158/365 - War Machine

I will tell you this: per­son­al brand­ing can back­fire.

When I moved to Leth­bridge ten years ago and peo­ple asked me what I did for a liv­ing, I told them I designed web­sites.

It worked.

I had sev­er­al peo­ple come to me for web design advice, and I even had a few clients.

Fast for­ward to today.

Any­one who reads this blog will know I have been try­ing to get out of my cur­rent job. There’s no future in this posi­tion.

I know of a prime oppor­tu­ni­ty at the uni­ver­si­ty. It’s under devel­op­ment, but should be post­ed soon. It’s prime because it would allow me to use my tal­ents, skills and expe­ri­ence out­side of web design, would pro­vide me with indus­try-inde­pen­dent expe­ri­ence, and will posi­tion me for future oppor­tu­ni­ties.

There’s one prob­lem. No one seems to real­ize I have skills beyond web design. Near­ly every­one I’ve talked to who is involved in this posi­tion doesn’t under­stand why, as a web devel­op­er, I would want to apply for it.

I tried chang­ing my per­son­al brand­ing about two years ago to take as much empha­sis as pos­si­ble off of web design. While it did make a dif­fer­ence to many peo­ple, it missed the peo­ple who need it today.

What does this mean?

It means I have had to work the hard­est I have ever worked to apply for a posi­tion.

I sent let­ters of intent dur­ing the devel­op­ment of the posi­tion out­ling my rel­e­vant skills and expe­ri­ence. I sent them to at least four peo­ple involved in the process.

I have amassed at least half a dozen ref­er­ence let­ters con­firm­ing the skills and expe­ri­ence I claimed.

I per­son­al­ly vis­it­ed with one of the per­sons involved in the devel­op­ment to dis­cuss why I would be a good fit.

I just hope this extra effort pays off. Just send­ing mycre­sume won’t suf­fice giv­en how much prej­u­dice exists regard­ing my skills.

About Kim Siever

I am a copy­writer and copy­ed­i­tor. I blog on writ­ing tips most­ly, but I some­times throw in my thoughts about run­ning a small busi­ness.

Fol­low me on Twit­ter at @hotpepper.

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