Thursday, March 26, 2009

Marketing yourself (part 2). Your approach to market

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This is a follow on to an earlier post Marketing Yourself, the A, B, Cs that focused on what I described as Part One of the A, B, C's of marketing yourself. Today I want to chime in on Part Two which is YOUR APPROACH TO MARKET. Individuals looking for their next position or looking to bolster their profile and build their networks can draw from the fundamentals followed by companies launching new products or brands into the market. You need to understand what your brand is and then you need to manage that brand impression in every media-- when meeting someone for the first time at a cocktail party, when in a meeting or on a conference call, when promoting yourself on your bio, resume or speaking at a conference, when managing your professional profile online. It all matters and it requires a plan and ongoing management and maintenance. Every interaction is an opportunity to make a great or an average impression (let's hope not a bad impression!).

To start you need to think about your goals. Are you in launch mode, build mode or sustain mode? Typically if you are at the early stage of your career you are in launch or build mode. If you are at a mid career stage but are shifting careers you will drop back to launch mode.

For online you will want to ask yourself how much of your profile do you want to be publicly available online? This will dictate your online, professional networking strategy with sites like and . Do you want a video to add a level of personalization to your brand? Are you an entrepreneur who is constantly promoting something and seeking new networking connections? You may want to look at for sharing daily updates on what you are up. Think carefully about how you use as a professional networking tool as it is most commonly used for social / personal networking and it is important to keep your personal and professinal brands separate.

Stay tuned for more marketing yourself a, b, c's.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Career and life reflected by one great CEO

Five years ago I had the pleasure to come to know Howard Breen, Chairman of MacLaren McCann Canada-- a man who needs no introduction on the North American advertising stage. Howard shared with me a few months ago that he was in the final stages of writing his book "A Page from a CEO's Diary" and I couldn't wait for the opportunity to help him promote it.

Well, it is now available for all of us to enjoy!

In addition to Howard's obvious career success he is an extraordinarily thoughtful and reflective man who cares very much about looking at the whole person, walking the talk, course correcting and holding himself to a higher standard.

The net proceeds for this book are being donated to Camp Oochigeas ( a wonderful camp for kids with cancer) and PrevNet (an organization addressing bullying). You can order “A page from a CEO’s Diary” at

Here is what Howard has to say about it:
"This book reveals the most important lessons I have learned about business, career and relationships. I intend to challenge you to re-evaluate your thinking, values and practices with observations, anecdotes and questions. My goal is to help you gain a more honest picture of who you are and what you truly believe so that you can achieve greater success in your career…and happiness in life. " -- Howard Breen

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Thursday, March 12, 2009

Using video as a distinct advantage in your job search

A video bio is an important tool in your career marketing toolkit. Your on-camera ‘pitch’ is a way to present important soft skills like communication style, overall presence, attitude and energy, relate ability and professionalism whether you are in the job market, looking to promote your business or trying to build your profile. At the end of the day, people connect with people and video is a great way to express your whole self online.

Tips for using video online in your job search

1. Be sure to highlight your interests. Just out of school and looking for your first job you won’t have a lot of experience to rely on. Employers are looking to see leadership potential, ability to perform well in a team environment, energy and commitment. Sitting on college committees, volunteer work in the community, sports and other recreational interests all demonstrate a well rounded individual who makes time to develop all her skills.

2. Emphasize your achievements in high school and college. Did you graduate at the top of your class? Have you won any awards? Were you nominated for something by your peers? Did you take on an interesting project that had a great outcome?

3. Make it relevant. The employer doesn’t want to see the same video resume that every other employer is seeing. They want it tailored for them so be sure to translate your strengths into meaningful employment benefits. For example, highlight a specific skill that you have that can be immediately applied.

4. Share your ideas. Bring something specific to the table that shows that you have done your homework and you really want to work there. It demonstrates initiative and confidence.

5. Be confident on camera even if you are not. The key benefit of a video resume is that you can edit which means you have a few ‘takes’ or chances to get it right. Employers are looking for self assured, bright individuals with great communication skills so brush up on your key messages and prepare before your shoot. Make it conversational and not too scripted but make sure your best you comes across.

What are the don'ts of video bios ?

1. A videoBIO is not a video resume. It is a tool that will augment a resume and get your soft skills and communication style across. Keep it punchy and not more than 3 minutes in length.

2. Don’t submit a home grown, handycam version of your video resume to a potential employer. Employers are leery of the source of videos and the way they are submitted. Invest in a professionally shot videoBIO that comes from a credible source and is hosted on a webpage that can be easily viewed without downloading.

In this market climate it is more important than ever before to take control of and manage your online reputation.

check out my profile at

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