“Personal branding” means using the basic techniques of business marketing to help potential employers keep your name in mind after they skim your resume and move on to the next one in the lineup. Just a few little moves can help you stand out and make your personal story a little more compelling and a little easier to remember later on. Like a catchy commercial jingle that runs through your head all day long, the right hook can grab and keep a manager’s attention.
Branding may not have much to do with your actual skills sets and qualifications for the job; it just involves a set of moves that tie your professional details together into a seamless and appealing whole. Start with these:
1. Harp on single, simple theme.
If you’re an engineer but you were a baker during an earlier chapter of your life, pitch yourself as “the engineer who used to be a baker”. Your dual skill sets and diverse experience are rare (no other candidate will share this unique story). And if you can explain how these two qualities overlap and inform each other, your message will be hard to ignore.
2. Choose a color.
Choose one color that can be subtly woven through your entire job search process, from the layout details on your resume to the tie or scarf you wear to the interview. Keep in mind some of the color associations that we share as a culture. For example, red: passion. Yellow: a sunny demeanor. Green: creativity. Blue: calm and emotional control. Purple: dignity. Orange: friendliness and extroversion.
3. Choose a tone.
Keep your tone professional but consistent throughout your resume, cover letter, and interview. And no matter which tone you choose, make sure it aligns with your chosen color. For example, if you’re a “green” creative candidate, keep that theme alive in each of your written and spoken communications as well as your visual presentation.
4. Keep your online information consistent.
When employers type your name into a search engine, the first few results will probably include your social media profiles, personal website, and blog. So use these platforms to tell a coherent story about who you are and what you can do.
Contact the staffing experts at PSU for more on how to send a strong branding message and find the right position for your skills and needs.