BY DAMON MONTAL
Just like a competitive product needs a recognizable brand to distinguish itself from similar products that crowd the same shelf, today’s career professionals need the same edge to distinguish them in what is now a very crowded job-search marketplace.
For many career professionals, however, developing a professional brand can be a very arduous task. Although they feel that they are very good at what they do, deep down it is difficult for most people to articulate what it is that they actually do.
The problem is that most professionals lack awareness about what makes them unique, how they stand out from the pack or even what their core skills and key achievements are. In the work-a-day world, no one really asks them to define themselves in this manner. However, once they become a job-search candidate, they need to have a deeper understanding of their professional identity and brand.
This is a common problem, and there is even a term for this. It is called being an “unconscious competent.” As a career transition consultant, one of my main responsibilities is to turn my clients into a “conscious competent.” Their level of competencies do not change, only their ability to fully articulate the breadth and depth of their experience and skill level.
By conducting a comprehensive career assessment, career professionals are able to deconstruct their professional identity so they can reconstruct a new professional brand that will position them powerfully in the marketplace. Branding is storytelling, and by understanding the role that their skills, achievements and experiences had on shaping them as professionals, a job seeker can create a more compelling and convincing story.
A strong brand quickly positions and separates a job-search candidate from the competition; while reflecting a value proposition that excites the targeted market. To produce a professional brand that is clear, concise, compelling and convincing requires some introspection and a guided career assessment.
If you are beginning the process of searching for a new role, take the time to complete a comprehensive career assessment – it can help you stand out from the competition and land the perfect role. I’d love to hear from you if you have used career assessments to distinguish yourself in your job search!