The why and how of personal branding statements

If you have ever been interviewed, more than likely you have been nailed with the “tell me about yourself” or “tell me something that is not on your resume” questions.

A name, occupation and/or a long list of hobbies is not a sufficient answer.

Why is it always hard to talk about yourself?

A personal brand statement is a quick statement about yourself that you can use in all of your interviews that will cover any form of the questions listed above. By developing a personal brand, you will figure out who you really are (personality, goals, etc.), who you want to serve (target audience), and how you differ from the competition (your unique factor).

All of that information is combined into a personal brand statement, which can be used for an interview, website, professional bio, appearance, resume, etc.

Three essential qualities.

What is your essence factor? I am in my element when…

What do you possess skills in? My expertise is recognized in…

What qualities make you different? People recognize my ability to…

Once you have identified your three essential qualities, it is time to write your brand statement. The statement should be about a paragraph long. One sentence should describe your audiences’ needs and as a response list your advantages over other candidates (your skills).

Source: Kristi Daeda

Source: Kristi Daeda

How to develop your own statement.

List your qualities. By doing this you are trying to find a quality that only you have – one that differentiates you from other candidates.

Choose an audience. Your target audience should be very obvious. Do not try to make a broad personal statement for many audiences. Make each one individually.

Be honest. It’s easy to exaggerate your abilities, but not wise at all to do this. If you cannot do something, there is no need to say you can. There is also no need to inform that you cannot do something. The brand statement is only supposed to get people interested – not say everything about your professional career.

Make it memorable. You want to stand out in your statement and be original, but do not use large and technical words. Let it flow as if it were being read out loud. Things are easily remembered when they are simple.

Make your impression. Ask friends and family to read your statement. They should have a pretty good impression of you and you want that positive impression to be exhibited on paper. Ask them if they know of any other skills you may have that have not been defined yet. Figure out your frame of reference. What is your point of view? What category do you want to participate in?

Market yourself. Use your personal statement in various social networks. Make a personal website to market yourself. Having a short brand statement means you be able to market yourself quickly whether it is in person, phone, or Internet.

Stay current. Your personal statement should be revised at least once every year. As you learn and grow as a person and professional, so should your statement.

Be sure you spend enough time constructing your statement. Although it is short, it is a powerful marketing tool you will want to take your time with. Click here for examples.

Gabrielle Burgess-Smith
Vice President of Public Relations
EMU PRSSA
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