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Your Executive Brand – Hype or Real?

by Kim on June 26, 2015

For years, one of the driving forces of executive resume writing has been identifying, then “selling” your brand via all of your career marketing documents, both on and offline. The question you might ask yourself – what IS a brand and why should I have one?

Search the internet and you’ll find hundreds of articles on the importance of branding yourself. However, when you dig deeper into these articles, it can be overwhelming and somewhat disappointing, as every “expert” has a different opinion as to how to best define your personal brand. While I don’t necessarily consider any of these opinions “wrong,” it’s clear that branding should focus on the value you bring to the table and the reputation you’ve secured, which is really what branding is.

Consider some of the comments I’ve stumbled upon when it comes to branding. Even my head was spinning a bit trying to make sense of these, considering there is not one clear definition of HOW to convey your brand. Most ‘brand strategists’ are looking for one thing – hundreds, or even thousands, of dollars to help define your brand, which you can easily identify yourself, and which will occur effortlessly if your career marketing documents and executive resume focus on the VALUE you bring, the specialized EXPERTISE you offer and a PROVEN RECORD of driving results through EXPERIENCE.

See below for disparate thoughts I’ve picked up about branding, and it will be clear as mud!

“People who interact with your executive brand will experience you via your designed messages, will begin to understand that message and eventually will be able to define you whether they know you or not.  In each and every interaction an executive has within his or her target audience or niche, the personal brand is built – over time and with sharp intention.”

 “Values, passions, talents and other components of the core self are necessary ingredients to energize, guide and inspire the individual to achieve what is often seen as an impossible mission.”

“Think of your professional brand as a thoughtful way of defining how you want to be seen in your professional world. When you create a professional brand as part of an overall career management strategy, it gives you focus and motivation, and over time offers others an easy way to differentiate you.”

In short, your executive brand should clearly communicate what makes you stand out among similarly-qualified candidates. It does not need to be complicated or cost you a fortune to identify or shape what it is; most savvy executives already know their worth. It should, however, make people care about the value you bring to the table, and what benefits they’ll receive by working with you. Your skills and experience should translate to results, which again, in a well-written executive resume, will stand out and help shape your brand naturally.

No matter whether you brand yourself or not, or even believe in it, you need to keep in mind that your brand isn’t going to be cemented by a few tweets or blog posts. It’s not going to magically catapult you into the next great position either, though having one certainly can help. The most important part of any career or personal brand is a culmination of your actions, accomplishments, choices and productive output has proven your value throughout your career and personal life.

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