- Awareness: Internationally known consultant and author Alan Weiss, states that a brand is “an awareness factor.” Above all, look for opportunities to make the right people aware of your brand. Get on the radar screen. The best brand in the world is useless unless people are aware of it. Initiate an orchestrated campaign to “brandish” your brand. You can get your name out there by writing articles, speaking at association meetings, requesting to work on high-profile projects, serving on projects where you’ll be seen by a number of people (i.e., handing out name-tags at a trade show meeting), cc-ing your boss’s boss on significant emails/memos, and suggesting time-saving/money-saving ideas to your immediate employer.
While he echoes the importance of authenticity and a personal voice, Ryan Leary of Kenexa offers a particularly Web 2.0 take on branding. He urges a conversational — not corporate — tone, boldness (yet a relaxed manner), and communication of your clear value proposition, impact, and sense of excitement. “Be different,” he says.
Visuals can also boost your branding — both the appearance of your job-search materials (such as resume, cover letter, Web site, portfolio, and business/networking cards) and your personal appearance. You can distinguish your materials with as consistent, distinctive look using fonts, colors, layout, and images. And you can brand your personal appearance with color, professionalism, and individual touches that are all your own (such as a trademark scarf or piece of jewelry for women or a signature tie for men.)
Your branding will come into play as you implement strategies described in subsequent chapters — establishing a digital presence, building profiles and interacting on social networking venues, blogging, and integrating multimedia into your job-search materials. And, yes, branding enters into the job-board-based job search used over the last decade because your branding should shine through in your resume, cover letter, and job-interview responses. This, to get the most out of the rest of this book, I recommend you brush up on your personal-branding knowledge with some of these resources: