In my previous blog, we learned about personal branding – the process of effectively packaging and marketing yourself: your skills and capabilities, work experience, interests, and education – all those things that set you apart. We also outlined how it can help you gain a competitive edge in the Canadian job market. Now let’s talk about building your personal brand in three simple steps. This may sound daunting but you can do it!
STEP 1: Define your brand
Your personal brand (also known as professional brand) helps define how you are perceived in the job market and the workplace: What you’re known for, or want to be known for. It’s essentially who you are, and possibly who you strive to be in the future. Before you can tell potential employers who you are (and why they should hire you), you have to define that for yourself.
Use this checklist to begin your self-reflection:
- What are the skills, talents, personal characteristics, and accomplishments that you would like to promote and share?
- What are some of the core values that you believe in?
- What are you most passionate about?
- What are some of the key learnings from the past that have shaped the way you think today?
- Why you do what you do?
- What accomplishments are you most proud of?
STEP 2: Create your personal/professional brand message
Your brand message is the articulation of who you are, what you do, who you do it for, with some pride points. Written in a simple, direct way, it provides anyone who reads it with a quick snapshot of what you’re all about.
Break your message into these five simple sections. While each person’s message can vary in structure, this is a great way to start.
- Who you are – Think of your specialty
- What you do – Describe your role
- Who you do it for – The kind of people reading your statement
- What you’re known for – Identify your best characteristics
- Your track record – Relevant accomplishments
Fine tune your message for the market by making a note of key attributes that potential employers are seeking in candidates. LinkedIn and the Canadian Job Bank website are good resources to help you find appropriate keywords.
You can also distill your personal brand statement into a tagline:
Behind-the-scenes organizer and accomplished trouble-shooter, creating outdoors events that run without a hitch.
Software Engineer / Manager
High-impact, multidimensional manager of People, Process, and Technology with a verifiable record of significant accomplishments leveraging innovation, growth, and profits.
Here is an example of a personal brand tagline and summary:
Personalized financial advice with a 100% success rate.
“As a financial advisor, I help clients manage their wealth based on their life stage and risk profile so that they’re uniquely positioned to achieve their financial goals. The essence of my service is personalized financial advice coupled with sound technical analysis of financial trends that’s backed by several years of experience in the field. I have a 100% track record in recommending the right strategy for my clients, which has resulted in some of my first clients still being with me for over a decade.”
STEP 3: Build your personal brand assets
Your personal brand statement can be incorporated into everything from your cover letter and social media profiles to your elevator pitch and coffee chats. Ensure that your posts on social sites are reflective of your values, and keep your brand messaging consistent across all platforms.
- Cover letter – You can expand on your brand statement in this introduction
- Resume – You may consider using a shortened statement (see tagline) below your name
- Job interview – Helps answer the question “Tell me about yourself”
- Social media profile– Consistent personality on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook
- Personal blogs – Consistency of message will strengthen your brand
- Elevator pitch – Your branding message is a great opener for an elevator pitch
- Networking events – Your branding message is ideal in such limited time situations
Personal branding takes time but it will help you build and nurture your reputation in the job market. As you continue to grow and evolve in your career, it’s critical that you update your brand messaging and assets to reflect the same.
A strong personal brand can help you build a reliable network and scale it up, offering more career opportunities and increasing the chances of finding your desired role. Sign up today for Arrive Connections to start building your network!
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