How Do You Stand Out In A Job Search?

By Lida Citroen, principal, LIDA360
Author of “Reputation 360: Creating power through personal branding” (Palisades Publishing, 2011)

Without a doubt, your most critical asset when in a job search is your personal brand. In a market as competitive as today’s, your skills and knowledge are most likely replaceable and hard to differentiate.  On a daily basis, recruiters and hiring managers meet candidates who look and sound just like you. Unless, of course, you stand out from your competition by designing your personal brand and marketing yourself to get their attention!

In my career as a corporate and personal brand strategist and counsel for executives of Fortune 500 companies, I have had the honor and pleasure of helping all kinds of people: Leaders in innovative education technology; venture capitalists with a passion for sustainability and impact investing; outspoken advocates for the advancement and empowerment of American adolescents; cancer survivors; disabled U.S. war veterans; coaches; consultants; moms, dads and their college-age kids. My clients aren’t celebrities, but they are well known in their respective industries.

What they all have in common is the realization that to be successful and compete in today’s environment, it is critical to manage your reputation and build your relevancy in the marketplace.

Here are some ways a clearly defined personal brand can help you:

Separate yourself from the crowd. Keywords may help get your resume in front of human eyes, and your experience might get you to the interview, but it’s your personal brand – those qualities, values and reputation that make you unique – that separates you from the other candidates in order to get you hired. Focus on what makes you different, compelling and interesting. Your resume represents your past. What does your future look like?  How will that benefit the company you are interviewing with? What is your unique selling proposition – what makes you, you.

Move out of the resume rut. Your resume is one tool for communicating your skills and expertise – and every other candidate will have one. When you put intention into building a personal brand, you branch out to other outlets (i.e. portfolios, profiles, websites, social networking, in person events) to communicate your value and expertise. Build your reputation across multiple touch points.  For instance, building a strong online presence helps recruiters learn more about you – as they Google your name, they will gain insight about your personality, interests, hobbies and maybe volunteer interests. Now you become a real person, not a list of skills and experiences on paper.

Target your efforts. The process of personal branding is all about strategy, being intentional, genuine and focused.  If you were a company marketing a product, you would not leave it to chance that your customers would find you and appreciate your value. You would be focused and strategic about targeting the right audience, in the right way, to get the right result. It’s not about fate or chance or luck, but rather about the work and creativity you put into your search and communicating how you can add specific value to target employers.

Make it easier for others to help you. When you’re clear about who you are, what you offer and what you want, you can clearly articulate that to others who may be in a position to connect you.  If you’re not clear about what you want, your networking efforts get watered down and others don’t know how to help you, even if they want to.

The ability to articulate your personal brand is critical to a job search in a market like this one.  Throughout my new book, “Reputation 360: Creating power through personal branding,” I walk you through the process of developing and marketing your personal brand – from targeting audiences to creating elevator pitches and style/image advice. I also share case studies of successful people to illustrate how people come to the realization that they need to create a reputation that allows them to stand apart from the competition in order to achieve their goals. As a job seeker, this could be mean the difference between sending random resumes and landing a great job! 

Based in Greenwood Village, Colorado, Lida is the author of “Reputation 360: Creating power through personal branding” (Palisades Publishing, 2011).  An accomplished speaker, author and advisor to Fortune 500 CEOs, executives and businesses, Lida captivates audiences with her empowering message about intentionally managing your brand and reputation to attract opportunities. For more than 20 years, Lida has brought her unique, engaging and actionable techniques to clients, earning her acclaim internationally as an expert in reputation management and personal branding. Learn more at and .

(c) 2011 Behind The Moon, Inc. All Rights Reserved.


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Sabrina Risley

Sabrina Risley is a master connector. She’s been hosting live networking events since 2004 and has welcomed 20,000+ professionals to those events. She shares her observations, insights and tips of how the top 2% of effective and magnetic networkers build their businesses. She also shares what NOT to do when networking. Get her complimentary e-book: Strategic Networking for Success.
Sabrina Risley

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