Personal Branding: Putting It All Together

April 03, 2012 by Careerminds

We’ve discussed personal branding in the past, and it should be evident by now that developing and marketing your own personal brand is vital for your career transition success. With the job market in its current state, on the upswing but still not as strong as it could be, you need to stand out in a relevant way; it’s one thing to be noticed, but quite another to be noticed for great reasons. The idea behind a personal brand is not to create a phony persona for yourself, but rather to build a recognizable brand based upon who you really are. Think of your favorite consumer brand, and consider how instantly you’re able to recognize its products; now imagine your resume or LinkedIn profile or blog inciting the same reaction from employers. Consistency over all platforms is the key to a personal brand that catches employers’ eyes, and keeps them interested.

To begin, consider what you do, what others know you for, and how these compare with your career goals. The goal is for your self-perception and that of others to match, and for them both to clearly connect with your aspirations. The brand goes beyond a job title, so think about what has made your individual efforts special– why are your experiences and skills something no one else could possibly compare to? Talk to co-workers, friends and family to get a good idea of what others think.

Once you’ve established what you and everyone else agrees is your brand, you can start putting it out there. You don’t need to create a profile on every social network there is, plus a blog, plus a website, plus business cards, plus this and plus that. The focus should be on the quality of your presence, not the quantity of your profiles and so on. Consider your options, and take advantage of those that you think work best for you and for your area of work–  multimedia professionals should have an appropriate multimedia presence, for instance. When deciding what tools and platforms to use, consider these options (some of which are a must regardless of your brand):

  • Business cards
  • Resume/Cover letter
  • Portfolio
  • Blog
  • Website
  • LinkedIn profile
  • Facebook profile
  • Twitter
  • Video resume
  • Email address

While you work on establishing your brand and your branding tools, keep in mind the consistent messages and images you should be including. Think back to that consumer brand you love, and how the logo and slogan are always the same. That’s what makes them memorable: consistent reinforcement. Create a slogan for yourself– maybe just a title such as Social Media Expert; post the same profile photo on every profile you have; keep the typeface and coloration on your business cards similar to that on your resume and even your blog. The moment an employer or a network connection comes across one of these branding tools, he/she will immediately recognize it as yours, and your brand can be as successful as those that you recognize everyday.

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Careerminds provides scalable, strategic solutions to organizations seeking affordable, web-based outplacement services. Using a Web 2.0 e-learning platform that delivers affordable, online career transition services, Careerminds provides a high-tech and high-touch blend of on-demand career transition education supported by senior-level career consultants to help displaced workers reenter the workforce quickly.

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