What comes to mind when asked to name:
A reliable tissue, A refreshing type of cola, A very safe car
Many of you probably thought of Kleenex, Coke and Volvo. If you did, those companies have done their job in branding! The concept of branding, “a variety of something distinguished by a particular characteristic” is one that we have all grown up experiencing. What about your own career branding? What is your particular career characteristic that distinguishes you from the rest? If you polled 5 colleagues and asked them to describe you as a professional, what would they say? Can you guess …
Whether you realize it or not, you have created a brand –a sense of what comes to mind when people think of you. Daily you are creating a career image and perceived sense of value or lack thereof. Do you know what that career image or brand is? Are you managing your career brand? Your career brand is something you can develop and control. It’s the value you have in the workforce. Your brand makes you unique and valuable in your department, at your company, in your business, and in the marketplace. Consider these tips to help you build your career brand:
-Create a strong “elevator” speech that clearly speaks to your skills, your uniqueness, and qualifications. You can use this when networking, interviewing or when communicating in general about your career.
-Have a well-defined brand that showcases your value-add in the marketplace. Here are a few examples: a user-friendly statistician, a take-charge leader, a strategic thinking project manager. Everything you do should help promote your brand.
-Keep track of, quantify, and report your key accomplishments to your manager and networking contacts.
-Build “expert” status in your field.
-Have a well-defined mission and vision statement for your career.
-Set long and short-term career goals and be able to share them with your manager and network of contacts, even though your goals may change regularly.
-Know how your brand is as strong as (or better than) your competition
-Have a clearly defined audience for your brand message (managers, colleagues, mentors, etc.)
-Make sure your brand is consistent in all forms of communication (social media, resume, biography, etc.) and delivered through many sources such as your manager, network of contacts, elevator speech, etc.
-Lastly, get feedback from colleagues, managers, and friends on your bra