NEW YORK, Oct. 23, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- From last summer's television and movie lineup with "Political Animals" and The Campaign, respectively, to the current Presidential race, there's no doubt that Americans are living in a politically charged time. Recognizing the similarities between running for office and running a job search, TheLadders, the online job-matching service for career-driven professionals, asked its more than 5 million members to identify trends in their personal-branding strategies.
"In today's uncertain economy, job seekers must recognize that it takes more than skill and experience to land a job. You need to be likable," said Amanda Augustine, job search expert for TheLadders. "Just like today's Presidential candidates who have spent decades building their personal brands, job candidates need to evaluate their own image and communication skills. They must tailor their approach with prospective employers to win their votes, and ultimately, the job offer."
When it comes to the job search, a personal brand will help convey one's capabilities and strengths to potential employers. Drawing on TheLadders' survey results, along with parallels between the Presidential campaign and the job search, Augustine developed the following five tips to help candidates assemble their own brand strategy like they're running for office.
1. Lobby for support – More than 80 percent of job seekers agree that "knowing someone at a company they're targeting gives them a leg up on the competition," and 73 percent have "landed an interview as a result of an employee referral." Augustine recommends identifying those in your network who will advocate on your behalf. Choose supporters who have been impressed by your track record and capabilities so they can help you bypass the gatekeepers.
2. Manage your campaign both online and offline – According to the annual Jobvite 2012 Social Recruiting Survey, 92 percent of recruiters use or plan to use social networks in their recruiting efforts. An online presence speaks volumes to potential employers. Augustine cautions job seekers to increase the security settings on all personal profiles to keep information and photos private, and ensure that professional profiles are aligned with their current resume.
3. Kiss the babies – When asked when they network, 54 percent of respondents said they do so "at every social gathering they attend," yet, surprisingly, 19 percent network only "when looking for a new job." Augustine asserts that every social gathering presents an opportunity to network, and suggests bringing high energy and a positive attitude to every event, while treating everyone you encounter with respect and professionalism.
4. Know your constituency – Prior to an interview, 62 percent of respondents say they research the "company and the interviewers," while 35 percent say they "only research the company." To tailor a pitch that will resonate with the interviewer, Augustine advises job seekers be as well-informed as possible so that they can try and create a meaningful connection from the moment they walk in the door.
5. Stick to the issues – Even when an interview veers off topic, 38 percent of job seekers choose to "let the interviewer talk because he/she controls the interview." By contrast, 10 percent "interject and take control of the conversation because the candidate controls the interview." Alternatively, before each interview, Augustine recommends crafting talking points based on the top three skill requirements listed in the job description. During the interview, if the conversation veers off course, use your talking points to politely steer the conversation back to your qualifications for the job.
On an ongoing basis, TheLadders conducts primary user-experience research and analyzes quantitative data provided by its more than five million members to gauge current behavioral trends in the job-search process. TheLadders uses this research to improve the customer experience and provide expert advice to the marketplace. An infographic illustrating TheLadders' Election Day survey can be downloaded at TheLadders Blog.
With more than five million members, TheLadders has been committed to finding the right person for the right job since 2003. With a unique suite of personalized products and resume services, this career-focused online service helps job seekers connect with employers and recruiters more effectively and efficiently. Given its heritage as the leader in the $100K+ job search, TheLadders is dedicated to the science behind the job search and optimally positioned to help all career-driven professionals in finding the right jobs. Expanding services to include sub-$100K+ positions allows recruiters and employers more options when looking to hire professionals at other stages of their careers. TheLadders is headquartered in New York. For more information, visit TheLadders Blog and theladders.com. Your career is our job.™