Personal Brand Re-boot

Dear Marketer-in-Transition,

We feel your pain. Landing a new job during an economic downturn is challenging, and social distancing only adds to the complexity. We hosted free online programming in April, but as the shut down persists and the unemployment rate continues to rise, we wanted to do more. We looked for ways we could help and found the answer in our Marketing Mentors Network. We reached out, was anyone available and interested in helping? The response has been so positive, we were able to establish an emergency “Personal BrandRe-boot for Pandemic-affected Members” program for the month of May. The program pairs experienced senior marketers/mentors with marketers who have lost employment due to the Covid-19 pandemic. If you weren’t able to join the program, take heart, as we want to share the guidance we received so that you have the insight you need to make your search more successful. 

As part of the program, we held an online event, “Insider’s Guide to Job Search (During a Pandemic),” with headhunters Bob Corlett, President and Founder, and Aileen Hedden, Vice President of Client Engagement, both of Staffing Advisors. Bob and Aileen have worked with over 800 hiring managers and have insight into how these managers make decisions and understand what it takes to get hired in our new virtual world.

After sharing their perspective on the current Washington DC association and nonprofit job market, Bob and Aileen provided best practices in managing your career during a recession, answering tough interview questions and working with search firms.  

Here are some highlights from the session; we’re including links for some topics if you’re interested in learning more:

  • The hiring process is still inefficient and unclear, but the pandemic has created changing expectations, more competition and an evolving hiring process.
  • To be perceived as a top performer, do your research of the company, demonstrate your understanding of the role and show how you can help the company. This was important pre-pandemic, but it’s particularly relevant now in helping yourself stand above the competition. See Bob’s post What's The Business Problem You Love to Solve? for ideas how to do this.
  • Video is a disadvantage for both hiring managers and job seekers. The video format means you need to tighten your focus during an interview and make a clear case for yourself. Keep your stories about your achievements to less than 3 minutes. For video interview tips, click here
  • Show that you are someone who is demonstrably better than your peers at achieving the kinds of business results that are required, while working in an environment similar to the current situation. See How to Impress an Interviewer for tips.
  • Know your story. Tap the power of Simon Sinek’s TED talk, “People don’t buy WHAT you do, they buy WHY you do it.  And what you do simply proves what you believe.” Use your WHY as your compass in developing your interview answers when speaking about your accomplishments: Context, Action, Result.

As Bob mentioned as we closed the session, the best approach in this virtual world of online interviewing is: Be bright. Be brief. Be gone.

We also held a session dedicated to business storytelling which we will summarize as well. As you can see, there's an ongoing theme of storytelling here. Knowing your story and sharing it through examples is vital to a successful job search.

We hope this is of some help during this challenging time. We know it’s not easy, but we can get through this together. In those deepest, darkest moments, it’s helpful to remember that, “this too shall pass.”


Angela Long