A decade ago I had the opportunity to spend a flight with a personal brand coach. She worked with professionals in the music and art industries. Focused on defining and improving their brands. I started to exploit a few of her ideas and in 2015 personal branding is becoming mainstream tool in developing any career.
We have all written a resume or curriculum vitae. Often personal descriptions and what they convey about the person is surprising. Adjectives in the double digits words drive expectation towards an interview with Tarzan. Jokes aside, this is a missed opportunity to get across a credible personal brand positioning. The interviews have to be the one telling a true and often different story. I would like to encourage you to work your true personal brand into your resume. An attention grabbing but not overselling resume.
One thing I have found useful when working with your personal brand is to develop it around three main strengths. Aim to position your strengths as the three corners of a triangle, so the sum of them gets as large as possible. Start articulating a sentence or two on each strength. Develop your strengths so the area of your capability triangle gets larger and larger. Promote the strengths to map towards the role you are aiming for.
The second idea you might want to work with is the concept of a forward looking resume. Your interpretation of what the role at hand is all about. What you would like to contribute with and finally how you expect to grow in the role. Nothing is so strong in an interview as when you see a candidate that have understood the role. A candidate talking about how you want to deliver in it, and how you expect to grow. Three sentences about the future can often tell more than three pages of your past.
Your digital brand is often more valuable than your submitted paperwork. A crisp and clear LinkedIn profile. Good things coming up when someone search your name. Clean out things from your past you might not be so proud of. And last but not least a Klout or Kred score telling your future employer if your personal digital network will be an asset.
Good questions to work with are:
- Who ARE YOU as a professional person? – Most people can tell what they do but few people can tell who they are and who they want to become.
- What are the 3 factors that define your PERSONAL BRAND? – If you select and position 5-8 you might end up with the receiver remembering 1. If you go through many interviews for a role, different interviewers remember different things.
- Can you fit your brand description into the TWITTER BIO window? – The shorter and crisper the better it comes across. Few read your CV, many will read your twitter handle bio.
- Can you present a FORWARD LOOKING “CV” for a role you want to have? Many can write at length about their past roles, but spend little time at articulating what they want to contribute with next.
For further reading on this area here are a few suggestions:
- Career advice on personal branding for Millennials [BLOG] – by Nikki Woods
- Now, discover your strengths [BOOK] – by Marcus Buckingham & Donald O Clifton
- You are a brand [BOOK] – Catherine Kaputa
- Reinventing you [BOOK] – by Dorie Clark
- Business model you [BOOK] – By Alexander Osterwalder
- Personal branding 101, How to discover and create your brand [BLOG] – by Dan Schawbel
- 12 things to do to upscale your personal brand this year [BLOG] – by Anna Rydne
- One powerful way to control your leadership reputation [ARTICLE] – by Glenn Llopis Forbes
Creating, maintaining and promoting your personal brand is characteristic for superstars real. Leverage both analog and digital networks to share what you brand stands for.