6 Great Reasons for Having a Professional Brand

A common problem of mid-career tech leaders (10+ years in) is, “how do I fit all my experience on a few pages?” There is a tendency to put EVERYTHING into their resume and by default, their LinkedIn profile. From a recruiter’s perspective, this leads to confusion about what the person is actually best at, not to mention what they really like doing.

Here’s an example from my own career: for several years while at Robert Half International. I led a team of recruiters. I was good at it and our team was in the top 10% of the company for two years in a row. But I really, really did not enjoy the work. I’ve been a leader in many jobs, but I’m not the least bit interested in doing it ever again. So I downplay it or even leave it off altogether.

A professional brand is created by getting very clear about your professional strengths, your key contributions, and what you like doing.

Knowing what kinds of environments you thrive in, what leadership style fosters your best work, and what kind of work/life balance you need for peak productivity is important. Also – a well-defined professional brand is alive and evolving – what you like today might not make the cut later.

Here are six great reasons for creating your professional brand:

1. A clear professional brand helps you decide which qualities and experiences you’ll highlight on your resume and LinkedIn profile. You’ll be able to articulate accomplishments and weave in those experiences – both personal and professional – that make you stand out.

2. A clear professional brand makes job hunting much easier. It gives guidance as you review new roles. When looking for a new position, this clarity will help you vet opportunities.  If you know you work best in an entrepreneurial setting, you may choose not to work for a change-averse, highly bureaucratic company. 

3. A clear professional brand makes interviewing easier. It provides a framework for interviewing.  It offers coherence. With the clarity that comes from introspection, your confidence will also improve.

4. A clear professional brand helps your audience (hiring managers, prospective clients and decision-makers) better-understand the value you bring. You stand out, because you’ve taken time to self-reflect.

5. A clear professional brand makes networking easier. Once you’ve defined your professional brand, the pressure is off when people ask, “So….what do you do?” or “What kind of job are you looking for?” It’s a mini-elevator pitch, a sound bite that gives instant context. 

6. A clear professional brand can benefit your digital presence. When you take the time to honestly evaluate your skills, your preferences, and your perspectives, you’ll direct your social media posts and articles accordingly – what values do you hold dear? What lessons will you talk about?

You don’t need a logo or a mission statement to have a clear professional brand. What you DO need is self-knowledge and the ability to articulate what you bring to the marketplace, whether it’s  a new job, a promotion in your current company, or as a speaker in your industry.

A professional brand offers clarity. And your clarity will be a huge asset.

I work 1:1 with technology leaders who need help better-defining their professional brand.
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