Tag Archive: career development


A large percentage of college graduates find themselves graduating into poverty, and moving back home with their parents in horrified disbelief that they are still eating Ramen noodles and cannot find a job that requires a high school diploma, let alone a college degree. One of the main reasons students experience this unfortunate introduction to the real world is because they are among the millions of generic college graduates who have done little or nothing to distinguish themselves during the “Dash Period”—the time they have between freshman and senior year to brand themselves. Through this signature work, Michael D. Brown has prevented thousands of students from graduating into poverty by helping them develop thriving and competitive personal brands that are empowered and equipped to achieve exponential personal and professional success.

health

It’s no secret that jobs are scarce. Don’t be misled by encouraging downward trends in unemployment – a lot of the new jobs being created are of the low-level service variety. Quality, career-type positions are few in number and applicants are many. Add in the fact that today’s companies are terrified of making a bad hire, due to the intense dedication of money and resources involved in bringing on a new staff member plus legal ramifications of firing someone, and finding a job that will let you achieve your professional and personal aspirations is tougher than ever.

But it can be done. However, the key to obtaining the kind of job that will advance your career is acing your job interview. The interview is absolutely crucial to getting hired, and demonstrating you have the necessary skills and background is only a small portion of what you must accomplish. Here are 6.5 fresh steps to acing your next job interview.

 

  1. Do Your Homework. You need to do a lot of research before the interview takes place. The Internet makes this task easier than in the past, but you still need to check out the company’s website, as well as websites of its major competitors. Do a Google search of the company, its executives and its industry to find out what challenges it is facing. Also it may reveal important details about executives you will speak with, such as their alma maters, social activities, etc. you can use to personalize your conversation. If possible, discreetly visit the company’s lobby to get a sense of what people are wearing and how they act.
  2. Appearance counts. You are essentially hired (or not hired) in the first 30 seconds of the interview. Your potential employer decides very quickly if you are right for the job or not, and the rest of the conversation serves to prove or disprove this first impression. The very first thing your interviewer(s) will see is your personal appearance. Are your hair and nails freshly groomed? Are you wearing tailored business attire that is in line with current fashion but not too “trendy”? Is your breath fresh and are you well-rested but alert? Do you carry a quality leather attache case and have professionally printed business cards and resumes to distribute? If the answer to any of these questions is “no,” make sure it becomes “yes” before your interview occurs!
  3. Talk to everyone. Even if you arrive on time (I’m assuming you know enough to never be late, and ideally should be 10-15 minutes early), you will likely be asked to wait for at least a few minutes before the interview starts. If there is a receptionist in the waiting area, engage them in pleasant conversation. Also smile and say hello to anyone who passes by. Do not ask any questions or initiate in-depth conversations (remember everyone will report what you say and do), but if you are lucky someone in the company might reveal a valuable piece of information, such as what type of mood your interviewer is in or how many other people have been interviewed. Plus you immediately establish yourself as a social, professional individual who makes a good impression.

 

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  • Last week we discussed meaningful job hunting.
  • This week we will talk about how you can get and nail the interview for your next meaningful job.
  • Especially in a tough job market like we are experiencing now, competition is fierce for every position.
  • In order to get an interview, you have to find a way to separate yourself from your competition.
  • Below are a few tips on differentiating yourself in a crowded field:
    • Be quick: Respond to the job posting as soon as it is posted; to do this you need to be on top of job boards in your field.
    • Be explicit: Tell the potential employer exactly how you meet the criteria for the job.
    • Be brief: Hiring managers will be flooded with responses; keep your initial application short and to the point.
    • Be creative: Don’t be afraid to let your personality shine through or to do something very different than a standard cover letter and résumé, as long as it aligns with the industry in which you work (i.e. a video résumé for a job that involves presenting, or marketing collateral about yourself for a marketing position).
    • Be persistent: Follow up early and regularly, but not in an annoying way; you want to keep your name in the hiring manager’s mind and make it clear that you are interested.
  • Once you get the interview, you need to make sure you do well in it.
    • Be prepared: Do your homework about the company and the position; know as much as you can before you walk in and be ready to talk about it.
    • Be inquisitive: Prepare meaningful questions in advance and aske them in the interview. It goes without saying that you should not ask about money right away; save that for follow-up interviews.
    • Be direct: Tell them why you are a strong candidate for the job by linking your skills and experience to the skills and experience they are looking for.
    • Be confident: Give firm handshakes, make eye contact, speak with authority; you are selling yourself here, so you have to believe in yourself.
    • Be appreciative: Thank them for the opportunity and follow up with a handwritten thank-you card.
  • Any tips for readers on getting or nailing a job interview? Share your ideas in the comments section.

 

For leadership coachingprofessional development training, customer service trainingcustomer service tips, college success tips, or to learn how to build a personal brand, how to improve customer service, or  how to succeed in college, contact Michael D Brown, a premier leadership speaker, customer service speaker, and college motivational speaker at http://www.myfreshbrand.com, http://www.freshcustomerservice.com, or http://www.52collegesuccesstips.com.

In an era of economic uncertainty, layoffs, and hiring freezes, creating and promoting a top-flight personal brand that stands out in the crowd is more important than ever.

In Fresh Passion: Get a Brand Or Die A Generic, Michael D. Brown shows you how to employ the Fresh Passion methodology to build a personal brand that will maximize your potential and help you to achieve success beyond your dreams in whatever field you choose. Whether you are an executive, an entrepreneur, a tradesperson, an educator, a student, or a member of any other vocation, Fresh Passion is the pathway to outperform and outshine your peers and competitors and obtain the professional and personal rewards you deserve.

Brown outlines the Fresh Passion method in easy-to-follow detail, with plenty of interactive worksheets and quizzes to keep you engaged in the process and on the right track. You will discover how to create an entire experience you can present to employers, bosses, clients, and co-workers that will leave them begging for your services and expertise. With Fresh Passion, you can avoid the pitfalls of a generic career and instead obtain the benefits that come from being a branded entity.

Inject some Fresh Passion into your life and your career today! It’s never too soon to prevent a generic death and never too late to create a winning brand that will guarantee you long-term personal and professional success that does not waver–even when the economy starts to shake.

Click here to buy Fresh Passion: Get A Brand or Die A Generic

 

For leadership coachingprofessional development training, customer service trainingcustomer service tips, college success tips, or to learn how to build a personal brand, how to improve customer service, or  how to succeed in college, contact Michael D Brown, a premier leadership speaker, customer service speaker, and college motivational speaker at http://www.myfreshbrand.com, http://www.freshcustomerservice.com, or http://www.52collegesuccesstips.com.

freshpassion

Now this is not the type of passion you are thinking about … When I was first asked to review this book, I did look on Amazon and I started to get very excited because Fresh Passion: Get a Brand or Die a Generic is just want any blogger is looking for, or business owner, or person who wants to start their own business, or a person who just wants confidence because this book has something for everyone!

This book is broken into sections which contain quotes, real-life stories, and stories about famous people! These parts intermingled while giving different perspectives which I enjoyed.

I also enjoyed the chapter on staying fresh, and I do not want to tell you too much about this because you should buy this book! I’m not sharing any secrets and I assure you I’ll be reading this chapter over and over as this blog progresses so I do stay fresh!!

This book even gives you a chart on what to do weekly, daily, monthly, quarterly, and yearly so you can to stay connected not only to others who are in your field but to your own self as a brand!

I felt the technology information in this book was so valuable especially if you are learning to tweet, use texting services, blogging, or anything else socially connected to your brand.
This part even has a section about video conferencing!

Click here for the full review.

 

For leadership coachingprofessional development training, customer service trainingcustomer service tips, college success tips, or to learn how to build a personal brand, how to improve customer service, or  how to succeed in college, contact Michael D Brown, a premier leadership speaker, customer service speaker, and college motivational speaker at http://www.myfreshbrand.com, http://www.freshcustomerservice.com, or http://www.52collegesuccesstips.com.

brandpower

 

 

Whether it’s Starbucks, Nike or the Java Hut at the corner, just about every company has its own specialized brand these days. The way Michael D. Brown sees it, it’s time you had your own as well.

The author believes the “power of the brand” — in this case your own personal brand — can help you land that dream job, win a coveted promotion, or move from a dead-end job to one of fulfillment.
By branding, Mr. Brown means emphasizing the personal qualities and skills that make you stand out, the things you can do better than anyone else, and how they can deliver for your prospective employer or your new boss.

Just as there’s little variation in a Big Mac (so well branded we don’t even have to mention the maker), personal brands must be consistent so that people know what to expect and demonstrate a proven track record of delivering results, he said.

After all, a Big Mac is delicious every time, right?

The last thing you want to be, he said, is a “generic.”

Click here to read the full review.

 

For leadership coachingprofessional development training, customer service trainingcustomer service tips, college success tips, or to learn how to build a personal brand, how to improve customer service, or  how to succeed in college, contact Michael D Brown, a premier leadership speaker, customer service speaker, and college motivational speaker at http://www.myfreshbrand.com, http://www.freshcustomerservice.com, or http://www.52collegesuccesstips.com.

building

 

  • If you are in college or recently graduated, you have undoubtedly been given the advice to turn to your professional network when the time comes to job hunt.
  • You may be unsure of where to start or what steps to take to create and grow that network; today I will share some tips on doing just that.
  • Tools/LinkedIn: Social media has changed the networking landscape, particularly LinkedIn.
    • Many people rely on their LinkedIn network for referrals, introductions, reviews, and references, all of which come in handy when you are looking for a job.
    • If you don’t have a LinkedIn profile, get one today and make connections with anyone you have worked with or studied with in your professional life so far.
    • Anyone you deal with professionally should be added to your LinkedIn network, even if your contact with them was short; you are trying to grow your network, so add people constantly.
  • Tools/Address Book: Create an official contact in your email address for anyone you deal with, and put as much information in there as you can gather.
    • You want to be able to find the contact information for these people easily, so make a record and fill it out as completely as possible.
  • Strategy/Focus on Growth
    • Think about all the people you encounter on a daily basis; grab a business card or search for them on LinkedIn if there is any chance you can call on them professionally in the future.
  • Strategy/Cast a Wide Net
    • Don’t be limiting in who you add to your network; you never know when you may need to talk to someone in an industry completely separate from your own, and you never know when you may change career paths.
  • Strategy/Ask for Help
    • Don’t be afraid to ask someone in your network to introduce you to someone who’s currently outside your network. This is business, and people will be happy to connect you to someone who can help; you are opening doors for them just as much as you are for yourself.
  • Your network will continue to grow and serve you as you proceed down your career path; focus on growing and caring for it, and it will flourish and serve you well.

 

For leadership coachingprofessional development training, customer service trainingcustomer service tips, college success tips, or to learn how to build a personal brand, how to improve customer service, or  how to succeed in college, contact Michael D Brown, a premier leadership speaker, customer service speaker, and college motivational speaker at http://www.myfreshbrand.com, http://www.freshcustomerservice.com, or http://www.52collegesuccesstips.com.

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We hear a lot about personal branding these days but in Fresh Passion, Michael D. Brown takes the sometimes vague concept and breaks it into a series of easily digestible action items. The subtitle of the book is “get a brand or die a generic” and Brown believes that having a brand is important to executives as well as entrepreneurs.

Before you can perfect your brand you need to be certain about who you are, what you want, and what you can achieve. Do you have the necessary skills and determination? Are your goals aspirational and yet obtainable? What is your perfect day at work like? Brown walks his readers through a series of questions designed to bring focus and clarity.

When it comes to developing your brand, the instructions are similar to those a new company might take. Brown recommends getting a board of “brand” advisors that can advise you in specific areas. He also uses checklists with assignments and check-ins for accountability and recommends scheduling conference calls with yourself. He is a fan of elaborate plans and checklists, all designed to get the reader to better run corporation you. He sees a job interview is a form of customer service.

Click here to read the full review

 

For leadership coachingprofessional development training, customer service trainingcustomer service tips, college success tips, or to learn how to build a personal brand, how to improve customer service, or  how to succeed in college, contact Michael D Brown, a premier leadership speaker, customer service speaker, and college motivational speaker at http://www.myfreshbrand.com, http://www.freshcustomerservice.com, or http://www.52collegesuccesstips.com.