One of the biggest challenges facing professionals embarking on a job search or career change, is being able to articulate how they differentiate themselves from other candidates. This seems even more difficult for people who have spent a good chunk of their careers with the same organisation.
In his recent Harvard Business Review post, Bill Barnett wrote that a personal value proposition, or PVP, is at the heart of an executive’s career strategy. He believes it’s the foundation for everything in a job search and career progression – targeting potential employers, attracting the help of others, and explaining why you’re the one to pick.
Although the notion of a personal brand sits as uncomfortably as an elevator pitch with many professionals, these concepts have taken root in the career management arena.
If you are clear on what you do well, and the value you offer an organisation, you will be a more attractive candidate to recruiters and prospective employers. Why? You have made their job easier. They will be able to see where you fit in, and how they can market you to others.
Meg Guiseppi, The C-level Executive Job Coach, describes personal branding in this way:
Your brand is your reputation – the combination of personal attributes, values, drivers, strengths and passion as you draw from that differentiate your unique promise of value from your peers.
It’s up to you to identify those qualities and characteristics within you, integrate your value proposition in everything you do, and communicate a crystal clear, consistent message across multiple channels – online and offline – designed to resonate with your target audience.
In her post, Meg lists 10 brand assessment and development exercises. While it’s quite a work-out, this introspective process will help you define and communicate your personal brand, and provide the cornerstone for your career strategy.
For more on preparing for a career change, see my earlier post Career Change Due Diligence.