Monday, July 2, 2012
Personal Branding – You Can Tell This “Book” by Its Cover By Dr. T. William Hefferan Personal branding includes how you present yourself to others -- your actual visual presentation – anything and everything that someone will see when they meet you. On the other end of the continuum of personal branding ingredients is the “image” you want to present to people whether in person or otherwise. It’s the whole package you call you; the real you. In his article in Fast Company Magazine, December 1997, Tom Peters brought personal branding to life. The personal branding “industry” has grown considerably since then including many experts who have written excellent books on the subject. What I present here is an overview as I see personal branding in relationship to employment. In my book, JOBS, I devote a chapter to personal branding in which I recommend many of these authors and their books. Product branding came first as a marketing mainstay for companies who want their product to be indelibly imprinted, even subconsciously, in the minds of all consumers. Personal branding takes on some of the qualities of its older sister but has some distinct differences – it’s selling people -- who change over time, and a personal brand had better be 100% accurate! Employers want more than just the typical two page resume. They want to be able to feel they “know” the person behind the bland resume. What are your in-depth qualities and work passions? What personal and professional attributes will morph into huge benefits for the prospective employer and how? How will you fit in with the culture of the company? What do people need to know about you to know who you really are? What’s so special about you – what sets you apart? Unlike product branding where exaggeration is commonplace, personal branding has to be authentic. Think of it this way, if your personal branding communication includes any implications that your training is something it is not, remember, you may be showing up on Monday morning expected to perform brain surgery when you actually drove an ambulance for two weeks! In my book, I call this honesty requirement the EMBER Model of Ethics and Authenticity. EMBER refers to the process in which employees and employers establish a mutually beneficial and rewarding employment relationship. Many using self-promotion may not effectively communicate the true self that includes the passion an applicant might have for a job. However, effective personal branding strategy adds personal communications regarding the true self to the traditional concept of self-promotion. Online social networking complicates personal branding even more. How can you maintain a certain professional image – your brand – when you want to relax and let down your guard? Sure, we all act differently when we are in a meeting with our boss, compared with those times we are with friends. Many exhibit different personalities with each website they use. But the core you is still present and needs to be consistent, within reason. Personal branding has to be authentic. It also has to leave room to grow and change as you and your philosophies change. Personal branding is a bit more complex than first meets the eye. But when it works, it works. A primary goal for individuals participating in social networking is that they expand personal and business contacts through personal communications online. In the process, these individuals can create friendships with these contacts. This is a direct result of effective personal branding strategies. Given that there are about 7 billion people on the planet, how can we all be different with our own unique personal brand? When you look at the entire “package” – your personal brand image -- we all have distinct qualities. Think of it this way, as an employee, wouldn’t you love to land your perfect dream job? As an employer, wouldn’t you love to hire only the absolutely perfect employees for the job? In its purest ideal form, that’s the story personal branding can provide us. For More Information - Jobs and unemployment concerns are definitely some of the biggest issues facing the United States at this time. If you would like more information about JOBS by Dr Hefferan or about his organization – Wisdom in the Streets, please visit his website http://drhefferan.com/. Order your copy of JOBS, How the United States Can Reach Long-Term Full Employment today - http://www.amazon.com/JOBS-United-States-Long-term-Employment/dp/0615598366 About JOBS, How the United States Can Reach Long-Term Full Employment In JOBS, Dr. T. William Hefferan, DBA, MBA, CCIM, CPM provides a stunning approach to how we achieve long-term full employment in the United States. Learn how the essential shift in how we need to think about jobs and employment accelerates our timely transformation into a knowledge worker economy. This profound shift invigorates our heritage and foundation of innovation and entrepreneurship – restoring our global leadership in education and learning – leading to a dawn of new discoveries, creating exciting new jobs and unique careers. Learn how everyone benefits from this journey to a steady stream of rewarding jobs as Dr. Hefferan demystifies our journey to long-term full employment with his original entertaining presentation style. In JOBS, the unemployed as well as employees wanting a better job learn how to secure their perfect job; employers learn how to attract and retain top-tier employees; and entrepreneurs feel personal growth as they discover new ways to put their ideas and initiatives to work. Learn the value of ethics and authenticity in the workplace and why everyone in an organization can be a leader -- adding value to the company and the employee’s career growth. Join Dr. Hefferan in this contemporary revolution to a brand new America that will always have meaningful and rewarding jobs. About Dr William T Hefferan With over 23 years of experience as President/CEO of a 100 employee company, Dr. Hefferan decided to put his corporate work experience together with his academic background and solve one of our most significant societal problems. His unique approach to explore ways to end the persistent ups and downs of unemployment includes a peer reviewed research study he designed specifically to discover ways to solve the problem. Dr. Hefferan shares with readers his life-changing event that compelled him to dedicate over three years of his life to find these sound solutions, creating a blueprint for America to reach long-term full employment.