Thursday, October 1, 2009


It’s my premise that job search is very much like sales. The product in job search is your skill set and your work persona; note that your product isn’t “you”, just that part of yourself that creates value for companies. At any rate, when selling a product, one of the first steps is establishing a “brand” for the product. Translating this to job search, we need to look at our skill set and our work experience as the tools with which to build this brand. Your response to the job description will be to tailor your brand.

Early in NFJS one of our groups had 3 high level IT folks. All of us had been in IT for a while, we had managed teams and all of us have experienced success with projects. At the simplest level, it would be very easy to see us as competitors. When you dig just a bit deeper, we all have very different strengths that have led to our success, and each of us has a very different focus going forward. The key to each of our brands are those strengths. My brand is focused on my team building and moving a team forward to complete projects, “D” is exceptional at developing solutions to problems that seem intractable, “V” will bring a focus on communication between the various stakeholders.

The marketing folks tell us that a brand starts by looking at a product from the customer’s point of view. Looking at the skill sets of the three program managers this suggests each of us should think about the problem a company is trying to solve that will give us that ideal opportunity. I’m the guy when a team has become rudderless, or is experiencing conflict. “D” will be the person for a situation with serious technical problems and “V” will be a great choice for a company that wants to focus on understanding between its users and its development team. Each of us needs to build our brand around these problems, and if we find ourselves competing for a position, we should look a lot deeper into the problem the company hiring us is trying to address.

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