Do you know your personal brand?

When I first saw Ken’s resume it was so short, there was so little text, I thought he must have just graduated from school and had no work experience yet. I later learned that Ken had been in the same field for about 8 years. While he still worked at the company that hired him straight out of college, he was in fact experienced in his industry. But he didn’t know what he did well, or what he loved. He still thought of himself as a new employee, a novice just out of school. Ken didn’t know his personal brand.

Do you know yours? Your personal brand is essentially the perception people have about you based on your message and your image. My friend and colleague, Deb Berger, and I came up with a list of 5 questions we ask our clients when helping them define their personal brand as a professional looking for work.

1) What do you love about your work? (What do you love to do?)

2) What are you great at?

3) What do you do better than anyone else (or at least better than others you know)?

4) What do others say about you?

5) In what ways do you bring value to your company, your team, your clients/customers, or your boss?

Identifying your personal brand requires that you be very clear about who you are and what you offer (or do) in a professional setting. These questions can take time and serious thought to answer.

Ken spent time really working to answer the 5 questions. He discovered what he loved about his job, and what he didn’t love. He learned he loved working with clients and customers. He really enjoyed training the interns. He didn’t enjoy the administrative paperwork. He realized he had become great in certain areas of the job. There were assignments and special projects he had been given simply because his bosses knew he was the best choice on the team. He was the guy they asked to pilot new services. He began to pay attention to what his customers said about him, what his vendors said about him, and what his peers said about him. He realized others found him warm and easy to talk to, and the one people came to first with questions. All of these are elements of his personal brand.

Through this process, Ken discovered the components of his personal brand. He got clear about who he is and what he offers. Now Ken is clear about the direction he wants his career to take. And his resume is full of descriptions of his extensive experience, and reveals a clear picture of where he’s been, and tells where he wants to go next.

As you consider the 5 questions, are you clear? Which question is most difficult for you to answer?

2 comments to Do you know your personal brand?

  • Loved your and Deb’s presentation on Monday, Lori!… Thanks for coming to the Chapel Employment ministry. You really got a lot of people engaged and helped us all focus in on what’s most important. I took your model to heart, and distilled my elevator pitch from 30 to 10 seconds, and here it is: “I’m a business development developer, who’s passionate about applying our team’s deep technology PR experience to build thought leadership and drive sales for our technology clients.” I welcome your feedback and look forward to hearing others’ brand statements.

    Thanks for helping to unearth our worth, so more can tap the unique capabilities of those in the Chapel Employment Ministry!

  • […] section below your name with a “Career Summary” section. Then include a version of your personal (professional) branding statement, along with some key strengths and […]

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Client Stories

 I was looking to make large changes in my life, both job and city.  I was a happy midwestern resident for nearly 30 years but wanted to see what life on a coast was like and get a dream job.  This was a tall order and going into it I thought I would have to make large compromises on parts of my dreams to get any of it.  

I went to Lori to help me achieve these dreams.  It was the best decision I made.

She focused on two things right out of the gate:
  1. clarify my goals, both personal and professional
  2. get me to stop selling myself short

These twin achievements allowed me to approach my hunt with confidence, patience and focus.  My original dream job was to try and combine my technical joys with a personal one.  I enjoy large scale data processing with cutting edge tools, music and baseball.  Through the tools Lori taught me and helped me unearth in myself I got that gig that would have fallen into day dream territory before our work together.  

And yeah, there's platinum records on the walls of my lobby and I have tons of data to process.

Pat Christopher, Intelligence Engineer, Seattle, WA