Personal branding has been a “hot topic” in the careers industry for at least a decade, but quite frequently, job seekers I speak to don’t understand the relevance of this very important concept. And once they do understand, it’s often not implemented.
So let’s start with a definition. Your personal brand is your unique promise of value – what it is that you offer that differentiates you from your competition. Your brand is defined by your actions, strengths, and how other people perceive you and it relates to a niche or specific area of expertise. When articulated well, hiring managers or recruiters who meet you will be able to define you in a single, memorable statement.
Your personal branding needs to be “genuine.” Because it is about how others perceive you and the strengths you possess, one of the best ways to discover your personal brand is to survey colleagues. What is it about you that helps them perform their work better, helps the team achieve results, makes your boss look good, and adds value to the entire company? Look for recurring themes. For example, several of those surveyed may say you are an organizer and motivator. Those are two qualities that should be highlighted in your resume.
With the information you’ve gathered, determine which strengths you want to build your personal brand around. We want to take what is genuinely unique about you (based on how others perceive you), translate that into a brand statement, and highlight how your unique brand has added tangible business value throughout your career.
Once you know your brand, live it! Strive to exude your unique qualities every day. Remember, personal branding is all about accentuating your strengths.
And finally, monitor your brand. Brands evolve as circumstances change. Through new experiences you gain new strengths. Be sure to incorporate those changes into your brand in a way that enhances – not diminishes – your brand.
For more than two decades, Kathy Keshemberg, NCRW, CCMC and her team at A Career Advantage have been providing professionals with world-class resume consultation and writing, career coaching and personal branding services.