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Personal Branding Advice from Top Career Experts
Compiled by Randall S. Hansen, Ph.D.
Just Do It! Most people will recognize Nike's famous brand slogan. As consumers, we use brands and brand names as a short-cut for judging quality and value. The same holds true with developing personal brands; employers will use your brand -- your reputation -- to judge whether to interview you or not.
Your goal in developing your personal career brand is producing an image that makes you memorable -- and unique as a job-seeker -- and invaluable to a prospective employer.
For Job Action Day 2012, we asked some of the top experts for their best branding advice -- and here's what they have to say...
Personal Branding Tips from Top Career ExpertsThe true measure of your career brand comes from those who know your work the best -- the people you work with. What words do they use to describe you when they introduce you to others? What do your annual performance reviews say about you? Pay attention to (and make note of) the personal attributes, talents, and areas of expertise repeatedly connected with you. Use these same recurring words and phrases across your brand communications -- resume, other career documents, LinkedIn profile, personal website, and the like.
Meg Guiseppi, an 8-time certified personal branding, resume and job-search strategist for C-suite and senior-level executives in her practice at ExecutiveCareerBrand.com.
Prepare to be Googled. Whether you're in job-search mode or navigating your career, you'll be Googled. Got a sales meeting? You've been Googled. Speaking gig? The audience will Google you. With that in mind, it's mission-critical that your online brand demonstrate how you wish to be perceived. Google yourself now (first and last name in quotes) to see what pops up.
Got dirt? Clean it up by removing it (Facebook tags and pics beware!) or burying it (blog content, LinkedIn updates, Twitter posts).
Minimal presence? Start with LinkedIn (typically found on page 1 when you're Googled). Complete your profile, upload your headshot, and create a dynamic bio. Ambitious? Start a blog and post regularly. Get found the right way online. Good luck!
Wendy Terwelp, of Knocks.com is a recognized career industry leader. Named in the Top 100 Career Experts to Follow on Twitter, Top 51 Job Search Blog posts, and 15 Quintessential Careers Career Masterminds.
Here are the Facts:
FACT: You already have a personal brand, whether you know it or not.
FACT: You live your personal brand every day in your actions and communications.
FACT: Your personal brand is readily apparent to others who know you well.
FACT: If you are not aware of and using your personal brand to differentiate yourself in your job search, you are missing a valuable competitive edge.
Susan Guarneri, the Career Assessment Goddess, integrates career-assessment insights, personal branding, proactive job-search strategies, and accountability to help professionals and executives find their ideal career.
There is an incredible amount of discussion on personal branding. Perhaps the hardest part is to get started. Here is a three-step process for getting started:
- Describe what you bring to the table for a very specific role within an employer, but do so from someone else's perspective -- how would someone else describe you?
- Make it all about your employer, not about you.
Here is an example: John can improve customer satisfaction since he has a strong work ethic, strong communications skills, and a very engaging personality.
- Repeat the above two steps for five jobs and/or five employers, and you can start to determine common themes about yourself. Those common themes represent your brand.
Sudy Bharadwaj, co-founder and CEO of Jackalope Jobs, a job-seeker-focused platform that combines intelligent job-search capabilities and intelligent social-networking capabilities.
It is important to understand what it really takes to build credibility for those assets and values you want to be known for. The formula for credibility is really quite simple: Credibility = Values + Action. In other words, you need to make it very clear to your target audience what makes you special; what you value and believe in that are truly assets to your personal brand.
Then you need to walk the talk. To earn credibility, you need to live those values in everything that you do in order. If you want to be known as honest and that's a trait that you really value, then you will demonstrate honesty. You're will be honest. You will attract honesty and transparency. After walking the talk, you will earn credibility and a reputation for someone who is honest.
Lida Citroen, a reputation-management and personal-branding specialist, focused on helping global companies and their executives position themselves for competitive advantage. Learn more at her Website: LIDA360.
Brand your resume by telling employers what you are applying for. One of my biggest complaints with the resumes I view is that I have no idea what position the job-seeker is applying for. Often I don't even know what field they would like to work in. Now think about the recruiter who may receive a thousand resumes a day! (Not an exaggeration.)
The Fix: Skip one line below your contact information/header and in a single centered and bold sentence state the position you are applying for, including any reference numbers. If this is your "generic" resume (as opposed to a position-specific resume) make a broad statement such as "Seeking a position in Advertising, Sales, or Marketing." Make it easy for the first person receiving your resume to see that it gets routed to the proper person for consideration.
Rick Gillis, noted job-search expert, speaker, author, radio and TV host. For more information visit RickGillis.com.
A critical part of successful job search involves social networking (i.e., connecting with people) -- whether you like doing it or not. And the challenging part is connecting with new people -- people who have absolutely no clue who you are, and, at least for now, have no practical reason to drop everything and help you. But you need this circumstance to happen. You need your situation to matter to people. You need to build social credibility.
Tim Tyrell-Smith, creator of Tim's Strategy, a ground-breaking online job-search and career-strategy tool. Tim's Strategy offers a strategic and smart approach to the job search process.
Love what you do, do what you love, and strive to live in your sweet spot, no matter what career or job you have.
Deborah Shane, career author, media & marketing strategist, featured journalist, and speaker at Deborahshane.com.
Your resume branding goal is to be the top candidate. To win your next job, you have to compete for it. How? By having an accomplishment-driven resume that showcases your personal brand. What have you done that's gone above and beyond what you were hired to do? How much money or time did you save? Can you demonstrate your leadership ability? The resume should tell your brand story, answer the employer’s questions and share why you are the best fit for the position.
Kim N. Carswell, creator and founder of Resume Branding Philosophy and Persona Affairs, a personal-branding consulting firm.
Be yourself. Own who you are and showcase it to the world. Everyone has something wonderful and unique about them. Discover "you" and be the best "you" there is.
Deborah Brown-Volkman, PCC. Career, Life, and Mentor Coach, and President, Surpass Your Dreams, Inc.
Final Thoughts on Personal Career BrandingIf you're looking for more detailed information on how to create your brand, how to build your brand, and how to use your brand, check out our strong collection of articles -- and even a free tutorial -- on personal career branding.
This article is part of Job Action Day 2012.
Questions about some of the terminology used in this article? Get more information (definitions and links) on key college, career, and job-search terms by going to our Job-Seeker's Glossary of Job-Hunting Terms.
Dr. Randall S. Hansen is founder of Quintessential Careers, one of the oldest and most comprehensive career development sites on the Web, as well CEO of EmpoweringSites.com. He is also founder of MyCollegeSuccessStory.com and EnhanceMyVocabulary.com. He is publisher of Quintessential Careers Press, including the Quintessential Careers electronic newsletter, QuintZine. Dr. Hansen is also a published author, with several books, chapters in books, and hundreds of articles. He's often quoted in the media and conducts empowering workshops around the country. Finally, Dr. Hansen is also an educator, having taught at the college level for more than 15 years. Visit his personal Website or reach him by email at randall(at)quintcareers.com.
Enhance your career brand! Find great articles, tools, and resources for developing your personal career brand, as well as key self-marketing techniques to get hired or promoted in our Personal Branding & Career Self-Marketing Tools for Job-Seekers and Career Activists.
Maximize your career and job-search knowledge and skills! Take advantage of The Quintessential Careers Content Index, which enables site visitors to locate articles, tutorials, quizzes, and worksheets in 35 career, college, job-search topic areas.