If you've been following along this week, you know that I've been sharing a case study of my work with Shari, a mid-career training professional who's currently looking for a new job. In previous posts I've looked at some Web 2.0 tools and strategies that Shari's using to keep her job search organized and yesterday I discussed the online portfolio that Shari is creating. Today I'm going to talk about something that's really important to Shari's job search--personal branding.
What Is Personal Branding?
In a competitive job market, everyone needs a clear sense of their personal brand--what are their unique selling points? What do they want to be known for in their profession and what value do they bring to an employer? A personal brand incorporates the key marketing messages you want to convey, particularly if you're setting up an online portfolio or using your blog to market yourself.
Why is Branding Important?
Your personal brand is how you communicate with other people about what they can expect from working with you. It tells potential employers about your key strengths and your basic approach to your work. As a former HR manager, I can tell you that one of the things employers look for is to see how well you will match with their particular organizational culture. Your personal brand is what communicates your personal culture and this gives employers a better understanding of who you are. It also helps you make sure that you match yourself with the organization and position that are most likely to mesh with your passions, values and strengths.
Some Branding Resources
Shari had already started working with a career coach in Oregon by the time we started talking, so she's developing her branding message through that process. But for those of you who may be using this series to support your own job search, I wanted to include some branding resources that might be helpful to you in formulating your own brand.
Three Steps to Building Your Personal Brand
Make a Business Card that Reflects Your Brand
How to Improve Your Online Visibility and Begin Building Your Online Brand
Building Your Online Brand
How to Build Your Personal Brand Online
Knowing your personal brand is critical to helping you think through what Web 2.0 tools you want to use for branding and how you want to use them. Tomorrow we'll get into what Shari's plans are, including some of her thinking about setting up a blog.