Saturday, July 23, 2011

Part 3: Another Job Search Essential: Your Personal Brand

The job market continues to change and so must your approach to finding a job. Personal Branding is the latest key to success for your job search. The market is very competitive and a Personal Brand will help you stand out from your competition.

You may be wondering though “what is personal branding and how do I implement it in my search?” In this three part series we cover the what, where, why, and how of personal branding.

Part 1 covered
 What is personal branding?
 Why should I implement branding in my job search?

Part 2 covered
 How do I identify my brand?

In the third and final part of this series you will discover where to use your brand in your job search.


The basic concept of personal branding is that your entire job search has a consistent message, look, and feel. Think of it as your ad campaign.

Other than Geico, which has multiple ad campaigns going at one time, the gecko, the talking money, and the Rod Sterling character, most companies only have one ad campaign running during a particular timeframe. You should be like most companies and only have one campaign going at a time.

Here is a list of things to check to be sure you are being consistent with your marketing materials:

Name: Do you use the same name on all of your marketing materials or do you have your formal name in some places and not others? Do you use a middle initial in one place but not everywhere?

Job Title: When you state what you are looking for, are you consistent with the job title? If you list various titles for the same job, do you list them in the same order?

Document Header: Is the header (content and format for your name and contact information) on your resume the same as on your networking guide and cover letter? This is like your stationery. If you laid out all of the pieces of your marketing material together on a table, would you instantly know they are for the same person without having to read the name?

Color and Font: If you have a website, is it the same color scheme as your business card? Do you have a logo or graphic that you consistently use for your marketing materials?

Consistent with the Product: Is your brand consistent with the product - you? Are you looking for a position based on its title or pay but is not consistent with what you can do or want? If you are looking for an upper management position, do you dress and groom like upper management? For instance I dress conservatively (suits) so my appearance would not be consistent with someone in fashion or a creative field.

Now let’s cover the specific places to add your branding message to your marketing materials.




If you developed and want to use your tagline on your resume, it should go immediately under the header and is considered part of your header. If you have a horizontal line under your contact information, then the tagline can go under the graphic line.

Consider typing the tagline in italics and in title case (first letter of each primary word is capitalized). Decide if you want the tagline in color so it stands out when viewed or printed on a color printer. Realize however that if the recipient prints on a black and white printer it will show in a shade of gray so you may want to test printing it in black and white to see how it looks.

Personal Brand Statement (PBS):

You do not need to use both a tagline and personal brand statement on the resume. If you use both, do not use the exact same set of words. Example: my tagline is “The Affordable and Successful Job Search Coach”. If I use that on my resume and want to use my personal brand statement as well, I will want to use other words for “affordable” and “successful”.
If you use your personal brand statement in your resume it should go where you have a career summary. It can be used in place of your existing career summary or blended in.


Be sure to list your accomplishments in the section “above the fold” and under the job history that support your brand. If you don’t, your brand will ring hollow.


If you added your tagline to your resume header, you should add it to the header on your cover letter. You should always use the same on all of the job search documents you create.

Using the T cover letter format, you should be sure the qualifications you list support your brand. For more about the T Cover Letter go to:


Side note: Every job seeker should have a business / contact card. In fact it has surprised me how many job seekers do not have or use one. My next article will be on the importance to job seekers of having a contact card.

It is essential that you add your tagline to your contact card. You may also want to add a few points from your Personal Brand Statement onto the card, maybe in bulleted format. Do not add the entire PBS to the card; it is too much text.


If you use an e-mail system that has the feature to add a signature block to the e-mail (name, contact information), you want to preformat the signature to include your tagline.

If your e-mail system does not have that feature, open a Word document and develop a signature block yourself that you can use to copy and paste into your e-mails. That will also help make your correspondences more professional looking.


In your LinkedIn profile, you can include your tagline in the free form field under your name. Your entire profile, including your photo, should support your brand as well. Be sure to request recommendations from people who can attest to your brand. Your photo should be consistent with your brand.

Hiring authorities will search on-line for your name to see what is out there about you. Before they do, you should do a search on your name to discover what’s out there about you. Take the time to clean up your Facebook, MySpace, YouTube, and blogs from anything that could eliminate you as a candidate.

By doing an internet search on your name now you will know what is out there currently. What about new entries? There is a tool you can use to alert you to future mentions. Google Alert can be used to identify any mention of your name on-line that the search engine encounters. Note however, it will give you alerts for anyone and everyone with the same name. It is easy though to quickly review all alerts and delete the ones that are not relevant.


The basic elevator pitch includes your name, title, what you are looking for, and ends with a closing question in the form of a question. Your elevator pitch should also include your tagline whether you use the one you developed or a conversational version of it.


The networking guide is the one page document you should give to people in your network so they have something specific and actionable to do to help you in your job search. Just like with your resume and cover letter, the networking guide should include your tagline or brand statement.


When I worked in Information Technology (IT), I was known for taking over teams that were struggling and turning them around. I improved productivity and quality and increased customer satisfaction and employee engagement. That is what I want to communicate during an interview with an IT company.

During the interview, you want to be sure to communicate your brand, what you are known for, the value you bring, and how this company will benefit by hiring you.

Maintain your brand. Be sure other people know about you and the value you bring by participating in in-person networking and LinkedIn groups.

Develop new skills, increase self-awareness, expand your network, and evolve your brand as you evolve.


There are some fabulous books on the market about personal branding. They include but are not limited to the ones listed here. If you have recommendations about other books on personal branding, please e-mail me the titles and authors.

Me 2.0, Revised Edition by Dan Schawbel

Career Smart: Five Steps to a Powerful Personal Brand by Sherri Thomas

Managing Brand You by Jerry S. Wilson / Ira Blumenthal

Judi Adams is the Affordable and Successful Job Search Coach. In addition to her coaching practice, Ms. Adams is a keynote speaker and her blog of job search articles are read world-wide. Ms. Adams is about to publish her first book. Stay tuned for more about her upcoming, one of a kind, book about the job search.

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