How to DIY Your Professional Brand | Part 1 of 2

Nike is one of the world’s most iconic brands. It says, “Our mission: Bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete* in the world. *If you have a body, you are an athlete”.

Its mission says nothing about its products. Isn’t that interesting?

Nike has clarified and distilled athletic apparel into an inclusive RESULT: inspiration to every athlete. You, too, can begin with the end in mind, a RESULT, based on your unique combination of experience, perspective, and interests.

Before creating or updating your resume or adding to your LinkedIn profile, take time to self-reflect. Dialing in on what you like to do, what you’re good (or experienced) at, and what the marketplace will pay you for is important.

In this first step, you’ll be gathering evidence. So… assemble the following and plan on taking 30-60 minutes:

1.  Your resume

2.  Performance reviews for the past 3-5 years

3.  LinkedIn recommendations people have given you

4.  A list of extracurricular or passion projects you’ve completed in the past 3-5 years

5.  Something to write with/on

Start by reviewing your resume: in each of your roles over the past 10 years, note the biggest contributions you’ve made. Did you reduce costs? Increase employee morale? Come up with an innovative solution to a persistent problem? Jot these RESULTS down.

Then, take a look at your performance reviews. What did your reviewer say about your skills / performance? That you’re unstoppable? Are you extremely reliable? You finish your work ahead of time and then look for someone else to help? Again, make notes.

Do the same with your LinkedIn recommendations. You should be getting a good snapshot of how others view you and your skills. 

What have you worked on outside of your day job? If you’re a software engineer, did you write a program or an app  for fun? Did you take classes or learn a new skill? Write a blog? Have a YouTube channel or side hustle? Again, make note. 

Once you’ve gathered this data, think about the activities you’ve enjoyed most, things you’d like to keep doing. As you flesh out your resume and LinkedIn profile, keep those in mind. If you’ve managed teams successfully but don’t care to do it again, downplay that experience.

If you don’t have performance reviews or LinkedIn recommendations, ask co-workers and/or managers who know your work well. Ask them what stands out, what they think your most-valuable skills are, what they’d consider a memorable accomplishment.

When I was recruiting for Robert Half Technology, we were required to talk with candidate references at the beginning of their job search. Why? Because references would brag about the candidates, often remembering accomplishments that the candidate had completely  forgotten. Take advantage of this gold mine!

What if you’ve done none of these things? It’s been challenging enough just to show up for your job. You could look for team accomplishments, or perhaps company accomplishments, like doubling in size in the past year. Or, if there’s something you’ve been wanting to do, take steps now to bring it into reality. Take online classes from MITx (they’re free). Start a newsletter, begin that nonprofit, mentor someone, teach what you know, travel to far flung places you’ve dreamed of visiting. Be or become a person of interest(s).

In Part 2, we’ll take the data you’ve gathered and start crafting your brand statement.

Still overwhelmed and not wanting to do this alone? I work 1:1 with tech leaders to help them create or refine their professional brand.
Click here to book a FREE, no-strings intro session and see if we’re a match.

Copyright Katherine Turpin 2024. All Rights Reserved.