Do you struggle to describe your value in a job interview or to potential clients? Are you unsure how to land your dream job by leveraging your brand? Regardless of the current economic climate, it’s vitally important for job seekers to understand their unique value proposition and be able to develop that into a branding statement. Your branding statement can then be easily translated into your elevator pitch, your cover letter, LinkedIn profile and other forms of marketing. Personal branding will help you feel more confident and help you stand out from the crowd. It can be difficult to communicate your brand effectively, so here are six tips to help you get started.
What’s a Personal Brand?
A personal brand is a statement that should include a combination of your skills, your work experience, your values, how you stand out from your peers in your industry and the results you achieve for your customers and company because of this unique combination of strengths and experiences. Including all of these factors in your branding statement will make it more comprehensive. Then you can use these different elements for any personal marketing opportunity, from job interviews to online networking events.
Identify Your Key Skills
To get started, review your resume and your professional accomplishments. Identify the skills and experiences that you have to offer to a potential employer or client. You can include any you’ve gained outside of work, too. To help you identify your skills, interview friends and colleagues about what you do better than anyone else they know. They may help you identify things that you might overlook. Write all their responses down.
To help you identify your unique value proposition, take a look at five to seven profiles of other professionals in your industry on LinkedIn. They could be inside or outside of your network. What combination of skills and work experience do you bring to an employer that most professionals don’t? Write down all your ideas.
Clarify Your Values
To identify your personal values, think about things that are essential to your life. You can also think about a peak life experience and identify what about it made you feel happy and successful. Once you have identified your personal values, which ones enhance your personal brand? For example, if loyalty is an important value to you, this could enhance your personal brand by communicating how you will work with an organization or client. Write down all of your personal values and make a note of the ones that help show what you bring to a potential employer or client.
Pinpoint Your Results
Similar to your resume, your personal brand should let others know the results you deliver due to your unique value proposition. Again, looking through your resume and professional accomplishments is a great way to pinpoint your results. Write down your measurable results and determine what they have in common.
When crafting your personal brand, it’s important to be authentic. If your brand isn’t authentic, it won’t work. You won’t feel motivated to use it, and others won’t be totally convinced when you do. While you do want your personal brand to sound professional, it’s important to use language that matches your personality as well. Make it sound natural. Your personal brand should not be too long, perhaps just a sentence or two. This makes it easy to memorize and use in conversation. Keep in mind that your personal brand should include who you serve, what unique value you provide and how you deliver results.This part of creating your personal brand may take some time until it sounds natural, but don’t get discouraged. Keep working at it.
Share Your Brand
Once you have your personal brand crafted, it’s time to start sharing it with your network and clients. You can include your personal brand on your resume, in your email signature line, on your LinkedIn profile and your portfolio. The more you use your brand, the more natural it will become to you.
Review and Revise Periodically
Your values and accomplishments will most likely change over time, so it’s good to periodically review your personal brand. Does it still feel authentic? Does it represent you accurately? Adjust it as needed. Having and actively using a personal brand will help you find purpose and deeper meaning in your life and career.
More from U.S. News
Update 12/11/20: This story was published at an earlier date and has been updated with new information.