4 Tips for Turning Yourself into a Brand How to Brand Yourself

Original Post: 4 Tips for Turning Yourself into a Brand

How to Brand Yourself

Getting from one level to the next in your career can be a tough climb. In all my years as a recruiter, I found that the number one reason professionals fail to advance is that they don’t realize their worth — or how to capitalize on it.

Most professionals undersell, understate and/or outright don’t take stock of their skills and accomplishments. So, how do you brand yourself for career advancement? Following the steps below will put you well on your way.
1. Assess Your Skills & Abilities. I mean, really take stock. Don’t look at your existing resume.

Start with your current position and list every project you’ve worked on, every dollar you saved, every new skill you mastered, every client who’s bottom line you increased.

Just make a list - no matter how minute the project, dollar amount or skill. Dollars to doughnuts, you have quite an impressive list in front of you. Many professionals don’t ever take the time to do this type of in-depth skill analysis.

Okay, you have your list. Now what?
2. Organize Your List How? I’d separate them into categories. Depending on your profession, they may look something like:

Sales Increased: List all cases where sales increased because of your input (eg, project you headed, direct mail campaign you wrote copy for, reorganization you structured, etc.

Dollars Saved: Similar to the above, list all instances where you saved a client/company money either directly or indirectly.

Skills Mastered: Did you take an HTML class? Did you go on a leadership retreat to master new management policies? Again, whatever skill it is you’ve mastered - whether it be a hard skill like coding, or a soft skill like employee management - put it in this category.

Projects Headed: If you spearheaded a project, list it. Eg, did you convert client files from QuickBooks to Peachtree, a new software you learned? Did you create a filing system to track client images? Did you create a new layout and design for a client brochure?
3. Create a Professional Profile If you’re a freelancer, I advise that you submit professional profiles to potential clients, not a resume (this subliminally says I’m an employee/I want a job).

A professional profile says that you’re an independent consultant who can help a potential client increase their (insert client objective). Eg, sales, customer subscriber list, client retention rate, etc.

If you’re a full-time employee, I would create this category on my resume. You can name it any number of ways, eg, Professional Profile, Professional Summary, Career Highlights, etc. It’s up to you.
The point is to create a place where, at a glance, potential employers can grasp what you can offer.
4. Market Yourself This is where many professionals - freelancers and full-time job seekers alike - fall down. YOU are the product. Market yourself.

Create a professional website and/or create a blog. When you apply for positions/gigs, direct potential clients/employers to this.

Even if you are currently employed, it can be helpful to create some type of online professional preference, if only to keep track of your accomplishments as they happen. Then, when you are ready to move on and/or branch out on your own, all you have to do is make it “Live.”

In today’s ever-competitive professional environment, it’s those who are able to effectively sell themselves who get the plum jobs/assignments. Don’t be left behind.

Brand the thing you know the best - you!

Yuwanda Black is the publisher of InkwellEditorial.com: THE business portal for and about the editorial and creative industries. Don’t want to ever worry about “career advancement” again? Start a freelance writing career! It’s fast, simple and easy. Learn how at InkwellEditorial.com