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Personal branding for the purposes of getting a job, is about understanding what you have to sell to a potential employer. It is your personal USP’s (Unique Selling Points) that differentiate you from other candidates. It is these that we can market through our CV or Resume, and then sell face-to-face with our potential employer.
What is Personal Branding for CV’s and Resume’s?
We all have assets or personal branding elements that are of value to an organisation. Yet, time and time again we fail to recognise and capitalise on those assets. Just suppose I asked you, “What do you have that is of measurable value to a future employer?” Could you list these now in a thorough manner? We seem to be built in such a way as to underestimate our worth. Taught to be modest, and filled with insecurities. However, alternatively if I asked you the same question about a product, you would list them quite happily. That is simply because there is less emotion attached to a product. Therefore, you must learn to detach your personal branding efforts from your emotion. Sorry, but you are selling a product – you! Think about how an employer would look at you based on your CV or resume. They ask simple questions:
From the potential employers perspective, there is no emotion. It is simply a matching exercise. But in order for you to match, you need to understand and ‘spin’ (or ‘package’) what you have to sell.
- Does this person have the skills or competencies?
- Does this person have a track record?
- Does this person have the knowledge and experience (which is already answered in the bullet above)?
Personal Branding and Employers
From the potential employers perspective, there is no emotion. It is simply a matching exercise. But in order for you to match, you need to understand and ‘spin’ (or ‘package’) what you have to sell. This is part of personal branding.
Think about which is better when someone states they are a good communicator:
- Good communication skills. Or,
- High levels of communication at multiple organisational levels, across functional areas, and displayed through frequent presentations, sales pitches, proposal writing and in leading and managing others. Or,
- Proven and Highly Developed Communication Skills (title)
- Coached and mentored 3 members of staff resulting in all being promoted in 38% of the time compared to other staff at their level.
- Across a 2 year period, average £38,000 turnover from sales proposals compared to a £22,000 peer team average.
- Pitched to 9 organisations with a 72% success rate resulting in £253,000 additional business and a 38% profit margin.
I am sure you would agree that the natural tendency is to use 1 above when you are talking about communication as one of your personal branding USP’s. But that does not separate you from the rest? 2 above is fine. At least it is rounded and provides some information about what you mean by communication. 3 above is by far the best. From an employers perspective it ticks the boxes. It shows your skills, your track record in a measurable way, and directly tells them that you have the knowledge and experience. In fact, it also makes them think, “If she/he can do that for their present company, how much money could they bring us?” It is just spinning or marketing yourself like a product.
Personal Branding and being a Product
Think of yourself as a product, and in the cold light of day what your USP’s are.
This section provides you with the opportunity of logging your assets in a structured way to create your personal branding for getting the job. It will provide you with some fundamental inputs for your CV and for interview. Please remember that you are a product to be marketed like any other. You have features and benefits and we call these your personal brand. Your are effectively marketing yourself like a product. If you would like to know more about marketing yourself, try this Forbes article.
Your primary market assets are:
- Your skills.
- Your achievements. Your achievements will also show your experience and knowledge.
- Your personality and cultural needs which we dealt with in a previous section.
The following sections will enable you to develop your personal branding strategy for getting the right job. If you are following this pathway, click here for understanding your skills.
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