Lately, I’ve been on a serious personal branding kick. So many people come to me asking that I review their resumes, but that should be the least of their concerns. Sure resumes are important but they are only a small portion of what gets you hired because they are only snapshots of you in that exact moment. So even if you’re planning to write a book, expecting to host your first event, or preparing to present a workshop, no one will know by simply looking at your resume. That’s where brand building comes in.
Your personal brand is your vision of the future manifested. Is it the sequence of actions you take to influence the way others think about you and the image or emotion that others experience when your name is mentioned. Your brand is all that’s left when the company downsizes and everyone gets laid off or when you forget your resume at home and still have to make a lasting impression. Deciding what you want your brand to be is a matter of comparing who you are now to who you want to be in the future, and then creating everything that will fill in the gap.
To get started thinking about your personal brand:
- Ask yourself, “Who am I?” and if you’re having a hard time answering that question start listing some of your past success, memorable moments, or asking loved ones what words come to mind when they think of you.
- Google yourself and see what comes up in the search results. You’re almost guaranteed to be Googled when you submit a resume for any job, so take some time to see what others are finding. If you don’t like what you see, start thinking of ways to generate new content about yourself on the web (hint: professional twitter account or your own personal website)
- Research your role models. Assess what you admire about them, what ways you’re similar to them, and in what ways are you different. And if you can, find out the details of their career path and learn from their decisions.
- Create a vision board and write your future resume.
Once you have collected all of the details of what you want your new brand to look like, it’s time to put it on blast.When you begin strategically branding yourself, you become a walking billboard and everything out of your mouth is a public service announcement. So start being more intentional about what you post on social media and make sure that everything now aligns with your new image. Then, share it everywhere with everyone until they fall in love with it too!