Ask anyone who has been involved in media or sportscasting for a while and they’ll tell you how important networking is in this industry. In many cases, career advancement is about WHO you know, not necessarily WHAT you know. Successful networking can come in many forms but one area that can really give you a leg up on the competition is creating a compelling and active personal brand.
A personal brand is all about influencing how people perceive you. Think about corporate brands like Nike or Adidas. Are there huge differences in their products? Not really. But do people have a loyalty or preference to one or the other…absolutely. It works on a personal basis as well where people (teams, hiring managers, fans) can be fiercely loyal to brands they know, like and trust over ones they’re unfamiliar with. That’s why a solid personal brand is so important.
The website WorkItDaily.com is a professional and career based site looking at career services and tutorials to help succeed in business. They’ve written a great article on creating a fantastic personal brand to help succeed in the business world. Many lessons the write on why a personal brand is so important, can be directly translated to sportscasting.
In the course of my work as a career coach and job search consultant, I meet new people all of the time. As a result, I have heard lots of “elevator speeches” and lots of personal introductions. In fact, I often start a typical conversation with the opener, “So, tell me about yourself,” just to see what the individual with whom I am meeting will say.
My personal observation is that the individual who starts with his work history from 1983 is likely going to bore me before very long. I am too polite (I hope) to let it show, but when I ask that question, I am not interested in the person’s 20 or 30 year work history. I know it may sound like I am, but that is not what I want to hear. I don’t intend it to be a trick question either. I find, however, that the way a person answers the question, “So, tell me about yourself,” is very telling, and may explain why they are still on the job market.
Here is what I want to hear when I ask that question, and I suspect your future employer would want to know this, too.
1. What’s your specialty?
In what area are you an expert, or, in other words, in what area are you a specialist? Instead of starting at the beginning of your work history, start with your most recent experience and work backward–but only as far back as is pertinent. Unless you want to see your listener glaze over in a few short minutes, you should start with your most pertinent and most recent work experience. Avoid starting with, “My first job was as a bagger at the local grocery store when I was 15 years old (and now I am 55).
Click here to read the rest of the article.