Brand ‘Me’ – what people say about you when you are not in the room

Submitted by: Stephen Reilly

When you hear the word ‘branding’, what’s the first thing that comes to mind?

Some think of a method to mark cattle while others think of an organization in the marketplace.

Both are accurate and have relevance as to why we should use this in our search for employment.

author, Stephen Reilly

As a personal branding coach and author of the new book: ‘Brand You New –You’re Hired’, I want to share my knowledge and give you the tools to stay ahead of the competition.

Let’s start at why branding is as important to you, as an individual, as it is to large organizations like Apple and Coca Cola.

Jeff Bezo, the founder of Amazon, once said, “Your brand is what people say about you when you are not in the room”.

It’s about defining who you are and what you stand for. It allows you to identify yourself as being unique and memorable.

When we think about how to brand ourselves, always start by creating a Unique Selling Point (USP).

To do this think about what skills, attributes and abilities you have that will not only look great on your CV but can be used to give you confidence at your interviews.

Many of my clients struggle on this area so we go through the following to help them break it down:

  • If you feel unsure on what attributes and abilities you possess, think about who inspires you and what traits they have, then work towards adopting similar ones
  • Think of all your skills and experiences and make it interesting. Companies are looking to reduce their time by discarding poorly presented and content-lacking CV’s. A saxophone playing accountant is more memorable after reading a hundred CV’s
  • If you feel you are weaker in certain areas, strengthen them by trying new possibilities, like volunteering or starting a course

One useful exercise is to consider everything above and write a personal statement. Whilst writing it you should take into account your skills, personal achievements/qualities and hobbies.

Over time this statement will change as you learn more and gain more experience.

Ask friends and family or work colleagues to look it over to see if there is anything missing and when you feel you have honed the piece to truly represent you, rehearse it like the words of a play.

This exercise not only develops your understanding of your experience but it builds confidence to use at the interviews you will attend.

You will be amazed at how well you look on paper.

The more you like yourself, the less you are like anyone else, which makes you unique.

Walt Disney