Chances are if you're engaging in a career search, you've heard about the key role Personal Branding plays in landing you the job you want. A brand is your elevator speech. It is your career and unique value proposition shared in 30 seconds. It is how you want others to view you -- hiring managers, colleagues, peers, friends.
For as important as it is, it can be daunting to figure out where to start to build a personal brand of your own. I recently reviewed many articles and sources on this topic which all suggest this basic framework or something similar to it. Answer these questions simply and read the result aloud. The result should be the beginning of your 30 second elevator speech that you can tweak before your next interview:
Step 1: State WHAT you are — your primary job role.
“I’m a visionary coding artist who connects bipeds to binary”. No.
“I’m a career Business Analyst….” Yes.
Be specific on what your primary job role is — two words. Don’t come with a long list of your capabilities, just mention the one that aligns well with the job you are interviewing for. A hiring manager won’t want to hear how passionate you are about Management Consulting when she’s interviewing you for a Business Analyst position.
Step 2: Share WHO you enjoy helping.
“I can work with anybody, I like People!” No.
“…. and I’ve enjoyed success partnering with Fortune 500 companies….” Yes
Mention specific industries? Business groups? Methodologies? Keep it short and simple. This line captures an element of what makes you passionate about your job. When you say it, it should get you smiling, or at least give you a charming eye twinkle.
Step 3: Say HOW you make their life/work better.
“…to give individual teams the chance to collaborate and voice design ideas. Small design stories have made the biggest impact on my best projects.”
Step 4: Give PROOF that you are credible.
“I am a proud holder of my CBAP designation…”
Results? Rewards? Credentials? Pick one to mention here.
Step 5: Wrap it up and turn it over to the manager.
“I’m looking forward to hearing more about your project team and how I can help”
You’re expressing interest in the role (ie: I want to hear more) and giving the manager an opening to do some of the talking about his/her project team.
Just like consumers who line up to buy thenewestphone, hiring managers are making anemotional buying decisionwhen they select a candidate for hire. A personal brand is your ticket — your bridge to move beyond just the skills on your resume and connect with your leader on a more personal level. It gives you access to that emotional buying centre. Invest the time, build your brand, and be prepared to really impress someone in your next interview.
PRACTICE— Sit in front of the mirror, make eye contact with yourself, and practice it until your branding pitch is second nature. Focus on making sure you get a little sparkle in your eye when you say it — that’s how you know it’s personal enough, and it will help you connect emotionally with a manager!
VALIDATE IT— Use the dinner party rule. If you shared your brand with a stranger at a party, can you get through it without sounding ridiculous? A brand is personal and central — if you feel silly saying it, the statement needs fixing. “I’m a visionary coding artist who connects bipeds to binary”. No.
IF YOU ARE STILL STUCK– If you don’t know where to start, LinkedIn is like the “Amazon” of personal branding. You can shop, browse, and select something that works. The “Whos” in your industry — how have they branded themselves? Is there anything that works for you? Ask people you know and trust what your brand is — how might they describe you to a person you don’t know.