Personal Branding

How often have you visited a website, read the professional profile of a resume or listened to an “elevator speech” only to wonder what does this person do or what was the message they were trying to convey? Sometimes we make things more complex than they need to be, effectively losing the meaning in the process.

I recall the website of a company that “developed engineered solutions for high technology companies” – they did concrete slabs for electrical power and telephone equipment; or the executive who “provided shareholder value to public companies” – he was a CFO though never mentioned anything about finance. My personal favorite is waste water treatment facilities, which are now called “environmental campuses”. What would you know about a person if they said they managed an environmental campus? I think you get my point.

So many branding statements start with words like highly motivated, driven, aggressive, results oriented, solutions provider, etc.  none of which add any value to the message. Your personal brand needs to be objective, succinct, memorable and most important simple to understand, so your audience can quickly grasp who you are and how they can help you – before you deliver your value proposition.

To develop an effective branding statement, make a list of all the objective words and phrases that describe your background and experiences. Ask yourself, what does my audience need to know about me and in what order do they need to know it? Note this may be different than what you want to tell then.

Then take words and phrases from the list and develop a three sentence personal brand statement. The first sentence should convey a complete thought and an objective message of who you are, just in case you are on a short elevator, while the second and third sentence should further define the information presented in the first and include the value you bring.

Your personal branding statement serves three purposes: how you think of yourself, your elevator pitch and the professional summary of your resume, thus a common theme and consistent message in your thought, verbal and written delivery. By using this approach your audience will know who you are, will be more likely remember you, and will differentiate you from the competition.

Dutch Earle is the managing director of Executive Strategies, Inc. an executive search, coaching and career management firm. Learn more about our services at www.esitalent.com and www.careersynergies.com. Also visit www.atlantaresumeservice.com