I spend a great deal of time writing information and tips on how and where to find work-at-home jobs or build a business. I even try to inspire and motivate readers to boost their confidence that working at home is possible. But there’s one area I have been remiss in covering and that is encouraging you to be hire-worthy.
You are concerned about finding legitimate opportunities and not getting scammed. But did you know that employers and consumers are worried too? They worry that you’ll slack off or won’t deliver on your promises. Put yourself in their shoes… they’re going to hire an employee or buy from your business, usually sight unseen, with your word that you can do the job.
Fortunately, you can help alleviate employer and consumer concerns by building a strong personal brand AND living up to the hype you create. How? First lets talk about what a personal brand is. It’s not a logo or tagline. It’s a promise to deliver an experience. If you read that sentence carefully, you’ll notice that branding isn’t about you. It’s about your employer or customer and whether or not they agree that you’ve lived up to the promise. Developing a personal brand is a great way to get clear on what you have to offer as an employee or business owner and becomes the basis for your marketing (even in resumes).
Here’s how to develop a personal brand:
1) What makes you unique? Why should an employer hire you as opposed to the hundreds of other of candidates? Why should a consumer buy your widget versus another widget? You can be unique in a variety of ways including experience, price, speed, special talents, etc.
2) What does your market need? The best way to get a job is to be the best fit for the employer. To sell your widgets, they need to meet the needs of the consumer. The best way to meet your market’s need is to know what it needs, not in a generalized way, but in specifics. Many employers need an assistant, but not all need them for the same reasons or to do the same things.
3) Be the solution. Employers and consumers don’t really care about how great you are. They only care about how well you can help them meet their need (#2). When you’re applying for a job or selling your widgets, focus on the end result: how are your skills or widget the solution to the employer or consumer’s problem. Remember, it’s not about you. It’s about how your skills, talents, products and services help your market.
So how does this look in the real world? If I were to interview you for a bookkeeping job today and asked, “Why should I hire you?”, what would your answer be? Most people might say they’re a hard worker and have experience. Those are all nice things. But what if someone said, “I have ten years experience working with solo entrepreneurs and understand the tax implications of working at home. I can organize your books to fit the unique expenses and income that comes from online income sources.” Do you see the difference? Both people might have the same experience, but answer two speaks directly to my needs (I’m not hiring a bookkeeper. This is just an example.)
This is the type of information that should be in your cover letter and resume as well. A personal brand will make you stand out from everyone else delivering the same ole lines. So before you send out your next resume or prepare your next marketing campaign, decide what you want you or your business to stand for. Develop a personal brand and strive to deliver the promise your brand makes.
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