“Just do it.” Do you know this brand slogan? Chances are you do. Nike has generated decades of profits and success from these three words. Companies the world over use branding to solidify their standings in the marketplace. Job seekers and professionals are now capitalizing on this strategic effort, too, through personal brands.
What is a personal brand? Why should you develop and maintain one? And what should be included in your brand? According to the editors at Northeastern University Graduate Programs, a personal brand is “who you are, what you stand for, the values you embrace, and the way in which you express those values.” Essentially, it’s a showcase of all things you.
At The Highlands Company, we help you discover what makes you unique. We believe exploring and embracing your natural abilities is crucial to success and life satisfaction—and we believe incorporating these abilities in your personal brand can help you distinguish yourself in the job marketplace.
Discover your authenticity
Highlands Certified Consultant Dr. Mary Feduccia, former Director of Career Services at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, recently said it best: “Your brand is who you are and what distinguishes you from others. It’s the story of what is unique about you and what you can bring to the table.” So what is unique about you? An objective, performance-based assessment like the Highlands Ability Battery (HAB) can offer a deep exploration into this scape. The HAB reveals insights—“ahas!”—about you, some of which may be new and others that you simply were unable to articulate previously. You’ll not only discover your natural strengths and abilities but also zero in on how the combination of these strengths sets you apart from the competition. This robust tool is a game changer for job seekers and thought leaders poised to make a difference in their companies.
Craft your personal brand
Once you understand what makes you unique, it’s time to craft a compelling brand message; it’s time to tell your story. First, you’ll want to consider the following:
- What motivates you?
- How do you want to be perceived?
- Who is your target audience?
- What is your desired industry?
- How might your natural strengths enhance your brand and give you an edge over others?
How can the HAB help? This assessment organizes results into four dimensions: work environment/personal style, learning, problem solving/decision making, and communication. Let’s say your score reveals an aptitude for specialization (that is, you are a “specialist”). As such, you are fulfilled when you’re able to demonstrate a level of expertise. You likely prefer working autonomously or in small groups. This is powerful information. Using keywords such as independent, committed, and expert, you can craft a personal brand that highlights this aptitude, matching the wordings of job postings to show you’re a great fit for a position and attracting job offers for positions for which you are well suited.
Use your personal brand to get noticed
Now that you’ve crafted your personal brand, the real magic happens. It’s time to get the word out!
Here are some ideas to get you started:
- First and foremost, perfect your elevator pitch—keep it succinct and on point.
- Expand your online presence—both through social media and via a personal website.
- Tap into the power of networking.
- Schedule meetings and interviews and attend events to get in front of potential clients.
Once you’ve got an interview for a position you desire, you’re able to hone in on specific examples of past projects and experiences in which your natural abilities helped you shine in a given situation. This specificity will help strengthen your brand and promote your aptitude for success in the position.
Brand awareness: Know your natural abilities
In her post, Dr. Feduccia explains that we are in a Fourth Industrial Revolution, one based on rapidly advancing technology. Now more than ever it is important to know your authentic strengths and develop a personal brand that highlights your talents and abilities, distinguishing yourself from the pool of prospective candidates. Understanding your natural abilities will be crucial for navigating your career path in this new landscape. The Highlands Ability Battery is a powerful tool to glean this priceless information. Learn more about the HAB today and develop an authentic personal brand for a successful, fulfilling career.