by Hannah Morgan
Personal Branding. Darn, there’s that phrase again! What’s the big deal anyway? Well, the big deal is that more employers are choosing known candidates (referrals) over unknown candidates. Actually, this isn’t all that new, but as job seekers, we have a heightened sense of awareness about how important this is.
Your personal reputation speaks volumes. Think about what your past co-workers think about you. Were you easy to get along with? Were you innovative, were you a task master, were you strong in your resolve to get things done? There are qualities and skills you are known for in the workplace and outside of the workplace as well. You are unique in your combination of these qualities and skills. And you can influence what you are known for. You have to determine that message.
Focus! What makes you truly unique? What combination of knowledge, skills and abilities best represents you?
You don’t want just any job. You want a job that you’ll enjoy and be successful in. So where do you find such a job?
Before you go looking, you have to know who you are.
Career Distinction by William Arruda and Kirsten Dixson leads you through their process of assessing and defining your personal brand and shows you how to manage your brand from this point forward. It is full on great information and even has an online workbook you can access! If you don’t have it in you to read the book right now, at least visit their website www.reachpersonalbranding.com and poke around. There are lots of great articles and videos!
This job search won’t be your last. It is worth it for you to start investing in yourself and being true to your values.
5 Steps to Building Your Personal Brand
STEP 1: What is your perceived personal brand?
Ask co-workers, friends, and trusted advisors what they think of when they think of you. What characteristics, skills, talents, and abilities do they associate with you.
STEP 2: What do you want to be known for?
This depends on the assessment of your values and your goals and where they overlap. What is it that you want to be doing next? Develop the wording or phrasing of what you want to be known for. William Arruda and Kirsten Dixson’s book “Career Distinction” has a companion website with a downloadable workbook to help get you started.
STEP 3: Begin spreading the good word
Make sure this wording appears on key marketing pieces. Your business card, your resume, your email signature line, your LinkedIn profile, your Google profile, your Twitter account, everywhere you have your name online and offline.
STEP 4: Live your brand
You want your brand to be real, not just words on paper. You want people to believe what you are saying. You want to earn trust and that can only happen when you live your brand. Make sure you use as many of these as possible to help live your brand:
- Volunteer activities
- Professional associations
- Comment on blogs
- Start a blog or website
- Add Slideshare, Box and other applications to your LinkedIn profile
- Contribute to groups (LinkedIn or others)
STEP 5: Monitor Your Brand
Check in with your friends, co-workers and trusted advisors to make sure they are hearing the right message and that it makes sense. Is your online presence working? Where does your name fall when you Google yourself? Top of page one is your goal. How many times does your LinkedIn profile appear in search results? Is that more or less than before? If you want to see where else your work is being mentioned, you can create a no cost search using Social Mention AND Google alerts.
Career Distinction is available in the Career Research Center – borrow it today with your UR ID card.
For more from Hannah Morgan, check out her blog: www.careersherpa.net.