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How to sale yourself ?

The following speech I made for my toastmasters project-7.  Project was targeted at research skills and using the relevant data to drive , convince audience about your point of view.

Objectives of Project as mentioned in the toastmasters manual are :

  • Collect information about your topic from numerous sources.
  • Carefully support your points and opinions with specific facts, examples, and illustrations gathered through research. 

As I was working on use of Social media for personal branding for newcomers at my b-school. I decided to use the same subject for the research. And here is my speech.

Toast Masters good evening. 
So let’s talk how to sale  oneself in the market. 
Confused? Oh sorry, I am not talking about Slavery of 18-th century, but about the Job-market.  
This talk is about Personal branding.  Personal branding is all about standing out in the crowded, tough and difficult job market. It’s all about placing yourself in the better bargaining position. 
We know corporate brands like Apple, and we have product brands like i-phone, similarly there are personal brands. For example look at Amir Khan. (Talk on grape vine says he received  3 Cr/episode of Satyamev Jayate). See how carefully he had nurtured his persona, image and how he is cashing on it – in the job market of celebrities.  What you see there is Personal branding at work. 
But it’s not only celebrities; anyone can use personal branding.   Today’s talk is about two aspects of the personal branding.  One is why you need it and second how to use social media in promoting yourself. 
Even in the booming Indian growth story, Job market is really tough. Given our 1 Billion plus population, it is going to be that way always. One rough estimate says that for every job posted, sometime there will be as high as 45 applicants.  Naukari dot com, India’s most popular job site and 5th most popular website has as high as 25 million users  (May be active/inactive) and another data points they have around 9 Million active users  and everyday 14,000 resumes are uploaded on Naukari.  Irrespective of the real figures, facts remains that Job Market is really crowded. 
You may think this is true for fresher’, but things are more difficult at top.  We have this typical pyramid structure in organizations. So as you go higher, number of job openings will reduce, further there will be more/tougher scrutiny of your profile.  One blog posting mentioned some top-notched firms’ rejects as high as 94% applications.  I know a friend of mine, a unit head – had taken a break and now searching for a job for almost one and half year. And he is no-where even near the selection process. 
Surely the picture is very challenging – as it is really difficult to even cross screening and reach the interview stage.But don’t be afraid, one way to increase your chances passing the screening process is Personal branding and using Social media. It’s all about self-image and self-promotion. 
For example FB – Face book has almost close to 47 Million users in India, 4% of total India’s population but 35% of total online population is on FB.  Another site Linked in has 13 Millions of Indians on line. It is 2nd largest online popular site in India.  FB has more concentration of youngsters (18 to 24 group), but its sheer size compels your potential employer to look at your profile on FB.  That is not the case with Linked in – which is purely professional hang-out place.  Employers not only check your educational and workplace background. But use it judge your network, asses your references and understand feedback on you. 
So how do you really use them? 
First and most important thing is – use your good quality, professional head-shot as a profile picture. Not some funky avatar.  Research shows that visitors are more likely to dig at your profile if it has a photograph.  A step closer to your dream job. And if you want to leverage brand – use same photo on your FB, twitter, Google profile.  More face time is likely to lead them to hear you.  And get a call for Interview.
Leverage your strengths, by contributing to the groups, discussions. Follow the thinkers, leaders in your area of expertise. Join the professional groups/clubs.
If you are eying for a top job, you surely need expertise in the functional area and in your Industry. 
 The best way to showcase your expertise, your work, achievements and contributions in the area is to use Blog.  Well developed blog will have a good and importantly relevant readership. For instance you can show-case your communication skills by posting your Toastmaster achievements; you can keep writing about your strengths in presentation skills, you can keep writing, critic great presentations and public speeches of TED on your blog. And People will start recognizing you as a sincere follower in your area of expertise. They will follow you on twitter, connect with you on linked in and will be your friends on FB. This doesn’t happen over night.  It is the whole ecosystem that matters.  You need to keep working at it slowly, diligently.  Amir Khan hasn’t developed his brand in a day – nor can you do it.  
 So start at it early and Toastmasters you will reap the benefits of personal branding in the job Market.
Disclaimer: The data or figures I have used in this speech is just figurative, though I have used online , web-based resources for collecting the figures, I have not verified the figures or claims. I simply used them to support the relevant parts of my speech.

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