Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Popular Brands Don't Lie

Often times when I'm at home, I find myself incredibly happy that DVR's were invented so I can skip past commercials. I'm probably not alone in that sentiment.  As a result (or maybe just because I'm getting older and more out of touch with popular culture), I don't know as many of those wonderful advertising slogans as I once did.  I know they're out there, but I can't necessarily make that instant connection between some words and a product.  It's not that different than a recruiter who can't make the difference between the words on your resume and who you really are.

But what I really want to focus on today is the message behind some of the best known slogans out there, and how it ties into what you should do in your job search.

Just Do It
Nike is everywhere.  It's hard to go very far without seeing that swoosh on some piece of clothing.  We all know Michael Jordan and his iconic image, and the brand's trademark saying: Just Do It.  Is there really any better message to have about a job search?  Sure, it's very direct, but ultimately every single one of us has to buckle down and just do our search.  Certain parts are definitely easier than others, and those aren't where we need the inspiration.  It's in those other moments where we don't want to write another cover letter, or don't really feel like calling to chase down a lead that we need to remember those fateful three words.  Nothing bad will come from it, and by powering through you might even be able to achieve more than you ever realized (in this case a dream job or internship).

Think Different
Much like Nike in the apparel world, Apple is omnipresent in the technology world these days.  It's hard to go places without seeing or hearing about an iSomething.  And what Apple has told us over the years is to Think Different.  This is something that can be challenging at first, but with some effort, you can turn yourself into a more compelling candidate.  Thinking different can even take various manifestations.  You can change your approach to how you conduct a search in terms of attitude, method, timeline, and many other places.  You can change the way you market yourself.  You can change the types of companies you target.  You can change your communication style.  The key is to think about how you can get out of your usual methods and find ways to better yourself through your methods and actions.  But before you can take action, you have to look deep into yourself to find where you can improve, and Career Services can help with that.

When You've Got It, Flaunt It
Ok, so I didn't know this one as well until I was doing research on slogans, but Braniff Airlines hits their message on the nose with this slogan.  Way too often I see students hold back, especially in interviews.  WHY????  If you're out there looking for a job, and you have some great skills and traits, you need to show them off!  Like I always tell my students, it is not the time to be shy or humble; it is time to shout from the mountaintop about how awesome you are!  If you have the skills, be proud of them, use them in your examples, and definitely don't hide them.  It's tough sometimes because we're always taught to be humble, but lay it on the line.  You sure don't have anything to lose, and I don't know of too many employers that aren't interested in confident employees.

So while you're watching your favorite programs, and happen to see some ads every now and then, think about how that message can really factor into your own life, and specifically your career.  You'd be surprised how well the messages match sometimes!

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