In the words of Amazon’s CEO Jeff Bezos, “your brand is what other people say about you when you’re not in the room”.
You already have a brand, whether you consciously cultivated it or not. Your current brand is how others define your expertise and value. For better or for worse!
Whether you are seeking new employment or aim to grow in your current company, there is no better time to regain control over your brand.
Establishing a professional brand is a multi-layered endeavor. It involves gaining clarity over your vision, interests, strengths and values.
Haven’t given your professional brand much thought?
Not sure how to create one from scratch?
These five steps are a great place to start:
Step #1 – Shift Your Thinking
Professional branding is a different way of looking at who you are as an employee. If you look at the job hunt as a marketing exercise, you will start seeing your resume as a marketing tool.
Instead of limiting your brand to a job title and responsibilities, place more importance on showing the specific value you bring to an organization.
Step #2 – Identify Positive Brand Associations
What do you want employers to think about when they hear your name?
Think about the qualities and expertise you would like to be linked to your name. Understanding how you would like your brand to be perceived allows you to be much more strategic about the stories, achievements and work history you share.
Step #3 – Identify Your Strengths, Skills & Values
Write down a list of the skills, expertise and traits you already have that fit in to how you want employers to perceive you.
You may want to ask a colleague for help with this exercise. It is valuable to have an outside perspective on who you are in the workplace, as it is not always easy to evaluate our own strengths .
Step #4 – Prove Your Claims
We typically don’t buy products unless we have proof that it works.
The same is true for your professional brand.
Every professional wants to present their brand in a positive light. Add credibility to your brand by backing up your statements with past achievements, certifications and awards.
Step #5 – Write Your Professional Brand Statement
The key to powerful brand messaging is using clear and concise language. Write 2-3 sentences that sum up your unique skills, talents and values.
Use this statement in the opening lines of your resume to maximize the chances that your resume gets read.
Your resume is the first contact employers have with your brand. Don’t leave your brand’s first impression to chance. A Professional Branded Resume helps Hiring Managers understand who you are as a professional – before they ever meet you.