Are you ready if you want to move up the corporate ladder, change careers or companies, etc?  As a resume’ writer and career coach, I too often see people not prepared for these changes.  Is your resume’ up-to-date and does it include quantifiable achievements that show how you contributed to your company’s profitability, savings, etc.?  I encourage people to keep a journal of their achievements and to make sure that they can show what they did and how they accomplished it.  If you don’t keep a journal of your achievements, it can be very difficult to reconstruct it at a time when you need it.  Below are some examples of “quantifiable” achievements from different industries that I have written:

  • Executed $2.7M+ in material cost savings through vendor selection, reformulation, and process improvement
  • Provided leadership to cross-functional company wide group, maintaining favorable overhead variances with no budget increases in 5-year period.
  • Awarded prestigious Pacesetter Award. This award is a rare distinction and only given for achieving 100% or more of budget for three consecutive years.
  • Increased new business opportunity pipeline for the XYZ team from under $600K in loans and deposit accounts per month to over $1M in loans and deposit accounts per month through superior mentoring and training in the field.
  • Empowered two underachieving account managers earn the distinction of Leader’s Circle for exceeding annual sales quota.

Your “Trust Mark”

July 2, 2008

Tom Peters who authored the book, “The Brand You 50”, discusses that your brand is not only your trademark, but also your “trust mark”. Your brand gives you the unique value of promise that you can contribute to a company, project, etc. Think about powerful brands such as Oprah, Madonna, Starbucks and Disney World. Oprah is not only known for her talk show, but also for her philanthropic pursuits. Madonna recreates her image with each new album (William Arruda, founder of REACH Communications www.reachcc.com, calls her the “Chameleon Brand”). Interestingly, Starbucks does not spend money on TV commercials at this writing, but most will drive there to pay $4 per cup of coffee rather than to go to a non-branded establishment to only pay $2. Disney World makes you think of family and wholesome fun (examples given by William Arruda in Reach Branding Club modules www.reachbrandingclub.com).

What’s your brand? You can find out more information by visiting www.careerdesigncoach.com

You can take a 360 degree assessment at Career Design Coaching and find out how others perceive you. Is it what you want to exude? If not, having that knowledge of other people’s perception can help you improve your brand and improve the attributes for which you want to be known.

I have been invited to write a contribution for submission consideration to Wiley Publishing Company’s upcoming book on “Cover Letters for Dummies”. I was interested, though, in one of the requests for this contribution. They are seeking cover letters that show personal brands. I am currently undergoing the steps to become a Certified Personal Brand Strategist through Reach Communications and as a Career Coach know how important personal branding is in career management. You have a personal brand whether you like it or not. Taking a 360 degree assessment of how others perceive you as well as how you perceive yourself can be a very useful tool. How other people perceive you is for which you are known–is the brand you exude the brand you think you are? If not, you can take steps to work on the brand you exude. In the book, Career Distinction (http://www.careerdistinction.com or may purchase through http://www.amazon.com/Career-Distinction-Stand-Building-Brand)

you will find many examples of people who thought themselves a certain way, but people perceived them differently. They worked on the brand that they wanted to exude until they were successful in people’s perceptions of them.

Setting yourself apart from the competition and knowing your personal brand will help you in your career management in your company or in your job search. Knowing your personal brand is all about being your authentic self and your strengths which all bring value to employers.

Do you know what strengths you possess? Interestingly, this is one of the main questions interviewers/hiring managers ask and most of us struggle for the answer. We all seem to know our weaknesses or areas where we can improve, but seem to have problems identifying our own areas of strengths. I am sure there are many Internet tools out there to measure these areas, but two that I have found helpful were on www.authentichappiness.org (which is free, but you do have to register on-line–they do not SPAM, though) and www.strengthsfinder.com (you purchase the book for approximately $19.95 and then use the code in the book to take the assessment).

Strengthsfinder.com also has other useful tools to help you discover what strengthens you and weakens you in your job. Logging this information in the journal Marcus Buckingham provides in his book or in the on-line tool will help you to see where you are most effective in your position. Marcus Buckingham’s books, “Strengths Finder 2.0” and “Go Put Your Strengths to Work” are two books which I highly recommend. Knowing your strengths are an integral part of career management as it helps you to map and identify your unique promise of value that you can offer to your present or future company.

Career Management

June 4, 2008

I have been very interested in this concept of career management. I read that the average person changes jobs between 10-14 times in his/her career, so the average length of stay is between 3-4 years. Career management is about making sure that you keep the maintenance with your network, resume’, etc. so that when the time comes to move upward in your company or change your job, then you won’t be scrambling to start from scratch. So many tools are available in today’s technology–blogging in your niche areas, being involved in professional networking sites, such as LinkedIn, maintaining an up-to-date web portfolio , knowing your personal brand and the unique value that you bring to the table, etc. I will be elaborating more on each of these areas in the coming weeks as well as to explore other technology, like podcasting, in the area of career management.

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