"At the centre of your being you have the answer: you know who you are and you know what you want."
Your personal brand tells people what makes you unique and what added value you bring to the table. It is a promise of credibility and professionalism that sets you apart in a very crowded space. It is an invaluable tool in your job hunt and your career development because it highlights why an employer should choose you above all the other candidates.
Working it out
So, how do you about crafting your Personal Brand? If you are someone who finds it difficult to pin down and identify what is unique about you during interviews or when networking, give yourself permission to pause and set some time aside to reflect.
Can you describe yourself in three words?
What do you do better than anyone else you know?
What is the unique blend of skills, strengths, experience and knowledge that you have?
Talk to people whom you love and respect- what do they think is unique about you?
Career journeys don't always make sense on paper - can you connect the dots and themes of your career journey so far for an employer?
Storytelling can help you and is a huge part of your Personal Brand - what are the stories that your USP to life?
Stories can help build rapport between the story teller and the listener because they can create relevance, and by giving context, offer understanding and build trust.
Your personality and identity will be revealed through strong stories, creating a greater sense of self awareness building your confidence.
In short, stories can make you memorable, establish trust and an emotional connection. and above all stories will help portray you as a strong communicator. Think about developing an Elevator Pitch to use when you interview or network. This should reference who you are , who you help and how you do it differently to anyone else.
Its not as easy as it sounds is it?
Still finding it difficult to articulate your personal brand?
List all the jobs you’ve had in the past, including part-time and voluntary positions.
Next, list your skills:
What are you good at? Inside and outside of work.
What comes easy to me?
What am I associated with/complimented for?
What words would managers, co-workers, customers, family or friends use to describe my me/my skills/my expertise?
What do I do that is unique and that sets me apart from my peers?
What combination of skills and experience do I have that is unique and sets me apart from others?
What have I learnt? What courses have I taken?
The better we get at identifying our strong points, the faster we can achieve our goals. In creating your USP, make a list of your unique qualities, experiences then their benefits.
Combine the qualities and benefits into compelling points that you can articulate in networking, job applications, and concisely in the job interviews.
It develops with you
Personal Branding is an organic process and something that grows with you as you develop professionally. Once you have taken the first steps and worked out and established your Personal Brand, you will find more confidence in showing your authentic self and value to an employer - you will be someone who is comfortable with who they are, confident enough to let your individuality shine out and be seen as someone who has something special and unique to offer.
An emotional connection
Have you worked out what your Personal Brand is yet? Remember, it will form an immediate emotional connection between you and potential employers, along with everyone you meet and network with and needs to highlight what is different and unique about you and be consistent across platforms.
What strategies have you used and do you have any additional advice for someone just starting to develop theirs?