Branding is all about who you are, the image you want people to have of you, and what reputation you want left behind when you are gone. Here are three tips to build your personal brand while out in the job search market.
1. Focus on your unique value proposition (UVP).
What differentiates you from the other job seekers in a similar profession within the same industry? Make a list of all the things that separate you from your competition. Focus on:
Examine your list carefully, weeding out generic items and concentrating on those that will make the best impression on employers. Use the 15/15 rule—keep your UVP under 15 words and be able to say it in less than 15 seconds. Don’t be afraid to incorporate your personality into it—your UVP should sound conversational and natural.
2. Use the feature-to-benefit model to grab the attention of your audience and potential employers
Relate this model to corporate branding: every feature offered by a product or service is followed by an identifiable benefit to the customer or client. Make sure that every item on your list from #1 clearly emphasizes its benefit to the potential employer. Think about this from a corporate brand experience. For example, Nordstrom department store is known for its’ personal service provided to each customer. The identifiable feature-to-benefit is the feeling of individual attention.
3. Developing your personal UVP
Similar to corporate brands, you have a UVP and need to develop a succint one using the 15/15 rule. To get a feel for this, think of these common brand ones:
- Head and Shoulders: “You get rid of dandruff”
- Dominos Pizza: “Fresh, hot pizza delivered to your door in 30 minutes or less”
- FedEx: “When your package absolutely, positively has to get there overnight”
- M&Ms: “Melts in your mouth, not in your hand”
Now apply this type of cohesive, complete UVP to yourself. Here are some examples:
- I help brands bring their stories to life
- Award-winning creative director known for Fortune 100 campaigns
- Chief financial executive specializing in turnaround scenarios
- National salesman of the year. Brought in $3M last year, 20% more than any other Sales Director.
Use action verbs and communicate accomplishments and key skills in an authentic and conversational tone.