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"I landed a job that was not listed, nor was it public knowledge. I have increased my income over 53%."

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July 2005

by Susan Reynolds

Many people wish for a better position, with better compensation, better fit for their skills, better political environment, and better growth potential. But what does it take to truly compete successfully for such a "dream" slot? The lion in "Wizard of Oz" would have just said, "Courage". I'll state it more strategically: BRANDING.

Have you identified your skills: the "features and benefits" that make you any different or better than the next person? Do you even know what you DO? What is it that you offer? Do you have abilities that you've never quite been able to position and utilize anywhere?

Think of it like any product… We often select Nikes, BMWs, and Gatorade because we have seen the brand advertising, and have perceived the desired features and benefits to be more desirable than the competition. So we have to think of ourselves in the workplace in the same way.

Evaluate your target audience. (Do you know what organizations actually are your target audience?) Match your skills, characteristics, and education against their needs. Create a marketing ("advertising") campaign that gets you in front of the correct decision maker. Make yourself relevant by addressing what makes you unique. This is your "BRAND"… what makes you the one to hire. Then know the fair price for your services and negotiate accordingly.

Last but not least, re-evaluate. Are you indeed going to be in a better position, with better compensation, better fit for your skills, better political environment, with better growth potential? Now you've correctly used your personal brand and put it to work for you!

Susan Reynolds is a senior partner at Newmarket Careers in Santa Clarita, a job search and career strategy firm geared toward managerial, executive, and senior level professional careers. She can be reached at or 661-755-3308.

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New Year's Resolution: Get a Fit Career!

Interviewing to Win an Offer

Job Search is Like Dating!

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