If you’re reading this, it’s likely you understand the importance of having a clearly defined professional brand.
Your brand communicates to the world who you are, what you stand for and where you see yourself. More than just a well-written summary on LinkedIn, a clearly defined professional brand is a combination of attributes, strengths and passions that differentiate you from your peers. Done well, it can be the reason you get hired.
So often we define ourselves by our job title. “I am a Controller,” we say. But really we are the sum of our choices. And, much like all roads lead to Rome, all career choices lead to an underlying theme that defines your professional brand. That theme forms the cornerstone of your brand and is, in essence, the problem that you solve. Are you someone who identifies inefficient processes and reworks them to benefit the bottom line? Are you someone who finds hidden value? Offering a prospective employer a professional brand that is founded on a theme allows him or her to understand who you are and what motivates you, and, most importantly, how you might add value to their organization.
Part of building a professional brand is understanding which key attributes will resonate with your market. Emotion engages buying behaviour, so when you are considering building a professional brand make sure to describe yourself in attributes that connect to your market. Consider what differentiates you from your peers and describe yourself in those terms. Remember, however, that the attributes you select must support the theme of your professional brand.
Understand that any employer is assessing how credible you are for the role that you want. The profile of a professional brand is enhanced by the presence of credibility indicators. Schools, designations or companies that you have worked for all serve to enhance your credibility, particularly if they are specifically applicable to the role in question. When you are developing your professional brand, don’t forget about credibility indicators.
To be the person that is remembered and hired, craft a professional brand that speaks to your market. If you build a great professional brand, it strategically positions you for your next great role.