Developing Your "Personal Marketing Portfolio"
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The question that all job seekers need to ask themselves is this…Can you answer the three basic questions that any hiring manager wants to know? 

Are you aware of what these three most important questions are and how they will affect your employment chances?  Are you able to demonstrate that the information you provide to a prospective hiring manager validates your credibility?

Validating your work experiences in a qualitative and quantitative manner is why all job seekers MUST develop a Personal Marketing Portfolio.  As the world of job search/seeking continues to evolve so must each job seeker continue to follow the new paradigms for the job search.

Many experts some well known others regional and locally have expressed opinions as to what is the future of resume use in the short term.  Many corporate hiring managers would rather NOT see a resume if it does not answer the three primary questions listed above.  So as a job seeker let’s examine these three questions first.

The three most important questions that a hiring manager will ask are?

1.Do you have the experience necessary to do the job/the work/the task that I need
         accomplished?
2.How and in what way will you demonstrate quantitatively and qualitatively that you have the
         ability, experience, and accomplishments to fulfill the requirements of the job?
3.Will you fit into this organization, today, tomorrow and in the short term?


Believe it or not, these three questions are the combination of all the questions that any quality hiring manager will ask, but may ask in a multitude of various and even disjointed questions.  How you answer them is important, what you place in writing or in graphs or diagrams are more important. 

It is for this reason that all job seekers need to “show” that they can answer the three questions required by a hiring manager, in a form that will make you as the ONLY qualified candidate for this position.

Marketing is the key to the job search……that means how you present yourself, how you place validity to your experience and achievements, and finally how well will an individual such as a hiring manager or multiple interviewers remember you.  To do that a job seeker must develop a personalized marketing plan designed for each specific job and interview situation.
This is accomplished by asking, yourself, questions and developing a Personal Marketing Portfolio.  These questions are not quick answer questions and will require the job seeker to spend a considerable amount of time developing several approaches for an answer.

All the above information means basically one thing!  Are you able to develop and communicate what your brand is in a successful marketing strategy?  In today’s job search paradigm your brand and the marketing of that brand is key to job search success.

Why is Your Personal Brand part of developing a Personal Marketing Portfolio?

This simple statement has produced dozens of books on Personal and Corporate branding, how to use it, how success will be developed from its proper use etc, etc, etc.  In this presentation Personal Branding is necessary to understand how to develop your marketing materials to sell yourself to an employer.

Branding builds several key factors about you as a job candidate.
Creates authenticity about how you are and what you can do.
Branding is used to build a perception and promote a positive reputation about you and your
        work experience.
Branding is designed to position you at the top of a competitive job marketplace.

Your brand must be shown to be an authentic brand.  This means that all claims, which include your experience and your knowledge is trustworthy and proven.  Your brand should be based on your core values.  Those potential employers should share the same core values that you represent as who you are.

When you begin to develop your Personal Marketing Portfolio you must be answer these questions.
What are you known for?
What do you want to be known for to a prospective hiring manager?
What do you want people, former colleagues, or supervisors to say about me, even if I no longer
        work with that company or lost regular contact with these former associates?
What new and updated terms have you learned, new skills master and understood to show my
        ability to be self reliant?
Do you look or project yourself in writing, and in person the way that reflects the brand I want to
        develop?
Have my past and current actions reflect the brand I want to present?

Finally it is the key to make your Personal Marketing Portfolio a success, does your marketing material reflect your brand statement?

What Makes You a Compelling Job Candidate?

The answer to this includes the following:
What makes your experience valuable to a particular employer?
What can you do to deliver the services that a specific employer actively needs or is seeking?
Why does hiring you make the most sense?
What are the variables that differentiate you from other job candidates?
What can you do for a company that makes you a compelling candidate?

This is the first step in building your Personal Marketing Portfolio, but without having a specific understanding of the requirements necessary you cannot be successful in today’s job search.  Therefore, as a job seeker you must accomplish establish in depth answers to the following:

How have you inventoried your skills and knowledge?  This includes establishing a list of the things you know….areas of information you possess.  These knowledge areas are the components the pieces, that when are tied together, allow you to develop the skills that deliver tangible results.

Next you must inventory those skills, the things you can do.  You must be able to translate those skills that you learned into actionable skills.  This means you must understand all the ways that your knowledge allows you to understand skills that you can apply to a job.  Knowledge alone is not the answer, it is the ability to apply that knowledge hiring managers seek and will see in your personal marketing portfolio.  It will take time to identify your skills but the more you can do in defining your skills with your knowledge the greater your image will be with a prospective employer.

Know how to handle gaps in your knowledge or areas of expertise.  It is too tempting to state that you have skills A through B in a particular area and include that in your portfolio when in reality you may be missing certain parts of that knowledge and skill set.  Employers can determine your lack of skills very quickly during the interview process and via the material you present such as your resume.  Make a list of the skills you lack and the skills you have attained and learn what you need to “know” for the next interview and it will later be incorporated within the Personal Marketing Portfolio.

Separate basic value from the higher values that make you the perfect job candidate.  Of course for any position there are basic skills that are required and your competition will also have those skills.  What you need and will show in the Personal Marketing Portfolio are your “advanced” skills and knowledge within your industry or career.  These are usually indicated by advanced industry learning or training as well as, work experiences.  This is where you will develop your personal list of higher learning and work experience to add the value discussed earlier. 

Develop to become an SME, a Subject Matter Expert in your industry or career by accomplishing the above tasks and be remembered by the hiring manager and interviewers.  This is marketing yourself, or translating your advanced skills and experiences in a clear and articulate form that compels a prospective employer to want you over any other candidate.  When the job seeker becomes recognized as a “Subject Matter Expert” credibility is established above the vast majority of other candidates who may be applying for the same position.  An SME is worth cash to a prospective employer who can see that you are someone special.

Developing YOUR “Personal Marketing Portfolio”

In many presentations, I have done over the last few years, at the beginning of each the vast majority of attendees state that they do not believe, in the use of a Personal Marketing Portfolio, and by the time the session is completed most state that they have learned and understand more about establishing themselves as the most viable individual for a particular job opening.    This is not unusual at all because the job search paradigm has continued to change since early 2007 when the effects of the recession began to affect the American workforce.

Paradigm means change, change in society values, in everything that we do and even change in how the job search is conducted and interviews are handled.  In the past it was sending out resumes and cover letters via email or typed and you waited, waited and finally you kept on applying for any position that seemed right for you.  Each resume was slightly tailored to fit the specific position but still there were more and more potential candidates for one position.  

As part of the current job search paradigm simply sending out a cover letter and a resume, standard networking, and many other things job seekers have been taught no longer work! It is just that simple.

Today the job search process centers on the ability to Market and Present Your Personal Brand as they relate to your skills, knowledge and achievements. This is why the Personal Marketing Portfolio is vital to job search success. 

Establishing the components of a Personal Marketing Portfolio are not difficult but it will take TIME, and RESEARCH on your part.  It requires completing the steps mentioned previously to put the material together for each interview or “connection” with a potential employer made.

Your completed Personal Marketing Portfolio will be a branding statement all about you as a qualified and experienced professional.  When completed a prospective employer should understand who you are, what you can accomplish for them, how you will do it, and what results the employer will receive from your efforts. 

Developing Your Personal Marketing Portfolio - Your personal branding statement for employers.

STEP ONE:  Developing a Professional Portfolio

The Personal Marketing Portfolio requires that you have established a basic cover letter, a basic resume, gathered information about your work achievements, awards, recognitions, reviews and performance ratings, articles from company or industry journals, letters of recommendations, graphs presenting performance such as sales revenue achievements, or project management accomplishments indicating early and profitable accomplishments.  Until this first step is accomplished you cannot begin to develop your portfolio. This compiled information will be rewritten in many cases, modified in a cut and paste form, via a word processing program and later bound in a semi formal presentation folder.  A job seeker can compile the greatest set of information spread across the top of your work table but unless it is organized, filtered, manipulated in an honest format to show skills, knowledge, and achievements, it will nothing more than a waste of time.

Remember the objective of the Personal Marketing Portfolio is to establish the successful brand of YOU as the most qualified candidate for a job position.

STEP TWO:  Developing an Eye Catching Introduction

Here is where you as a job seeker will certainly want to be remembered as a prime and qualified job seeker.  As with a cover letter this “Introductory Letter” is designed more as a statement of your skills, key achievements, key accomplishments, and specifically what you will provide the employer.  Do not forget to mention the specific position, as stated by the employer, that you are applying for in this Introductory Letter.

STEP THREE:  Establishing a Modified Resume or Informational Resume

This document is different in form from a chronological or functional resume.  The objective of this document is to establish your KNOWLEDGE, HOW THAT KNOWLEDGE WAS TRANSFERRED INTO SKILLS, AND HOW THOSE SKILLS, THOSE NEEDED FOR THE POSITION YOU ARE APPLYING, and WILL PROVIDE SUCCESS THE EMPLOYER SEEKS.

This is accomplished by utilizing selected components of your basic resume, including the Professional Skills, or Achievement, and selected accomplishments from each position you held in your work history.

Although it is not a resume as you may recognize it is formally presented with several defined sections.  These sections include:
Personal Information Section
Statement of Your Personal Brand
Selected Key Achievements in a Quantitative and Qualitative form
Selected Employers with relevance to the job you seek
Summary of Education, Additional Education, Awards, Recognition

STEP FOUR:  Your “WHY YOU SHOULD HIRE ME PAGE”

Call it what you like but this page should state WHY YOU SHOULD HIRE ME!  This single section of your Personal Marketing Portfolio can make or break your job search attempts.  In this section you will present on a single page three to five distinct and key skills, with measureable results in a way that says to the hiring manager “why you should be hired”.

This is not a simple or quickly accomplished task.  During this process it is necessary to combine your statements with your personal brand and with the key criteria the hiring manager seeks.  Remember the three important questions mentioned earlier in this presentation this is where the job seeker must apply those answer in a succinct and knowledgeable way.

STEP FIVE:  Your Formal Resume

In step five, you must include your modified resume designed specifically for the position in which you have applied.  The majority of resume writers and experts believe that the chronological style of resume is the type of style that Human Resources, and hiring managers want and favor.  However, you are developing a branding statement in which your resume is only a smaller percentage of the total brand you developed. 

Your resume should be:
Written in proper grammar and style
Provide accurate work history
Show increasing accomplishments from one position to another
Provide quantitative and qualitative measurements in a progressively increasing form
Be entirely honest
Cover no more than fifteen years of total work history, unless there are requirements from previous positions that are necessary, but list them in a separate section of ADDITIONAL WORK EXPERIENCE, without dates, company names or positions held. 

STEP SIX:  Telling Your Compelling Story of Work Accomplishments

This section could be multiple pages where the job seeker should include the following information:
Include articles where you are recognized for your performance, ideas, etc.  This can be in corporate newsletters or other forms of media.
Include only outstanding performance reviews from former supervisors that emphasize the knowledge and skill base necessary for the particular position.
Include letters of accommodations’ from former clients.
Individualized summaries from your own thoughts regarding specific projects and accomplishments as they relate to former clients, team project management etc.
Graphs and diagrams are excellent tools to establish quantitative and qualitative performance records in sales and many other industries.

Although the process seems simply it is not a task that can be accomplished over night.  The average time to develop a quality Personal Marketing Portfolio is a week to ten days.  The quantity of time spent is not the issue but the quality of information presented is vital.