Defining your personal branding strategy is a confusing topic for many people. Add in the concept of job search and it gets worse.
What is a personal branding strategy?
According to Elizabeth Harr with Hinge Marketing:
A personal branding strategy is a plan to take your reputation and career from relative obscurity to high visibility. It describes where you stand today and what level of visibility you want to achieve in the future. … A modern personal branding strategy is strongly rooted in content marketing.
Most job seekers struggle with the concept of personal branding much less matching it with your resume target.
When I work with you as a job seeker the development of the resume is closely aligned with your personal brand. Who do you represent? What is the goal of the resume and the target of your job search? Sadly, many job seekers fail to comprehend that they need to narrow their focus and define their personal brand.
You may have heard other resume experts or career coaches talk about the “spray and pray” mindset of job search. (Lisa Rangel of Chameleon Resumes wrote about it in her article, “Why the Spray & Pray Job Search Technique Doesn’t Work Anymore.”
And now we have an overcrowded space of resume posters and job advertisers. It’s so crowded, we can’t see what’s in there. The search results list thousands, not hundreds, of viable options.
We are overwhelmed on both sides. Spray and pray worked in those early adopter years when the users were limited. Spray and pray doesn’t work so much anymore.
Every day I see someone on LinkedIn who tells the world (that’s who you are talking to on social media) that they put out 128, 200, or 600 applications.
That’s crazy and the polar opposite of using a personal branding strategy.
Many of these people are younger job seekers who are trying to break into a market or trying for a career pivot but they are still not creating the right strategy for effective job search.
Most of my clients are experienced professionals, often top executives in finance, marketing, or technology but they can still struggle with the same mindset of more applications will yield better results.
When I work with a client, we generally open the resume with some sort of branding statement or executive summary:
Forward-looking, well-rounded Financial Executive with a diverse background successfully growing and transforming financial operations in multiple industries, whether scaling a start-up or pivoting an established business.
Catalyst and Champion who structures, launches, and grows innovative and market-ready corporate partnerships, applied research, tech-based entrepreneurship, and workforce development programs that establish new economies.
Performance-Driven Technology Leader with demonstrated successes in project management, change implementation, and strategic plan execution.
Strategic and Dynamic Corporate Leader who challenges the status quo, raises the bar, and boosts brand awareness. Gifted in identifying, designing, and implementing innovative products and services to drive corporate and divisional strategy while navigating complex, global organizations.
There’s more to each of these branding statements but all of these four are recent job-winning clients. In the last month, I created a new page to feature job-winning clients with celebration graphics. I created the original client success graphics to celebrate job wins on social media but as they kept accumulating, I created a home for them on my website. Check them out! I love celebrating client job wins!
How do you create a Personal Branding Strategy?
When I work with clients, we analyze what they are targeting first. We identify the industry, level of career, specific interests, and their desire for future work. If they are transitioning to a new direction, we identify their strengths that align with the new direction. As people repurpose their skills for a new direction, we discuss how we can remarket the skills they used in their old career into a new one.
Figuring out which skills can be pivoted into a new direction can be a challenge but it creates opportunity. For example, finance executives may be in one sector but desire to use those experiences in a different sector or a more specific area in a similar company to their former company.
Content marketing and networking are both keys to pivoting your personal branding strategy to a new market. LinkedIn is an amazing opportunity for someone who wants to showcase their knowledge base to others. You start creating content that aligns with where you want to go.
Are you familiar with how the Design Resumes process works?
My business, Design Resumes, is unique in the job search industry. I built it through live and personalized sessions with the job seeker throughout the entire creation cycle. This means you and I work together all the way through the project. Zoom made it possible for me to use my process with clients throughout the United States (and Europe). If you are curious about working with me, learn more.
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