Creating a personal brand

It’s time to update your resume, brush the digital dust off your LinkedIn profile and start thinking about how best to stand out from the crowd this fall.

Last week we reminded you of the top 5 things you need to do to be successful in your job search. So it’s time to update your resume, brush the digital dust off your LinkedIn profile and start thinking about how best to stand out from the crowd this fall.

But you’re busy, we get that. So over the next few weeks we’ll be publishing a series of step by step guides to getting ready for recruiting season as easy and painless as possible.

This Week: Step One Creating your Personal Brand

Brand yourself

No, we’re not advocating self-mutilation, we’re merely suggesting you present yourself as a professional brand.  Like any product, you have a set of personal attributes that you offer an employer, so make sure you maximize their impact.

Work out what your unique selling points are to create your personal brand:

  • What are you better at than others? Be genuine about this but never arrogant, it’s a fine line.

  • What are your biggest achievements so far? All of your personal and professional accomplishments create an overall image.

  • What personal attributes are you most proud of? Are you a leader, a creative problem solver, a team motivator?

  • The way you work. How would others describe your style and approach?


Advertise your brand

Take your brand assets (the unique selling points you identified in step 1) and use them in your resume,  LinkedIn and other social media profiles. Reinforce them in any cover letters you write as well.

  • Be consistent. Brand assets are most successful when consistently applied and reinforced. Think of Apple as an example. You know exactly what Apple stands for in everything it does. Make sure you apply your brand assets consistently and accurately in every aspect of your job hunt.

  • Don’t underestimate the power of social media. A potential employer WILL search for you online — FACT. Every post on Twitter can come back to bite you on the ass at some point. So be professional and consistent with the image you portray.  Create a separate professional and personal (locked down) account if needed.

  • Simplify your resume. Make it easy for a human to read (yes, recruiters are human). Bullet points, short sentences and action verbs that summarize your brand assets are good.  Sound bites are the name of the game; they help a recruiter remember you.

You can read more resume writing and LinkedIn tips in our Definitive Guides series. Follow these simple steps and you’ll be on your way to career-hunting nirvana.

Next week: Step 2 in getting ready for recruiting season: The quickest and most painless ways of creating a job-seeking profile online

Have something to add to this story? Give us a shout by email, Twitter, or text/call the tipline at 202-505-8885. As always, all tips are anonymous.

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