3 Ways to Define You: Meditations on Personal Branding

How do you define yourself? How do you want the world to see you? That is the question.

What differentiates you from others is not the skillset you have or the talents you possess, it’s your personal brand. Think of the most stifling job interview you’ve ever had: the interviewer analyzes you based on how you present yourself. Yes, your capabilities and experience is important, but interviewers are also examining the possibility of who you are and what you offer.

Your personal brand gives the outside world a glimpse of who you are; it defines you. It showcases the things that make you stand out, what you care to present to the world and what you hold in your mind and heart.

Here are three ways to take your personal branding to the next level:

  • Self-assess. Before you begin branding yourself, you should take a few moments to analyze everything. Where do you stand and where would you like to be? Consider how you perceive yourself and how others perceive you.
  • Strategize. Once you have an understanding of the perceptions about you (both internal and external) and your end goal, you need to have a strategy to get there. Decide what elements of yourself you want to emphasize and the components you will use. For example, you may decide to use social media, but how often will you be on Twitter and engaged with it versus other platforms?
  • Differentiate. When it comes to a personal brand, no two people are the same. While you may share interests and skills with other people, you need to structure them so that it stands out compared to “competitors.” You also need to be careful with your wording and descriptors; they should match who you are, but also have to be professional. Instead of phrases, utilize buzz-words that convey the same meaning. Instead of stating that you are someone who will help with any task, brand yourself as hard-worker or a dedicated problem-solver.

We are constantly surrounded by branding. The key point to note is that branding doesn’t have to be about informational overload.

Focus on the parts of yourself that you want to share with the world. How would you choose to showcase yourself and the skills you have to offer?

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