Personal Branding 101

imagesSome documentaries are more of documentaries than others. The other day I was watching some documentary on Finance and the future of investment banking presented by some networking professional in England and got so many revelations from it. The guy was soft spoken to the point of boring, but inside the calmness of his speech lied much wisdom.

There is always a different way of viewing things in the world. The norm has it that you should have a very nice CV – Curriculum Vitae that you send to a thousand and one companies when applying for a job. Much time is taken in decorating the CV. Some people go to the extent of paying the self-proclaimed “professional CV writers” a lot of money, just to have a two page grammatically choreographed document to present to as many companies as they wish to apply for a job in. Yes, a good CV is a nice thing to have because it’s your marketing tool to the companies that have never met with you before. It also serves as your brochure explaining the product ‘you’ to the many potential customers out there who might want to buy the product ‘you’.

However, most of us forget that as much as the product ‘you’ remains the same in all the markets, the markets differ. It is the market difference that makes all the difference between the smart guys and the just average guys. Attending a marketing class in campus, my lecturer talked of market segmentation as a strategy of increasing sales and beating your competitors when at it. Understanding the basic needs in a market and tailor-making your product to suit that market, is the key to a successful entrance into new markeindexts and remaining relevant to perpetuity.

Being who you are and having chosen whichever line of career that you’ve chosen; you remain to be the same to eternity, not unless you want to blur your life with inconsistency and lose public trust. With that in mind, you need to know how to package the product ‘you’ to fit into the various ,markets out there where you want to go selling yourself in terms of looking for a job. ‘K’ is always constant and the ‘K’ is you; what needs to change is the marketing techniques and customization of your selling strategy to fit into the different companies’ needs.

In essence the simple point being driven home here is that a finance professional will remain to be the same with the same skills learnt in school. However, the finance department in an engineering firm will not be the same as the finance department in an advertising firm. The skills may be the same, but their application will differ depending on the specifics in each company. Your CV needs to be company specific too; what we call the ED – Evidence Document.

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