring manager by a friend of his is like a having a red carpet rolled out for you.

How can you get introduced? Reverse engineer the hiring manager’s connections on LinkedIn to see how the two of you are connected, and then network your way into his circles. You’ll be surprised how closely related the two of you are, especially if you’ve been in the industry for a couple of years.

2. Conduct deep research

Yes, you always need to prepare before an interview. But you also need to go a step further than other candidates would.

You can do this by asking a few people from the company out to coffee for an informational interview. Tell them you’re interested in working for the company and would like to know more about its culture (or anything else). Most will be happy to do it, at which time you can talk about where the company is going, what are its most pressing problems, etc.

Pro tip: Name-drop the person you talked to in your actual interview to gain extra points.

3. Invest in awesome resume design

After you get your “in,” remember to make your resume look professional. You need to go further than the Word document most people use.

If you have no design experience, hire a professional to do it for you. A decent one will cost you just $50. In my experience, there’s a diminishing return in resume design: a $500 top-of-the-line designer will only get you marginally better results than his competent competitor who charges $50.
Some people create infographics for their resume, though that might not be the right option for everyone.

4. Keep your resume concise

Less is more in your resume. If you’re applying to be a teacher, don’t include your experience waiting tables. And there’s no need to mention the spelling bee award you won, either.

Read every word, and ask yourself: can I still sell myself if I leave this out? The goal is to have a resume no longer than one page. You have no idea how appreciative hiring managers are when applicants get to the point.

Branding For A Job Vs Branding For An Opportunity

by Phil Rosenberg

I’m proud to have been named a weekly columnist of Personal Branding Blog. I will be republishing my articles from that site here on reCareered. This was my article published Monday, 11/5/12 …

Most job seekers brand themselves for a job because that’s how we’ve been taught to write resumes.

We’ve not only been taught to write resumes branding ourselves for a job, but it was reinforced while there were candidate shortages – because you could make lots of mistakes in a forgiving job market.

But in a job market of job shortages, the market isn’t forgiving at all … it’s brutal.

We’ve been taught that hiring managers look for the same thing, despite the obvious fact that each employer has its own unique set of circumstances and problems that are different from other employers.

We’ve been taught that hiring managers seek an average candidate with average skills and average experience.

So you brand yourself as a Senior Accountant, Marketing Director or IT Manager. It was good enough to help you land your last job … it should be good enough for this job search.

Except that it’s not …

Because in a job market with job shortages, where you compete against an average 1,000 applicants and most employers use ATS plus an additional 1 to 4 pre-screen steps, being good enough doesn’t get you interviews anymore.

If branding yourself for a job doesn’t get you interviews, what will?

Branding yourself for a specific opportunity helps you show the hiring manger that you’re a superior candidate for that specific job, rather than superior for any job.

Here’s 5 ways to brand yourself for a specific opportunity:

  1. Resume Title: Your resume title or personal branding statement should include the actual title of the specific opportunity you’re applying for. This will be much more specific than Marketing Professional, Programmer or Sales Executive because it’s unlikely that the specific opportunity you’re applying for will have this broad of a title.
  2. Research: In order to brand yourself for a specific opportunity, you’ll need to do more research on the opportunity before you send in your resume. Since most candidates don’t do much research until they are selected for an interview, this will mean starting your research earlier in your job search process.
  3. Go Beyond The Job Description: Job descriptions list skills, not underlying problems. Job descriptions don’t list problems because they are public – Employers don’t want competitors, customers and shareholders to see their problems. If you want to brand yourself for the specific opportunity, you need to understand why the employer is hiring the position, even if the position is a replacement … before you send in your resume. By first understanding the employer’s (and hiring manager’s) underlying problems, you can show on your resume that you’ve already solved similar problems, branding yourself as a superior candidate for that specific opportunity.

Build Your Brand Before Starting A Job Search

by Margo Rose

I met Debbie on Twitter @DebbieLaskeyMBA She wrote this wonderful post that will help you build your job search brand. She offers great advice. I now give you Debbie Laskey.
Build Your Brand before Starting a Job Search

If you no longer feel challenged by your current job or just want to make a change, you should feel inspired to look for a new opportunity. Give your two week or four week notice, make sure to leave project instructions for your replacement or supervisor, and you may think you’re ready to move on. But wait, before you throw your hat into the job search pool, you need to build your personal brand.

In the words of David McNally and Karl D. Speak, “Everyone has a brand, and anyone can be a strong brand. It doesn’t involve changing your personality – you can be an introvert or extrovert…A personal brand is a perception or emotion, maintained by somebody other than you, that describes your outstanding qualities and influences that person’s relationship with you.”

Thanks to social media, you have all the tools necessary to define your brand, pitch yourself as an expert in your field, and become the best candidate available. Here are my “Top Five” tips for building your personal brand:

[1] Determine what you want your brand to be called – it may be your full name or it may be a portion of your first or last name with your specialty included, but whatever you choose, always be consistent in using this brand name on all social media sites (Hint: you can check if your chosen brand name is available on hundreds of sites with http://knowem.com)

[2] Create a mission statement to clarify your professional goals and keep a list of your key strengths and accomplishments up-to-date

[3] Establish a professional profile on LinkedIn: a good profile includes a professional photo, titles of previous and current positions with overviews of your responsibilities and highlights of accomplishments for each position, recommendations from supervisors and co-workers, degrees, certificates, list of key skills, groups, applications, etc.

Tips 4 – 5 and complete HireFriday article

Debbie Laskey has 15 years of marketing experience and an MBA Degree. She developed her marketing expertise while working in the high-tech industry, the Consumer Marketing Department at Disneyland Paris in France, the non-profit arena, and the insurance industry. Currently, Debbie is a brand marketing, social media, and employee engagement consultant to small businesses, start-ups, and non-profits in California. Recognized as a “Woman Making a Difference” by the Los Angeles Business Journal, Debbie has served as a judge for the Web Marketing Association’s annual web award competition since 2002. Follow Debbie on Twitter (http://www.twitter.com/DebbieLaskeyMBA) and on her Blog (http://debbielaskey.blogspot