There’s so much social media-speak and buzz about personal branding swirling around us. It’s no wonder that many people are confused about how to define their authentic personal brand.
Tom Peters coined the term “personal branding” in his 1997 article “The Brand Called You” in Fast Company.
Since then, it’s been bandied about, misrepresented, and often trashed by people who latch onto and pick apart bits and pieces of the whole concept.
I describe personal branding in job search this way:
Your brand is your reputation – the combination of personal attributes, values, drivers, strengths, and passions you draw from that differentiate your unique promise of value to your target employers.
It’s up to you to identify those qualities and characteristics within you, integrate your value proposition in everything you do, and communicate a crystal clear, consistent message across multiple channels – online and offline – designed to resonate with your target audience.
One of the great things about personal branding is that it helps generate chemistry for you by spotlighting your “softer” skills. Employers look for executive candidates who will be an overall best-fit for their organization. They want more than the right skill sets, knowledge base, and experience.
They want people who will fit their corporate culture, so they want to know what kind of person you are. People hire people they like. Your brand helps them assess your fit.
Personal branding is THE way to stand out above your competition in executive job search.
How to Define Your Authentic Personal Brand with My Personal Branding Worksheet
The following questions and exercises require digging deep and can be an intense, sometimes painful introspective experience. But ultimately you’ll find it eye-opening, affirming, and energizing.
1. What are your vision and purpose?
Before clearly defining your brand, look externally at the bigger picture of your vision for the world, and then internally at how you might help the world realize your vision.
2. What are your values and passions?
You have to know yourself and what you want and need before you can move forward. Your belief system and operating principles are at the core of determining whether an opportunity in front of you will be a good fit for you. If the passions that drive you aren’t met, you probably won’t be happy.
3. What are your top goals for the next year, 2 years, and 5 years?
Work on projecting what you intend to accomplish so you can put together a strategic action plan to get there.
4. Do an assessment of your top brand attributes.
What 3 or 4 adjectives best describe the value you offer? What words do you use to define your personality? Once you pinpoint what you feel are the right kinds of words, it’s a good idea to consult a thesaurus to precisely nail the exact words. Here are some possibilities, but don’t limit yourself to these:
Collaborative, resilient, forward-focused, risk-taking, connected, international, visionary, diplomatic, intuitive, precise, enterprising, ethical, genuine, accessible.
5. What are your core strengths or motivated skills?
In what functions and responsibilities do you excel? For what things are you the designated “go-to” person? What gap would your company be faced with if you left suddenly? The possibilities are endless, but here are a few suggestions:
Identifying problems, seeing the details, leading, delegating, performing analysis, fact finding, crunching numbers, anticipating risk, motivating, mentoring, innovating, managing conflict, writing, listening, communicating.
Get the Full Worksheet to Define Your Authentic Personal Brand
The 5 steps above represent just a portion of my branding worksheet. The full worksheet covers a lot more ground, with several further steps to help you dig deep and differentiate your unique value proposition.
I’m offering the full personal branding worksheet . . . the actual proprietary worksheet I use with my clients to help them land jobs they covet and deserve.
Along with the full personal branding worksheet itself, you’ll also get:
- Information on how and why branding works
- Strategies to put your brand into action
- Dozens of DIY resources and tips to help you write your own resume and LinkedIn profile.
In all, you’ll get 20+ pages of content to define, differentiate and communicate your personal brand.
Get my full personal branding worksheet (with all the extras noted above) . . . OR the complete package of my 4 proprietary job search worksheets.
Along with the Personal Branding worksheet, the complete worksheet package includes my 3 other proprietary worksheets and so much more:
- Job Search Targeting & Research Worksheet
- Career History Worksheet
- Biography Worksheet
- Numerous resources and DIY tips and strategies to help you land the job you want.