An Exercise in Personal Marketing

Published on 11 May 2010 by Kelly Riggs in Career Building


PPT slide 300x225 An Exercise in Personal MarketingHey, want to see how marketable you are? Here’s an exercise for you: create a PowerPoint presentation that is designed to market…YOU! Yes, that’s right – create a marketing presentation for yourself. No, I’m not suggesting that you use it in a job interview, but consider this exercise as a way to think carefully about what you bring to the table for an employer.

A couple of words of caution before we discuss some ideas for your presentation: First, if you don’t know how to use PowerPoint, here is a good time to figure it out. Get a PowerPoint for Morons book, or some such thing, and start learning. However, do your homework on the Internet and learn some basics about good presentations (check out this blog post, for example). Second, many job positions require some aptitude with PowerPoint, so this may actually be good practice because most people don’t have a clue about how to create an effective slide presentation (haven’t you seen some really awful presentations in the workplace?). Do some research and learn how to avoid disastrous presentations (here is another great blog post to read). Google “bad PowerPoint presentations” and you will get a bazillion hits; go ahead and read one or two.

OK, let’s get started.

1). Write down your personal workplace strengths. Get out of “interview” mode and be real for a second. What skills and talents do you have? Are you dependable? A good listener? Are you Rain Man on Microsoft Word or Excel? Can you write coherent business correspondence? (If so, there are about 40 of you left in the universe.)

Think it through…why should an employer hire you? What makes you special? Now, put together a half dozen slides – one for each strength. Find a graphic for each slide. Prioritize the slides and build a case for yourself.

2). Next, write down your personal weaknesses. Same process as before – get real and be specific. Are you horrible with details? Do your follow-up skills leave something to be desired? Do you have the people skills of a pit bull?

The more you know about yourself, the smaller your blind spot in an interview. Interviews are not about clever answers to tricky questions; they are about positioning yourself effectively to minimize your weaknesses and maximize your strengths. If you can be honest with yourself and identify a key weakness that is keeping you out of the best jobs, you can create a plan to improve that weakness or manage it effectively. Do that now – create two or three slides that identify your weaknesses, one per slide. Find a graphic that fits. Then, create a solution for each weakness and use a slide to communicate it.

3) Finally, answer these questions: What do you want to do most? What is your vision for your career? What is it that you do in the workplace that gives you great energy and satisfaction? Now, create two to four slides that communicate your passion.

The point here is that, until you know what you want to do, you won’t look for the ideal job for you – and you won’t remove every possible barrier in order to get that position.

When you are all finished, show it to two or three people who care about you and are willing to offer some constructive feedback – about the presentation itself, your thoughts about your personal strengths and weaknesses, and how you are positioning  yourself in the workplace.

Take notes, make changes. Get serious about your personal marketing.

3 Responses to “An Exercise in Personal Marketing”

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    An Exercise in Personal Marketing… [link to post] KSR

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    An Exercise in Personal Marketing | blog: YOU! Yes, that’s right – create a marketing present… [link to post]

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