The new year is moments away. It may be time to refresh your personal brand.
For many of us, this is a time to reflect back, while planning forward.
It’s the perfect time to take stock of your personal brand . . . while you’re working on those New Year’s resolutions you’re determined to keep this year.
For career health and fulfillment it’s wise to revisit your personal brand each year, whether or not an executive job search is looming in front of you this year.
And, if the value you offer has changed or grown significantly, you probably need to refresh your personal brand.
You never know when a new job opportunity (internally or externally) may come your way. Or your job may be pulled out from under you.
And there you’ll be, scrambling to pull everything together.
Whether you’re focusing on a move within your current company or looking elsewhere, remember this: the employers you’re targeting will impact your new brand messaging and content.
With your brand refresh, your resume, LinkedIn profile and all your other personal marketing communications will probably have to be adjusted.
Why and How To Refresh Your Personal Brand
These questions will help you determine whether you need to re-brand:
- Did my brand reputation change over the past year?
- Am I targeting a different kind of employer now?
- Have I become the “go to” person for new areas of expertise?
- What value do I now offer in the marketplace?
- What ROI (Return on Investment) do I offer that my job-seeking competitors may not?
- Which driving strengths and personality traits of mine are now particularly important?
The first steps with any career branding work is identifying which employers (or which kind of employers) you will target, and then research each one.
You need to determine which current pressing needs of theirs you’re uniquely qualified to help them meet. Then you need to do the digging-deep personal branding work.
My worksheets will help you with targeting, research and personal branding.
An essential exercise in both the re-branding process and job search strategy is cataloging your recent career accomplishments and contributions.
Everyone should make note of this information, whether or not a career transition is in their near future.
Some find it helpful to create a “kitchen sink” resume, that houses everything about your career, from the beginning. You’ll add to it with new accomplishments, career milestones, advancements, etc., and draw from the information, as needed. Having a complete career history like this also helps boost your confidence in the value you offer.
Make a list of the things you did for your employer(s) last year that most benefited them.
The things that positively impacted their bottom line – saving money, increasing profits and market share, improving processes and/or productivity, expanding service offerings, improving communications, turning around failing processes/operations, etc.
How do those contributions translate to the value you now offer your current or next employer?
If you weren’t keeping track over the past year, get to work on your list now, while these accomplishments are still fairly fresh in your mind.
These kinds of contributions will help prompt your memory:
- Joining new professional associations and/or contributing to existing ones
- Publishing articles, white papers, blog posts
- Getting a promotion
- Overcoming challenges you and the company faced. What were the results that benefited the company?
- Suggesting initiatives to make the company “greener”
- Negotiating a lucrative new contract
- Sourcing a cost-saving new vendor
- Introducing new best practices
- Leading or being part of the recruiting and hiring process
- Being a mentor and helping others progress in their careers
- Earning certifications or awards
- Reaching a career milestone
- Connecting with new people who brought in business for your employer
- Completing special training or gaining any relevant new skills
- Taking advantage of professional development – seminars, webinars, attending conferences
- Volunteering in your community
What should you do with all this new personal brand information?
Keep these materials at-the-ready in case you’re suddenly laid off and find yourself job hunting, or a juicy new opportunity comes your way . . . either internally or externally.
Yes, this is a lot of work to do. But you’ll be thankful you’ve done it, especially if you have to suddenly swing into action and find a new job.
Another major benefit to you. Reminding yourself of your valuable contributions and personal achievements is a HUGE ego boost. Something we all need from time to time.
Likewise, reminding your current employer of the value you offer them can lead to a better performance review . . . or a salary raise . . . or a promotion.