I received an urgent call. ’ll call her Dr. Dee. Recently, due to new leadership, Dr. Dee had been released from her responsibilities in academia. She called me after months of applying for jobs she was well qualified for but failing to get even an acknowledgment of her interest. After earning a terminal degree, accumulating years of experience, and having a published book under her belt, she expressed to me that she felt invisible.
We decided that a reasonable goal would be for her to get interviews. I requested that she email me the current materials she was sending to potential employers along with a few job descriptions.
After careful review, I could clearly see why she wasn’t landing any job interviews. Her materials were well written. Like most people, they communicated her experience, but they didn’t reflect the results she created. I decided that the most time-effective strategy would be to interview her.
After I had gathered the data, she was astounded by how much she had contributed to increasing profits through student retention, negotiation, and leadership. She had implemented student development programs that increased student retention. She had increased productivity by bridging the communication gap between the administration and faculty. Her motivational style and reward system created healthy competition and focus within her department.
After we packaged and positioned her value, I was confident that she had a competitive advantage. Within a week, she had her first interview. Before the 14th day, she sent me an email saying she was a finalist for a vice president position. She didn’t get that position, but within 30 days, she was named the vice president of student affairs at a university.
Like a lawyer shaping a story in the minds of a judge and jury, building a brand requires a story. Your story should pique a person’s interest because of its human elements and value to the organization. Your answers to the following questions will help shape your story:
* Who do you help?
* Why do you help them?
* How do you help them?
* What results do you create when you help them?
Keep in mind that the “why” component is enormously important. How many times during an interview have you been asked, “What motivates you?” On the surface, it appears to be a simple get-to-know-you question — a question that’s seeking to determine whether you’ll show up every day for work. But for the person who has to make a ruling about being around you for conceivably years to come, the question really being asked is “Why did you wake up today?”
Copyright 2018. All rights reserved. S. Renee Smith