In the fourth part of the brand yourself series, we are asking you to take a deeper look at your weak points. Missed the rest of the series? Start with Part 1.
Hopefully you kept your list of weaknesses from Part 2. If not, look at three to five job opportunities that you are interested in and highlight the skills and experiences that you don’t have. Once you have your list together, rank them in terms of importance. If an item is not important to the role, cross it off the list.
Branding isn't just about highlighting your competencies. It's also about identifying and eliminate potential concerns. In other words, you need to be able to honestly and openly address the key skill sets and experience that you lack. Grab your weakness list and for each item write out an explanation of:
- why you don’t have this experience/skill set.
- why the skills/experiences you possess make you just as valuable. Focus on related skills and experiences that are translatable (ex., experience selling a product would make you a great fit for a client service role because you know how to connect with clients).
- how you are working to build upon your current skill set (ex., I have been studying for X certification).
Once you have this written, ask a trusted friend or mentor to ask you about your weaknesses. Use your notes to refine your answers and address their concerns. Your explanations should be candid, but the focus should be on related skills you do possess as well as things you are doing to build upon your skill set.
If the skills and experiences are necessary or a strong asset to the roles you are interested in, look into gaining the needed experience through self-study, volunteering, additional certifications, etc. Also, don’t discount the potential to ask for additional work responsibilities.
By acknowledging and addressing your current limitations, you will be better able to sell yourself. In the final part of the brand yourself series, we will be putting it all together with a basic branding action plan.