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Brand Yourself! Brilliant Concept!

But can it be sold on a website featuring violence and assassination?

October 9, 2012 By Denny Hatch
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I well remember getting out of the Army in 1960 and moving into a $40-a-month Manhattan walk-up railroad flat on East 71st Street—three rooms in a row with a bathtub in the kitchen and access to one of four johns down the hall, each with a big brass key to unlock the door. 

I had no job and no idea what I would do with the rest of my life.

I was very lucky. Thanks to family connections I landed a $60-a-week entry-level job writing publicity releases and getting authors on radio and TV shows for Prentice-Hall book publishers in New Jersey across the George Washington Bridge.

In those early years I would run into eager young people with liberal arts educations like myself—but with little work experience and no connections—who were looking for jobs. Trying to be helpful, I asked, "What can you do?"

The answer very often was, "I like people."

"Yes, but ..." I would say slowly, "What can you do?"

What triggered this column was an Aug. 15, 2012 press release picked up by Reuters with the intriguing headline:

World's First Online Personal Branding EngineTM Helps Individuals Learn How to Stand Out in Crowded Market to Win Jobs

 I have amassed extensive files in my private archive on the techniques of branding companies, products and services and have done a number of stories on the subject.

When I read the press release about a system whereby individuals can brand themselves, I went off on a reverie—one of my flights of fancy.

The idea of men and women coming up with a Unique Selling Proposition (USP) that enables them to stand out from a stack of résumés struck me as a stunningly brilliant business model!

Résumés generally give the chronology of what a person has done—education, jobs and responsibilities. All resumes look alike. Go through a stack of résumés, and it doesn't take long for your eyes to start glazing over.

What sells—what gets the résumé to the top of the pile—is the cover letter that can establish a personal connection between candidate and prospective employer. The perfect venue for a USP!


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