Your Career: Personal branding
A personal brand can distinguish you from other job applicants and help employers grab your best traits. Employment reporter Asa Aarons filed the following report.
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A brand is defined as an identifying symbol or mark that distinguishes a product or company from its competitors. In this field, logo designers are often the creative experts.
But there's also such a thing as a "personal brand," something that distinguishes you from other competing job hunters. When it comes to that field, William Arruda of Reach Personal Branding is an expert.
"Personal branding is understanding what is authentic to you, what differentiates you from everyone else and what makes you relevant and compelling to people making decisions about you," said Arruda.
He teaches people how to further their career goals by developing their brand.
"I once worked with a woman who wanted to take over international relations for her company. But she polled people around her, and she realized no one thought of her as 'international,' no one thought of her as a leader. Yet in fact that was who she really was, she just wasn’t communicating it," said Arruda. "She changed the way her office looked, so that she had clocks that said, ‘Hong Kong, Paris, New York, San Francisco,’ so people knew she was 'international.' She had Italian newspapers delivered to the office. She got the job."
Arruda says this type of branding works for people at all career levels, and that building a unique image can even start on the first interview.
"Change your resume to include the logos of companies you've interned for, so that you have brand association with those logos," he said.
Arruda developed the 360-Degree Branding Assessment Tool, a calculator that guides you through the process of branding by supplying questions you should be asking yourself and people around you.
Lara Klein the associate director of the executive MBA program at New York University Stern School, says the tool has proven invaluable to MBA candidates hoping to create or perhaps recreate themselves.
"The world is changing very rapidly and companies are having to reinvent themselves, as the global marketplace changes," said Klein. "So people as individuals have to keep up with those changes."
Arruda says to understand personal branding, one must take a look at some commercial branding seen and understand the similarities and differences.
"There are brands and there are commodities. Commodities you can beat on price. You cannot get a job if you’re a commodity," said Arruda. "You want to stand out the way Starbucks stands out from Dunkin’ Donuts, for example. So you want to say, 'What is it that makes me stand out? What is the greatest strength that I have? How can I become known for that strength?'"