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November 09, 2010

What Is a Personal Brand, and How Do I Get One?

If you're up on job-search and career-development advice, you've likely been hearing the term "personal brand" used more and more. By all accounts, developing and maintaining a consistent, effective personal brand is as important to the modern worker (in just about industry) as having a great resume and an engaged network of peers.

But the term is sometimes used in a vague way--what is a personal brand, and how does a job seeker begin crafting one? I asked personal-branding expert Chris Perry, of CareerRocketeer, to explain some basics. 

Monster Blog: Why is having a personal brand important--and is it important for all job seekers?

Chris Perry: Everyone has a unique personal brand. You communicate your own brand in everything you do--whether you know it or not. It's important to remember that personal branding is so much more than what you put on your social networks or what you write on a blog. It's who you are inside and out, online and offline. Your personal brand is your reputation.

Effective personal branding is essential for all job seekers, as it not only makes you stand out from the crowd to employers and recruiters, but also can increase your job security during your career--by communicating your value as a leader and team player to your organization.

Monster Blog: How can a person decide what his or her personal brand is?

Chris Perry: Your personal brand is the unique and differentiating value that you can bring to an organization, a team, and/or a project, [communicated] in a professionally memorable and consistent manner in all of your actions and outputs, both online and offline, to all current and prospective stakeholders in your career.

Here are a several steps to help you create your personal brand:

    1. Write down your differentiating strengths (those you feel make you stand out from the rest).

    2. Ask your friends, family, colleagues, and managers to do the same.

    3. Identify the top three to five strengths that you feel will support the career direction you want to pursue.

    4. Create or find a word or phrase that can become your personal brand and that represents these strengths. (Note that you should ensure that your word or phrase is versatile and can change with your career direction.)

    5. Develop a short pitch [what some experts call an "elevator speech"] that builds on your brand, describing your strengths in more detail.

Monster Blog: Then how does someone use that brand in a job search?

Chris Perry: Here are a few of the ways that you can build and communicate your personal brand both online and in-person:

  •     Create a LinkedIn profile and follow the suggested steps to complete your profile, making sure you include your personal brand and pitch in your subtitle and summary sections.
  •     Consider creating a personal website or blog where you can house all of your information, including your brand, experience, education, skills, honors, entrepreneurial efforts, and more.
  •     Include your personal brand on your resume, cover letter, business cards, email signature, and voicemail message, as well as across your other social networks, such as Twitter and Facebook.
  •     Conduct informational interviews with target network contacts (whether or not you're seeking a job) and share your personal brand with them in your introductions.
  •     Join associations or networking groups within your industry and try attending their events to meet new contacts and build your target network.  Be sure to share your personal brand with those new contacts you meet.


-- Check back next week for more tips from Chris Perry, on how to maintain your personal brand over time. If you have more questions on creating a personal brand, let us know in the comments section, and we will try to include answers in next week's blog post.

Chris Perry, MBA, is a Gen-Y brand and marketing generator, an ambitious entrepreneur, and a career-search and personal-branding expert. Perry is the founder of Career Rocketeer; its partner efforts, including Launchpad; and other online career services and communities, such as MBA Highway.




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Posted by Charles Purdy on November 9, 2010 at 04:48 PM in Career Development , Interview , Job Search , Resume | Permalink | Comments (7) | TrackBack (0)


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HEy nice posting. The information regarding personal brand is awesome thanks for sharing this...

Posted by: Pension Finder | Nov 9, 2010 9:45:40 PM

Great article. How about maintaining personal brand on Social Media ? Personal stuff vs Professional stuff ? Facebook vs. LinkedIn ? Should we isolate both or blend them ?

Posted by: Kumar | Nov 10, 2010 4:21:11 PM

Thank you, Kumar. We'll get answers to your questions in next week's post from Chris.

Posted by: Charles Purdy | Nov 10, 2010 6:44:45 PM

yeah thanks for sharing this, great post

Posted by: Luke Price | Nov 17, 2010 8:10:23 AM

Hi,This is David Miller. This is wonderful blog and wonderful information given here. This is a wonderful opinion, Excellent site,keep up the good work. Excellent blog.HEy nice posting. The information regarding personal brand is awesome thanks for sharing this.
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Posted by: sanh | Dec 3, 2010 11:15:20 PM

Nice post! Isn't it funny how much the world has changed? Now the things you are truly interested in can be archived, charted, and packaged in almost limitless ways. It is important to understand exactly how this readily accessible information can help/harm you. Thank you for calling attention to the importance of this issue in the job world, and everyone--Get to branding yourself!

Posted by: Roby | Mar 1, 2011 11:53:14 AM

Great Article. Has answered many of my doubts

Posted by: Jobs Career Resume | Jun 23, 2011 1:46:48 AM

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