The other day, a member of one of my LinkedIn Groups, Knock em Dead Secrets & Strategies commented about a post of mine on my Executive Career Brand blogsite, that I had posted as a Discussion to the Group, You Are Not a Brand. You HAVE a Personal Brand.
Along with stating how annoyed she gets with all this personal branding nonsense, the commenter noted that branding is “dated, presumptuous and uninformative”.
I’m used to getting this kind of response when I write about personal branding. People either misunderstand what it really is, or dismiss its value.
I thanked her for her comment and responded as follows:
I can see you’re tired of hearing about personal branding, like so many others. I’m sorry my post rankled you so.
“Personal branding” may be an overused phrase, but in my 20+ years as a resume writer and job search strategist, I’ve found nothing works better to help differentiate what my clients have to offer over their competitors, and help them land in mutually good-fit jobs.
Job seekers today are faced with fierce competition, and employers are demanding (and getting) the very best candidates. Whatever we, as resume writers, and they, as job seekers, can do to position them above the pack needs to be embraced.
Uncovering one’s target employers’ needs and aligning one’s own unique set of qualifications and personal qualities with their needs – that is, personal branding – is really the only way to position one as a good-fit for those employers.
Personality and other “soft” skills are becoming just as important to employers as the “hard” skills and qualifications. Doing the personal branding work helps people uncover all those qualifiers.
The methodology we call “personal branding” may be more palatable if it had another name. But after all, it’s just a name. Like it or not, branding – or whatever people want to call it – is here to stay.
What’s your take on personal branding . . . sick of it or sold on it?
Related posts at Executive Career Brand:
10 Keys To a Memorable Personal Brand
Get Personal With Your Executive Brand Statement
marquita herald says
What most people don’t realize is whether you buy into branding or not, if you’re active online, you already have a brand. If you don’t manage it, others will fill in the blanks based on their perception of your behavior and everything you say.
Meg Guiseppi says
You’ve got that right, Marquita!
Anything that exists about us online is probably what people will learn about us first, before they actually speak to us or meet us. Other people can post information about any of us online — truthful or not truthful — and that can have an impact on the impression we present. Regular self-Googling is essential, to monitor and correct (whenever possible) the evidence online supporting or sabotaging our brands.
Thanks for commenting!
Tom McCollum says
She’s obviously not proud of her own brand––pure and simple. Everyone has a brand whether they like it or not. The real question is whether they choose to involve themselves in terms of controlling their own narrative. We live in a snap-judgment-big-data-world and like it or not we’re all judged in a split second on who we are by the very people we interact with both personally and virtually. Most people have many awesome characteristics and redeeming qualities once you get to know them, however, person-to-person contact is giving way to online interaction and with the internet being the new first impression, you better be the dressed up version of yourself in terms of your online profile and both social and professional resumes. The most critical element is bridging the gap between your online image and offline persona.
Call it a brand, a reputation, or a CV––we all have one and theres not a thing she can do about it… unless she’s a ghost of course!
P.S. Great article by the way––fine points, well made.
Meg Guiseppi says
Tom, you make a number of excellent points.
The commenter I wrote about, like so many people, may have latched on to the wrong impression of what personal branding really is.
I should have thought to direct her to my post explaining in detail what personal branding encompasses:
10 Steps to an Authentic, Magnetic Personal Brand — http://executivecareerbrand.com/10-steps-to-an-authentic-magnetic-personal-brand/
Thank you for commenting!
jerry goforth says
To most readers of resume’s it’s like a TV commercial – saying it doesn’t make it so.
Meg Guiseppi says
Jerry, interesting comment.
Are you referring to people who make claims in their resume that aren’t true? Of course this does happen, all too frequently.
Just as honesty about career experience, skills and qualifications is critical, job seekers should never compromise the authenticity of their personal brand. In the end, they won’t be able to live up to the claims they’ve made and they’ll be found out, and probably let go.
Thanks for your comment!
Sandra Ingemansen, CPRW says
I agree. Like it or not, personal branding has been around for quite some time and it’s not going anywhere. I came across Ryan Rancatore’s “Personal Branding 101” blog a few months ago, which listed some alternative terms to give job seekers some more clarity. You gave a very powerful alternative – “Value Differentiation,” which helps paint a more precise picture of the underlying meaning. Another term that resonates with my clients when I clarify personal branding for them is demonstrating “Your Authentic Self.” Here’s the link to the blog:
Meg Guiseppi says
Thanks so much for reminding me of Ryan’s wonderful post! I’d forgotten all the great suggestions people made. I hope people reading my post here will check it out.