I'm a Career Coach — 6 Professional Brand Hacks I Share With All My Clients

Building your professional brand will now only show how you’re unique, but ensure the job opportunities that you’re searching for or come your way are the right fit.

woman working on professional brand

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Anne Matsushita197
May 19, 2024 at 5:35PM UTC

Quick, what’s the first thing that comes to mind when you hear “The Kardashians?” What about “Elon Musk” or “Oprah?” Perhaps it’s an emotion, adjective, phrase, logo, ad or product. That instant recognition is the power of a strong brand.

Now, what comes to mind when someone hears your name? If you’re not sure, this is why building your brand identity can help your career. 

Building your professional brand will now only show how you’re unique, but ensure the job opportunities that you’re searching for or come your way are the right fit.

Once you define your brand, you can take action to support it, so you become the person you want to be. Others will notice that data wizard who can not only synthesize numbers but also tell compelling stories, or the never-miss-a-beat Executive Assistant-slash-boss whisperer who can calm down the C-suite everyone else is intimidated by. The idea is when a position opens up that you’d be great for, they’ll think of you. After all, it’s not who you know, it’s who knows you.

Here are tips my clients and I talk through to get started on their professional brand.

1. Get clear on your strengths and values.

Take assessments to better understand and articulate yourself. Everyone has a different mix of soft skills. Sometimes we don’t recognize the things that come naturally to us as strengths, so it can be eye-opening to identify yours. 

There are tons of free and paid assessments out there to help you identify your strengths. Traitify and StrengthsFinder are popular options.

2. Google yourself. 

Your future manager may do this before interviewinging you. Are you curious as to what they may find? If your online presence doesn’t match your current brand, now’s the time to make changes.

Set your social media to private, request to be removed from websites you don’t want to appear on, and create videos or blogs to boost your brand.

3. Do LinkedIn research. 

If you’re job hunting, realistically, you’ll be up against other candidates with similar skills and experiences. To set yourself apart, check LinkedIn profiles of potential teammates. See what strengths and knowledge you have that are different from theirs. This can be your selling point to show how you’ll add value and bring a fresh perspective to the team.

4. Weave your brand into your cover letter. 

Did you get an awesome performance review from your boss? A positive comment on a customer satisfaction survey from someone you helped? Add a quote to your cover letter. Tell people what you’re known for to reiterate your expertise.

5. Enhance your resume. 

Think of your resume as a marketing tool, not a job description.  Then incorporate your brand into your accomplishments. If you’re not sure this is coming through, try thinking “so what?” at the end of each bullet point. 

“Responsible for selling insurance” becomes “closed $1M YTD by upselling and using persuasion, ranking in the top 5% due to competitive spirit.” Much more compelling and impressive.

6. Ask for feedback.

This may be the most uncomfortable aspect of building your personal brand, but can give you so many insights. While your friends and family may be great cheerleaders — and it’s important to hear the good stuff! — it’s also beneficial to ask people outside of your squad. Consider former or current managers, peers, direct reports, and stakeholders, especially the ones who don’t sugarcoat. If this feels too awkward, create an anonymous survey they can fill out. It may be hard to hear but can help you course-correct if people’s perception isn’t aligned with who you want to be. Or it could confirm that you’re on the right track.

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This article reflects the views of the author and not necessarily those of Fairygodboss.

With a deep background in Human Resources, Anne leads with empathy. As a Career Coach with Randstad RiseSmart, she uses a highly collaborative style and asks powerful questions to encourage self-reflection. She’s earned a reputation as a knowledgeable and comforting coach who makes clients feel like they’re her only client. Feel free to connect with her on LinkedIn.

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