We are all brands, I like to think of my brand as driven go getter, adventurous soul with a little ‘crazy’ thrown in for good measure. This is probably the impression I give and how I represent myself most of the time, and I am ok with that. Perhaps I left the control freak bit out… but no one said you had to be a completely open book. I own my brand.
Do you think about your brand?
How you brand yourself can impact your career both with your potential and future employers.
Moulding your brand
Our personal brands are like any brand… continually evolving. They will probably have a consistent stream of features (these are our personalities), but they will change. Our professional brand should be how we represent ourselves in all aspects of work. It is pretty critical. It is making a commitment to define yourself in one way… as a leader, a manager, a rising star. People come to expect a certain ‘experience of thought’ from you. Although it will evolve, you should be able to consistently deliver it, whatever it may be. Ask someone, what is the experience of being around you/working with you like? Treat your professional brand like a trademark, it is yours to mould and yours to protect.
Protecting your professional brand
It can be challenging even recognising what your brand is… and now I am asking you to protect it!
The first thing is consistency…
For people settled in a position and company, make sure you don’t suddenly lurch towards a new way of being. If you are known to be easy going, don’t suddenly try and be known for being outspoken. This will only confuse people. For people who are on the job hunt, the invention of social media sites, such as LinkedIn and the never ending stream of job boards means that when you are looking for a job, your CV could be plastered on 20+ places at once. Make sure they are all saying the same thing, giving the same impression!! Hiring managers/recruiters were not born yesterday, they will spot inconsistencies.
The second thing is ‘styling it out’…
Protect your brand by ‘styling it out’ ‘working it’ ‘owning it’ … not necessarily in a Beyoncé type way, but whatever floats your boat! Happy in your own self and clear on your brand. Be consistent and ensure you deliver your brand in a way that gets you noticed and remembered.
The last thing is representation…
Make sure you are represented credibly and that your brand comes through. Your CV should give the impression of your brand and so should your LinkedIn profile. The worst thing you could do is have your profile represented in multiple ways! When looking for a new position, the natural starting point is to spread your CV over as many platforms as you can. Spending the whole day uploading the same file onto job boards, recruiter websites and wherever else.
Instead, choose one recruitment company, do your research first, then pick the one that has the most experience filling jobs for people in your field/industry. Ring them, speak to them personally, tell them who you are… what your experience is. Let them absorb your brand. They will then go out and credibly represent you – avoiding multiple platforms or multiple recruiters giving out 10 different impressions… perhaps to the same organisation (it happens!).
Once you see yourself through this lens, you will become more mindful about how you approach things.
At FMC Global Talent we represent 90% of our candidates exclusively, if you work in one of our specialist markets and would like us to put you in front of our clients… send your CV today.