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How to Brand Yourself & Take Control of Your Career


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Personal branding is all the rage in the careers space. What does your personal brand say about you? And how can you leverage it to take control of your career?

Published in: Business, Career
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How to Brand Yourself & Take Control of Your Career

  1. 1. How to Brand Yourself &Take Control of Your Career Contact Heather at
  2. 2. Contact Heather at
  3. 3. Overview• The definition of personal branding & its importance to your career• How to develop & maintain your personal brand• Common personal branding mistakes & how to avoid them Contact Heather at 3
  4. 4. What is Personal Branding?• The process by which we market ourselves to others – Having a distinct “brand” is not just for companies anymore• You can leverage the same strategies major companies & celebrities do to appeal to others• How will you position yourself for success using today’s tools? Contact Heather at 4
  5. 5. Personal Branding & Your Career• Helps you stand out among competition• Makes you visible to potential employers• Allows you to share your expertise & skills with others• Helps with professional networking Contact Heather at 5
  6. 6. How to Develop & Maintain Your Personal Brand• Follow these steps: – Determine your differentiation – Create a plan – Create an online portfolio – Create a professional blog – Develop a core message/elevator pitch – Leverage networking platforms Contact Heather at 6
  7. 7. Determine Your Differentiation• What do you bring to the table that others cannot? – Write down every skill, characteristic and interest you have – this becomes your “unique you”• What collateral material will you need to communicate your “unique you?” – Cover letter & résumé – Business cards – Online (& perhaps hardcopy) portfolio Contact Heather at 7
  8. 8. Create a Plan• Set goals• Research your social community• Select your brand ambassadors• Manage your reputation• Establish yourself as a thought leader Contact Heather at 8
  9. 9. Create an Online Portfolio• Find out if your personal domain name is for sale ( If it is, purchase it! – Don’t forget to purchase hosting• I recommend building and designing your online portfolio using a free content management system, such as WordPress – specializes in WordPress websites Contact Heather at 9
  10. 10. Online Portfolios, Cont.• WordPress alternatives: – Wix – Weebly – Webs – VisualCV – Carbonmade – DoYouBuzz – FigDig Contact Heather at 10
  11. 11. Online Portfolios, Cont.• On the homepage, include a welcome message to visitors – this can be a similar, more generic version of your cover letter• Create separate pages: – Where visitors can download your resume in PDF format (iPaper is a good app for this) – For your actual portfolio items – Linking to your professional blog – With your contact information Contact Heather at 11
  12. 12. Online Portfolios, Cont.• What to include in your portfolio: – Case studies (problem, solution, results) – Class projects (if still in school or a recent graduate) – Volunteer/internship work – Professional testimonials/recommendations• Remember: Always get approval from your current/previous employer before posting anything online! Contact Heather at 12
  13. 13. Create a Professional Blog• Select a topic or niche to write about• Decide on your posting frequency & stick with it• Admit upfront if you are not an expert• Write interesting content – and write it well• Follow & comment on other blogs• Promote your blog• Don’t be afraid to be wrong Contact Heather at 13
  14. 14. Develop Your Core Message• Your core message (or elevator pitch) should be a short sound bite where you explain who you are & what you’re seeking, including:• Typically 30-60 seconds or 150-200 words• Keep it short & concise in order to hold your listener’s attention but share enough info about yourself Contact Heather at 14
  15. 15. Develop Your Core Message• In general, your elevator pitch should consist of: – Your name (if meeting for the first time) – Current status (student, entry-level professional, etc.) – What you seek (internship, full-time job, etc.) – Your unique selling points – Qualifications – Passions – Call to action Contact Heather at 15
  16. 16. Leverage Networking Platforms• Become a follower – Seek out recruiters & hiring managers on Twitter & follow them – Contribute to the conversation – Any opportunity to converse is an opportunity to impress – Extra Reading: Are You A Fan? How Following Companies Will Get You Hired• Share relevant content – Update regularly to stay in people’s feed & be top-of-mind Contact Heather at 16
  17. 17. Networking, Cont.• No matter where you meet someone, the only real way to bring them into your network is by keeping in touch• After your first meeting or encounter, follow-up! – Ask him/her out for coffee – Send a quick email with an interesting article – Connect with him/her on social networking sites (if you haven’t already) Contact Heather at 17
  18. 18. Networking, Cont.• Master the “art of the ask” – Smart networkers know the strategies for determining what to ask for, who to ask & how to ask for any goal they want to achieve – Help can come almost immediately if you’ve laid the groundwork correctly Contact Heather at 18
  19. 19. Common Personal Branding Mistakes• Not taking control of your presence – both online and off• Inconsistency among online profiles & messages• Outdated information• Not understanding what makes you unique• Having an unfocused brand• Over-communicating• Essentially “advertising” instead of interacting Contact Heather at 19
  20. 20. Common Personal Branding Mistakes• Being negative – Who would want to connect with you, much less hire you, if you’re constantly negative?• Being selfish – Social networking is about creating relationships, it’s not just about you• Expecting instant results – Major companies realize that it takes time to create a distinct brand personality – same goes for your personal brand Contact Heather at 20
  21. 21. Common Personal Branding Mistakes • Jumping in too soon without a plan or clear idea of who you are – Know your unique selling points in order to help employers understand what makes you different from the competition • Lacking goals or a direction • Only branding yourself “when you need it” – For example, while on the job search Contact Heather at 21
  22. 22. Contact Heather at
  23. 23. Thank you! For more tips: Join us for our next job seeker webinar on:April 29, 2011: Little-Known Ways to Build Your Network for Career Success Contact Heather at