My clients frequently ask me: “How do I stand out from everyone else in the job market?”
I see a lot of women get stuck here, especially if they haven’t actively searched for a new job in several years or if they don’t feel like they have a particularly sexy skill set.
Figuring out how to distinguish yourself from everyone else in the job market is all about personal branding.
Forgive me for stating the obvious but to have a personal brand, you have to get PERSONAL.
That means letting people see who you are beyond just your skills, expertise and competencies.
There are a lot of different ways you can build and share your personal brand. Here are 3 of my favorite strategies:
- Know What Makes You Different
- Have A Strong Elevator Pitch
- Create A Compelling LinkedIn Profile
Know What Makes You Different
In order to stand out from other job seekers, you need to know what’s unique about you. It doesn’t have to be anything exotic or totally out there. Often times, what’s unique about you is the total composition of your skills, competencies and personal attributes.
This is the notion of your “talent stack,” a term coined by Dilbert cartoonist Scott Adams. This refers to the systems we use to layer “one modest skill on top of another until the effect is something special.”
Your unique combination of skills won’t look quite like anyone else’s. This differentiated value proposition is exactly what you need to leverage when promoting yourself.
Recommended Action: Develop an inventory of your talents, skills, competencies and personal attributes and craft a story about who you are based on your talent stack.
Have A Strong Elevator Pitch
Once you have a clear view of your unique talent stack and what makes you different, you’re ready to put together an elevator pitch. Your elevator pitch is the perfect response for when someone asks, “What do you do?” or “Tell me about yourself.” It gives people a quick glimpse into not only WHAT you do, but who you are.
An elevator pitch should be concise – no more than 1-3 sentences. It should give people a sense of your skills, competencies, expertise AND your personality. It’s your chance to share what makes you special compared to other people with the same skills, competencies and expertise.
Recommended Action: Draft your elevator pitch and run it by at least 3 friends, family members and co-workers to see if it captures who you really are. Once you’re happy with the final version, practice it over and over again until you can confidently deliver it.
Create A Compelling LinkedIn Profile
LinkedIn is my favorite social media platform, especially for job seekers. It’s a fabulous way for you to establish yourself as a thought leader and show people who you really are.
LinkedIn is a great vehicle for recruiters and others to find you and for you to leverage your network to make connections.
Some of the ways you can make your LinkedIn profile compelling:
- Create an interesting headline – Don’t just use your title here. You can include a short phrase describing your differentiated value proposition or a few descriptive adjectives or words that give people a glimpse into what makes you interesting and successful.
- Use the summary section to tell your story – The summary is an opportunity for people to get to know you, as a human being, not a corporate cog. After all, this is a social network! Let people know what you’re passionate about professionally, a quick overview of your expertise and who you’re interested in connecting with.
- Keep your experience high-level – Keep your descriptions short; describe in 1-2 sentences what you did, and if it’s an organization people aren’t familiar with, you may want to include a description of the organization.
Note: Your profile should not be the same as your resume, but it can complement it. Your resume should detail your relevant work experience and accomplishments; your LinkedIn profile should tell a story about who you are and your career.
Recommended Action: Search LinkedIn for some profiles you admire. Think through how you can apply the practices I’ve shared and the inspiration from the profiles you find to your own profile. To get you started, here’s my profile.
These strategies will help you find greater clarity around your personal brand and communicate your value to the professional world. To learn more about how I support professional women to stand out and build the career of their dreams, check out my 7 Day Boot Camp, my 1:1 coaching programs and my group training and coaching program.
I've also created a freebie you can grab right here to get started today: my Brand Building Guide.