When it comes to developing your personal brand, the clue is in the name. That’s right – it’s personal!
Think about it this way. In the morning, when you head out or log on to work, do you have a complete personality transplant? Of course you don’t! Sure, you may tap into a different, professional version of yourself, but you’re still you.
As executive talent recruiters, we’re always drawn to candidates with a really memorable, distinctive and authentic personal brand. And our clients feel the same way. But how do you curate a personal brand that’s true to you but still has career progression prowess?
In this Intuitive Masterclass, we explore how to develop a personal brand that’s both memorable and career-boosting.
PERSONAL BRANDING STEP 1: BEING YOU-ER THAN YOU
We think Dr Seuss put it best when he said “Today you are you, that is truer than true. There is no-one alive who is Youer than You”.
But how does Dr Seuss relate to building a memorable personal brand that sets you apart for senior leadership consideration?
Well, Seuss’ declaration reminds us that our true value is found in those characteristics and experiences unique to us. It centres on acceptance, authenticity and self-assurance – principles that determine how convincing and distinctive we are and subsequently, whether we’re overlooked or misunderstood. Especially during the executive recruitment process.
A personal brand without heart can fall flat. That said, if you’re not used to being an open book, the prospect can be rather scary. Being “You-er than You” requires a mindset shift where vulnerability = strength. It also requires doing some homework.
The top-marks task? Find a way to sound like you. We’ve found this exercise to be particularly helpful:
- Ask a handful of sincere and trustworthy folks to describe you in 3-5 words. Try and mix discreet professional and personal relationships
- Encourage your mini personal branding focus group to be honest about what they think, but let them know you’re especially interested in morals and strengths
- Compile and compare feedback with an open mind
- Begin formulating what your personal brand really is by better understanding how you’re read and valued
This exercise will help you break free of internalised thoughts – negative or positive – and illustrate the key ingredients of your personal brand. You may also wish to set aside some time to reflect on feedback and think about how your characteristics translate into workplace leadership performance and aspirations. But more on that here.
PERSONAL BRANDING STEP 2: PUTTING PEN TO PAPER
Getting your CV professionally drafted is part and parcel of building “Brand You”, right?
Although it feels somewhat instinctive to go to the professionals, we have to make an exception when it comes to writing your CV. (But don’t be discouraged from working with a proofreader if you wish!)
This is because how you present your CV is a fundamental part of your personal brand. It’s arguably the make-or-break asset, following yourself, that will decide whether you make a consideration shortlist, an initial interview, or a final presentation.
As an executive leadership talent consultancy, we can always – always – tell when a CV has been created by someone other than the name on the page. Whether it’s the generic vocabulary, disjointed storytelling, or cookie-cutter template, it’s clear when a CV isn’t the product of its owner.
Now, we’re not saying you need to channel your inner Picasso or recite a thesaurus.
What we are saying is that it’s worth taking the time to develop your CV in harmony with who you are as a person – your values, authentic characteristics, and unique goals. Essentially, taking what you learned from those earlier exercises and putting it onto paper.
When your CV is a genuine extension of yourself, it’s far easier to use as a tool in your career progression journey. You’ll be able to reference it effortlessly, bounce around it with confidence, answer questions, and ad-lib without a moment’s thought, which will allow your personality to shine in an interview.
Or, at any other touchpoint for that matter. This brings us nicely to our next point.
Keep in mind that your CV, although a document, is a touchpoint in the recruitment process and critically with talent consultants. Although talent consultants often aren’t doing the direct hiring, they curate the ultimate shortlist. So, make sure that your personal brand sings loud and proud right from the offset, even in those instances that feel like formalities or logistics.
- If you only take away one point, make it this: you are the essence of all you’ve experienced. Do all you can to distil that essence into your personal brand and you’ll amplify your visibility and appeal in the recruitment process significantly.
PERSONAL BRANDING STEP 3: ATTRACT THE ROLE YOU WANT
So, you’ve developed your personal branding, stretched your comfort zone and maybe even gained a whole new perspective.
Now it’s time to make it count.
At Intuitive, we work with candidates to help you understand your values and characteristics in a professional capacity, and the best way to leverage them in the talent attraction process. Essentially, in the words of the wonderful Dolly Parton, “find out who you are and do it on purpose”.
This step isn’t just about helping you stand out to potential employers, but to attract the type of role and organisation that aligns with who you are and what you value. In addition to our “what makes you, you” exercise, we like to introduce a professional angle with this handy exercise, too.
- Schedule some quiet, thinking time in the diary to really think about what you value in the workplace
- The best way to hone in on what’s truly important is to ask yourself – “what does my best day ever look like?”
- Plan your best workday, from start to finish, and reflect on any words, themes or sentiments that crop up or correlate
- Add these to your personal branding vocabulary and integrate into every touchpoint and representation of yourself.
- Carefully consider any roles that don’t align with the values and characteristics of your personal brand
Ready to make search consultancy an experience to smile about? View our brochure to hear from candidates and clients who team up with Intuitive time and time again.