The Career Branding Hype Print E-mail
The newest buzzword in the career marketing industry is career branding. But what exactly is career branding? Essentially, it is a new term for something that we Americans have not found to be as trendy as it once was - a good reputation. It is hype because it is touted as something that is essential for successful career advancement and the term serves to provide career professionals with something new to sell.

Ask any marketer how to sell something that has been around for a long time, and they will tell you to change the name and called it new and improved. Coming up with the term career branding has given careerists something new to sell. They have taken the old, tried and true job search techniques, given them a new name, and call it new and improved. It sells services and books, and paints the careerists as being on the cutting edge of the industry.

Career branding is simply building a good reputation in your chosen industry and then making sure you market that reputation effectively in your resume and job search activities. What's so new about that? That's what we have been doing at our firm since 1994 and its no different today than it was then.

If you look at the technical term of branding, it is establishing a recognizable presence in the market. Coca-Cola is probably the king of branding. Coca-Cola is recognizable by the label or even the style of writing world-wide. There are probably few people in the world who don't know what Coca-Cola is. That is branding on a large scale.

Large scale branding on a personal basis is impossible. There are some individuals who have successful, widespread career brands - Donald Trump, Bill Gates, Michael Dell. These guys don't need a resume simply because they are recognizable individuals who have famously proven their worth. In some small, niche industries or career fields, some individuals have high profile career brands; they are recognized by name by colleagues and employers within their industry due to their accomplishments and industry involvement. Establishing a career brand recognizable across broad industries such as mortgage brokerage or floristry (for example) is generally not something that can be done.

When you enter into the job search process, you want employers to get excited when they see your resume and you want them to place you at the top of the list after the interviews are conducted? How do you do that? You have a great resume developed and you work on your interviewing skills. Interviewing is something that improves with practice and so spend time working on your interview skills. Get your resume developed by a professional. Be ready to conduct a thorough job search by getting some sound advice from a professional who cares about your success, not just if you are going to buy the newest book.

The other key to successful career management is thinking ahead and working hard. Build a strong reputation as someone who is a hard worker and who knows his/her stuff. Become the expert in some area of your work. Be on time and give a full day's work to your employer. Support your co-workers and team members through servant leadership practices. Study to better yourself and your industry knowledge. Seek out opportunities for challenge and growth.

Reputation is built through time, not last minute sound bites created to portray a false image. If you want to be remembered, build a memorable career.