When you’re looking for a new role, you are your own Jerry Maguire! When speaking to recruiters, people in your network and hiring managers, you literally have seconds to make an impact. Being able to sum up unique aspects of your ability and potential that excites others is a fundamental skill. Yet many executives pay little attention to the continuing development of your Brand Statement.
Your Brand Statement is arguably the most important tool to have in your job search toolkit. It’s the quick, succinct summation of who you are and what you have to offer an organisation. This is your way of managing the first impression a person has of you when you start talking about yourself. The first impression you create will greatly influence how you are treated and viewed in the job market.
You only have a few seconds to make a good first impression and get someone’s interest, so it is important to be confident and sell the right elements of your value proposition when introducing yourself for the first time. This is your opportunity to sum up the unique aspects of who you are and what you have to offer. Depending on time, your Brand Statement should contain the following major elements:
Where you are going forward in your career. State your functional area and professional status, not your job title.
Your current/last position. Not your exact job title; usually it is too specific or particular to the organisation. Translate it into something anyone can understand. State your key responsibilities, areas of expertise and achievements.
Your background, focusing where you’ve come in your career, relevant qualifications, key organisations and industries.
Include what is unique about you and the value you bring.
Your future focus. Enthusiastically paint a picture of the kind of work you want to do, the kind of contribution you want to make and the kind of results you want to achieve for an organisation. If you are in the exploration stage in your career transition, don’t be afraid to communicate that. Explain the career options, types of work, organisations, or industries you are exploring at this time.
Share an example of what you have delivered most recently.
Ultimately, you should have several versions of your Brand Statement, ranging in length from 30 seconds up to several minutes. Longer versions, which include more information about your strengths and achievements, may be appropriate for some networking conversations and interviews. In the longer version, you might consider adding something of your “Personal Brand” - that brings the statement to life and differentiates you.
A well thought out and practiced Brand Statement is your tool to assist in managing that very important first impression. The key point of your Brand Statement is not to ask the person to do something for you – it's to tell that person what you can do for them. Then you can get them to “Show me the money”!
Talent Management Consultant
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