So you want a job that pays you to do your best work. You want to be appreciated for your experience, your special abilities and your creativity. You want to work for an organization that aligns with your personal values, a place you can feel proud to call home.
Sounds reasonable, right? It is — but you have to do a bit of work. You have to articulate your career brand.
What’s a career brand? Your career brand is the embodiment of your particular combination of skills, interests and abilities that enables you to do great work. It is the offering that will match the goals of the specific employers where you will find your best fit. Knowing your career brand will build your confidence and guide you toward the right roles and organizations. But you have to define it first to seek out the right opportunities and have them also come to you.
Sounds great, you say, so how do I do that? Here’s your template, in 4 simple (but not easy!) steps:
Step I: What’s Your Raw Material?
- What are your top 5 strengths and talents? (Include only those you can and want to use at work).
- What are your top 3 subjects of interest?
- Write 3 accomplishment stories describing times when you did your best work and what was involved.
If you’re a bit stumped, ask those who know you well, personally or professionally, to weigh in.
Step II: What Do You Do?
What is the overarching goal in what you do? And why do you do it?
- Synthesize research to tell stories that engage and educate
- Co-lead multifaceted product design teams to create smart home furnishings
- Teach impact investing strategy
Step III: Whom Do You Do It For?
- Boutique consulting firms
- Large international organizations
- Innovative educational and cultural organizations
Step IV: Here’s Your Career Brand!
Put it all together in one statement:
- Synthesize custom and online research to engage and educate financial product consumers through storytelling.
- Co-lead multifaceted product design teams to create home furnishings incorporating smart technology, for senior citizens.
- Teach specialized impact investing strategy at venture capital firms and provide consulting services to high-net worth individuals.
- Design and build aesthetically pleasing websites that deliver the highest quality experience, for large consumer products companies.
- Provide inbound marketing strategy, execution and tracking with high conversion and customer satisfaction rates, for agencies and companies committed to sustainability.
Complete this exercise and you create both a lead and a filter for roles you are obviously qualified for. Use your brand in all your marketing media: your LinkedIn profile (Make it your professional headline); your resume (Make sure it’s expressed in your summary); your 30-second pitch and your cover letter. Your career brand will communicate to the right employers, your network and anyone who can help in your search, who you are, what you can do and for what audience. With clarity comes confidence – just what you need the most to get that interview and close the deal.
Good luck and let me know if you need help!