Page 38 - IU Southeast 2012 Spring Mag

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career corner
If you were given the opportunity to
describe yourself in five words or less,
what adjectives come to mind? Team
player, motivated, driven, or energetic?
If you said yes to any of these, you may
be hurting your opportunity to nail a
first interview and land a job.
With such common adjectives, it’s time
to rethink how to brand yourself.
According to Michael Breazeale,
assistant professor of marketing at
IU Southeast, personal branding
should be just as important as putting
together your
resume. However,
not everyone fully
understands what
branding means.
“Some people think
that to create a
personal brand is to
turn yourself into a
caricature; however
it’s actually taking
the things that
make you you, and
make you special,
and showing people
those qualities in
a unique way,”
Breazeale said.
Breazeale began
focusing his research
on branding after
working with
students who were
getting ready to
graduate and who
were looking to
put their best foot
forward in hopes of
attaining a job.
“I just read an article
where another
marketer said that
personal branding
has disappeared and
‘good riddance,’ but
I think in terms of
going out and getting jobs it’s still very
important,” he said.
It is also important to remember to
create a personal brand that truly
reflects you. Just like no two snowflakes
are exactly alike; neither are our
personal brands.
“No personal brand should be like
anyone else’s,” Breazeale said. “In
order to create your personal brand,
look at yourself honestly, and decide on
the things that make you unique.”
When you are the brand
By Jennifer Schonschack, IU Southeast student worker
To discover your personal brand,
Breazeale recommends that you first
make a list of characteristics about
yourself that you think are positive.
A helpful way to start thinking about
your brand is to put together an
informal focus group of friends and
ask them how they would characterize
you. That way qualities that you’ve
taken for granted about yourself can be
rediscovered, he said.
To maximize your personal branding
within your resume, Breazeale believes
one to two sentences should be at the
top to explain what you do better than
anyone else applying for the same job.
“I think this should replace the
objective,” he said. “Because the
objective normally ends up being ‘I
want to do what you do’. Employers
don’t really look at those. Put “who
I am” or “my personal branding
statement.” What it is that sets you
apart. I think that’s a lot more useful to
an employer who is trying to decide if
you’re the right person for them.”
Breazeale is so confident in the
importance of branding oneself that he
also believes it should extend beyond
resumes and interviews.
“When you’re out just talking to people,
you make a lot of connections,” he said.
“You make them at the grocery store, at
the bank. That one good connection can
make a career.”
For this reason alone, it is important
to be conscious of your personal brand
whenever you’re out in public.
“You need to dress the part for the
business you hope to go into, and you
need to live your brand as much as you
can,” he said.