How to Brand Yourself for a Job
The word “brand” is weird, right? I mean, what does that even mean?
- a type of product manufactured by a particular company under a particular name. Example: “a new brand of detergent”
- an identifying mark burned on livestock or (especially formerly) criminals or slaves with a branding iron.
Hm… is that what we’re talking about here?
Of course not!
The world has changed, and the likes of celebrities, influencers, and a multitude of vocational storytellers have brought new meaning to the word brand.
Their marketing minds have taken the traditional process of brand development and they’ve enriched it with emotional presentation, sentimental aesthetics, and visual storytelling.
In a nutshell: They’ve made it personal.
“Personal branding is the conscious and intentional effort to create and influence public perception of an individual by positioning them as an authority in their industry, elevating their credibility, and differentiating themselves from the competition, to ultimately advance their career, increase their circle of influence, and have a larger impact.”
That’s all well and good too, but if you’re branding yourself for a job, “creating and influencing public perception” is not necessarily the goal!
And, who has time to “ultimately” advance their career? What is the type of branding that will help you advance your career right now?!
As someone who has spent years in the industry of building the reputations of influencers, I can confidently tell you that if this is what you’re trying to achieve, prepare yourself: it’s a hard fought path to success.
But you can still brand yourself for a job!
By adopting the crudeness of the first definition of branding with the execution strategies of personal branding, you CAN brand yourself in a way that allows you to easily develop targeted influence over the decision makers that will define your career success today!
What is Pro-Personal Branding?
Let’s start with the definition. Pro-personal branding, or otherwise…
(Pro)fessional Personal Branding means:
To define yourself professionally and to build a reputation within the unique needs of your chosen field in order to positively impact and influence key players in your career path.
Pro-personal branding is the secret sauce for career success (no matter who you are!)
Because it’s not about becoming an influencer and allowing public perception to define your popularity and value. It’s about building a highly targeted and systematic influential strategy in order to define your career path.
Is Pro-Personal Branding right for you?
I recommend pro-personal branding vs. traditional branding or personal branding for anyone who wants to:
- Land a high growth career in any professional or corporate industry
- Submit resumes that grab hiring manager’s attention and land interviews
- Gain instant respect during meetings and interviews before walking in the door
- Advance their career and become frequently considered for promotions
- Network with titans in your field and make a lasting impact on them
- Build trust with potential investors or clients for entrepreneurial endeavors
- Become first choice for leadership positions and positions that affect change
Pro-personal branding is not for:
- Selling a product
- Launching a new business
- Going viral
If you experience any of THOSE side effects, it’s because pro-personal branding is closely related to other forms of branding and can often yield similar results alongside its intended purpose.
So How Do You Build a Pro-Personal Brand?
Luckily, the road to building a pro-personal brand is far more narrow than the process of traditional or personal branding. One simple way to begin is by asking yourself a few questions.
First: What do you want to do?
That one question will help you define your key mission and give you a sense of voice. Once you have answered this question, try drumming up a good visual of who you want to become.
It’s not often too hard to close your eyes and see yourself as who you want to become. Even if what you’re doing when you become her (or him) is slightly vague.
Before I ever knew that I wanted to work in marketing, I would imagine myself walking into a meeting and the room being filled with people that were waiting for me to start the meeting and share my ideas. I imagined myself as a creative leader.
I didn’t worry about the details. I never worried about what I was specifically doing. I just knew I wanted to be important and I wanted people to trust me to lead them toward success.
Knowing the core drive or feeling you want to achieve is the first step to seeing your pro-personal brand for yourself.
For some, their visual might revolve around helping. When they close their eyes, they might picture themselves helping someone physically or emotionally.
For others, their vision might be of themselves building. They may close their eyes and see themselves coding the perfect piece of software or handcrafting a custom shaped surfboard.
But ultimately, start with that visual and then notice the simple details that stick along with that visual.
Second: In your visual, what are your favorite details about yourself?
The details are how people get to know a brand. The memorable style of their outfits, their voice, the colors they choose for their website, the direct communication of their staff or the soft approach they take for customer service, the specific look or style of the pictures they post, or even just the sense of humor or laughter they invoke from an audience are how professional brands get personal.
Now, it’s your turn.
Notice the details about you in your visual. The ones you notice are the ones you really like, and the ones that are likely part of your brand.
When I would visualize myself in my career, I noticed that I was always very polished. I was confident, direct, and I smiled a lot. I made the room laugh, and I felt admired and respected. But, I also noted that in my visuals, I was different. I wasn’t afraid to merge my bohemian or hippy-like style with my desire to look and feel professional. I looked and felt different than others in the room. And that was the primary detail I favored.
Did you know that “attractive individuals will receive more job offers, better advancement opportunities, and higher salaries than their less attractive peers—despite numerous findings that they are no more intelligent or capable”?
That is because they have mastered the details about themselves that make them memorable. It’s not about physical attraction! It’s about harnessing your ability to be unique and to create an impact with those qualities.
The second most common reason applicants land a job interview is because someone in the company knows the candidate.
These little details that you love about yourself are also worth sharing. They are worth recommending, and they are ultimately a major part of your pro-personal brand.
The helper we referenced earlier might picture themselves wearing organic and sustainable clothing, being particularly kind and intimate when speaking with others, taking special care to recycle, remember birthdays, and volunteer on the weekends.
The software developer might find that in their visual, they are uniquely interested in the weird and off-beat, they enjoy getting tattoos, playing video games, and making funny shapes and styles out of their extremely long beard. They are loved and adored by their team.
The custom surfboard shaper may find they view their craft as a philosophical metaphor for becoming closer to nature and ocean. They may surround themselves with friends who are interested in surfing and the outdoors, but in their career visual, they are the voice of the end user within a major surf brand in Southern California.
Once you have this visual, it’s time to bring your pro-personal brand to life.
How do you use your Pro-Personal Brand for a Job?
Now it’s time to use this new visual in your head of your pro-personal brand to take objective and actionable steps to get it in front of the decision makers.
The 2% System focuses on helping build your own pro-personal branded resume website using tools design specifically for job searching. The tools were created by digital marketers to help you use your brand to get more job interviews and land a job at a company that will help you advance and grow your career.
Through eCourses and a resume website builder, you will focus on professionally optimizing and marketing characteristics about yourself that will help you stand out in the applicant pool.
98% of job applicants never land the interview.
This system puts you in the top 2% of applicants that get the call back. This is super easy, affordable, and life changing. And, it’s free to try for 14 days.
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