Lesson 3: Developing Your Personal Brand
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What exactly is a personal brand?
A company's brand is essentially their reputation; a job seeker's personal brand is his or her reputation or the image that he or she wants to present to employers. Your personal brand is going to be a combination of your values, passions, strengths, and career goals all packaged together in either a Branding Statement or personal branding documents and materials.
What Are Your Passions?
Your passions are going to be very similar to your values in the sense of “What is it that inspires you to pursue this job target or stay within this career?”
Why pick this career over something else? Your passions are going to essentially be what excites you and drives you to do what you do. Your passions may be:
- Relationship building
- Driving sales growth
- Improving processes
- Driving efficiency
These are the things that give you a sense of fulfillment and accomplishment and drive or motivate you in your career.
What Are Your Strengths?
Next, consider your strenghs. What are the things that your supervisors or colleagues would say that you do better than others? These can be job related skills, such as the skills required to do your typical tasks.
Let's use an accountant for an example. Accounts payable, accounts receivable, and payroll are examples of job-specific or job-related skills.
There's also personal traits. How would someone that works alongside of you describe you? Would they describe you as dependable, analytical, or friendly? These are also some strengths that we can integrate into a personal brand.
Think about your computer or your technical skills if they're relevant to what you're pursuing such as graphic design. A graphic designer is going to need to incorporate their computer skills and the types of software that they use on a regular basis as strengths.
What Are Your Career Goals?
Finally, think about your career goals. If you don't already have a five-year or a ten-year plan, you need to make one right now because your job target should align with your career goals. If your job target doesn't help you pursue those career goals, you need to look at a different job target.
It's important to have a five-year plan. ten-year plan or some sort of career goal because that will help keep you accountable for all your career choices. There may be a job offer that would be very beneficial towards moving you closer to your ultimate career goal, but it may not be offering as much salary upfront as you'd like. Should you turn that job down when there's a potential that you could get a salary increase in the next three to six months?
Think about your career goals and how each step and choice you make is pushing you toward that ultimate goal.
Once you've developed your personal brand, you need to make sure that it's evident and consistent across all your job search materials. This includes your resume, your LinkedIn profile, any other social media profiles that you're using within your job search, a personal website that you may have, and even your business cards or your email signature. Anything that an employer could come in contact with needs to be reflective of your personal brand.
Let’s answer some questions below to help you develop a personal brand, condense it for your LinkedIn profiles headline, and then expand on it for your Linkedin summary section.
1 | Customize your Headline with a 120-character condensed Branding Statement.
2 | Expand on your Headline with a conversational Summary section.
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