May 8, 2014 Patricia Ferreria
Who are you? What have you done? What’s your story? Most importantly what is your talent and what can you offer the world? That’s tough, but everyone has something they can contribute to the world, I mean no one was put on this earth for nothing.
The first thing you need to find out is what makes you unique as a person and discover your brand. Some of you might think “ Gee that’s silly, brand myself like I’m some product like Coca-Cola?” Exactly. Find out what makes you, well, you. The key thing to note here is that you must communicate what your uniqueness is to your desired audience and this will eventually lead to success in your chosen career. Once you evaluate what your strengths, weaknesses, skills, passions, and values are you can use this information to set yourself apart from everyone else you’re competing with. The point of this is not to let other people win!
When selling yourself in an interview, resume, or cover letter, personal branding can be a very powerful tool for any worthy applicant. Employers are looking for people who know what they want and who they are. So, when positioning yourself make sure you keep your messaging consistent and clear. Devising a strong, original, and authentic personal branding message will help you become known for what you are good at. Be unique, because nobody likes the same old, same old.
Think about it, an HR person looks through a million resumes a day, so something different will likely grab their attention in ways you never found conceivable. Sometimes jobs and standing out to a potential employer is like going all in with your last $10 on a roulette table and then hitting big and walking away with the mother load (a job or interview). It’s a rush and it’s always worth the risk. So most of the time playing it safe in the career world is lame and without an effort, your personal brand will go unnoticed.
So what is your brand? You can be a writer, art director, designer, coder, a salesman, etc. Whatever your talent may be you need to exploit and build your brand around the one thing that sets you apart from everyone else. Find out what makes you tick and run with it, this will ultimately help you reach your career goals.
Some of you might be wondering why should I even bother developing my personal brand and how will doing this help me improve my job search? It’s so simple. The job market this day in age is not like it was 20 years ago. It’s competitive and cutthroat. Agencies will spit you out as soon as you give them a bad taste in their mouth. Say the wrong thing and you’re out and the next person is in. Learn how to express your brand, your key attributes, qualities and differentiators and you’ll likely soar above the rest. Be who you are… But who are you?
Take away: Be anything, but normal.
Patricia Ferreira, Raven5 Ltd., Oakville, ON May, 2014.