Importance of Personal Branding in Your Job Search

Importance of Personal Branding in Your Job Search

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By Career Transition Coach Andrea Abernethy

In this highly competitive job market, a well written resumé is just one tool necessary to market ourselves into a great new job. As important is the development of a personal brand.

What’s that? Think about Coke, Kellogg’s Cereals, American Express or any successful company. All these brands convey a message that helps to define them. And that’s what you need to become memorable and perhaps more importantly, to stand out among the other candidates for that job you’re chasing.

A personal brand can develop from our own mission statement. It can serve as a tagline that tells the interviewer or employer what makes us different, why we are special and desirable, and why we are the best choice over other applicants with similar backgrounds and experience. Just like Coke conveys an energy pick-up and Kellogg’s says cereal, so our brand must convey who we are and how we benefit a prospective employer.

Now use your brand to market yourself.

When developing our personal brand we should be thinking about what we want to achieve in a new job and think about what companies and positions we will be targeting. In our marketing story we should also be communicating our values and strengths and our short and long term goals. We should include words that characterize our personalities and are memorable to the employer. Communicate what makes us stand out and what sets us apart from the other applicants being interviewed for the same position.

Our brand should also include information about our skills, abilities, education, and professional experiences. Our passion and personality should show through in our statement. The personal brand may also include adjectives or descriptions of how we are perceived by friends and acquaintances and how coworkers would describe us.

So how about an example? “Early in my public relations career, I created a brand for myself (unknowingly then) based on my ability to tell stories through the news media and to build positive relationships with the press,” explains Ed Weirauch, one of our Barton Career Transition Coaches. “Without realizing it at that time, I had created a brand for myself: the media guy or the press pitcher.”

When working as a Career Coach at Barton Career Advisors we ask our coaching clients to work on developing their story or three minute “mission statement”. The client can practice and perfect their Personal Brand with us before going to the interview so they feel more confident and well versed in their unique selling proposition to “wow” the employer into looking no further for qualified applicants. The client will sell themselves so the employer will decide that the most desirable and valuable applicant is sitting right in front of them.

For many people, personal brands and selling yourself can be a foreign concept or even one that makes us uncomfortable… “me, a sell-out?” That’s not quite our point. In this post-recession economy, you MUST be able to sell (as in ‘market’ or ‘put out there’) yourself so you’ll get the job you want. And key to this is your ability to develop your brand.

So complete this analogy: Coke is refreshing as Kellogg’s is a good breakfast as I am…

Finish that thought and you’ll have your personal brand.

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