More than likely, you’ve heard the term ‘personal branding’ but what is it, how do you develop your own brand, and what role does it play in your job search?
Imagine carrying out a job search where you are confident in communicating your personal brand (your unshakable truth centered on what you are good at, who you serve, and how you do it uniquely) to your ideal employer in a way that makes an unforgettable impact.
As a professional, you might not realize you have your own distinctive career story, skills, and training that you bring to an organization. But you do! And, in today’s competitive job market, taking the time to identify and clearly articulate your personal and professional identity will set you apart from other similarly qualified candidates.
Here are the answers to four most asked questions about personal branding within a modern job search.
1. “I keep hearing about personal branding in a job search. Exactly what is personal branding?”
Simply put, personal branding is what you are known for – that is your strengths and characteristics that differentiate you from other people and shows an employer what you’re capable of. Clarifying what makes you different will help your target employer understand the value you offer and make you stand out.
Think of branding this way … in your field of expertise, what skills, passions, and experiences do you offer that cannot be found in someone else?
2. “Is it really that important to have a personal brand?”
In a competitive job market, being able to articulate your personal brand is the base your career communications documents–your resume, cover letter, LinkedIn profile, bio, and social media presence – are built upon. Nearly 85% of hiring managers report that a job candidate’s personal brand influences their hiring decision, so knowing and successfully communicating your personal brand across all mediums is an essential component to connecting with employers and closing out your job search faster.
3. “How do I identify my personal brand?”
It begins with self-assessment. What makes you stand out? What do others say about you? What do you want to be known for? Make a list of your core values, passions, and experiences. These are all unique to you and can give you a distinct advantage in the marketplace when you connect the dots between who you are, the value you offer, and how your expertise is the answer to your next employer’s needs.
Your personal brand tells the world who you are, what you care about, and the value you bring to your specific role/industry.
4. “How do I create a brand statement?”
Think of your brand statement as an introduction to your value offer. A tagline of sorts that clearly and concisely communicates exactly who you are, what you stand for, and what makes you unique.
To create your brand statement, start by using the “I help ___ do ___” formula.
You could say, “I help manufacturers amplify Lean principles to scale revenue and reduce waste.” or “I help real estate companies connect buyers and sellers by strengthening their social media presence.”
To make your personal branding statement stick, it must be built upon your expertise, a specific area of knowledge and/or skill that you have. Your branding statement needs to be authentic because you will be proving you can deliver (scaling revenue or strengthening a company’s social media presence) over and over again on your resume + LinkedIn profile via your career success stories. Marketing guru Seth Godin said, “The goal is to demonstrate complete mastery of what you want to do for a living. Get 1,000 people to know, trust and refer you.”
So, what are you known for? Where do you excel? What type of help do people always come to you for?
The job market is competitive and there is a war being waged for top-tier talent. Once you know what makes you different, you can create and communicate a uniform message throughout your career portfolio and social media profiles that will help you stand out from your competition and build a magnetic connection with your ideal employer … winning you more interviews and ultimately a job offer!