Sunday, November 29, 2009

Creating Your Brand Statement: Brand Statement

In previous posts about the importance of a personal brand, we concentrated on how to create a personal brand using web tools such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Now it’s time to create your own personal brand statement. A brand statement will help your cover letter or resume stand out from thousands of others! In the next several blog postings, I will share information with you taken from leading personal branding expert and career advancement coach, Robert Allen Paul, and his “Company Of One” presentation at Buena Vista University. I would recommend his valuable message to every student. (Part I: Your Brand Part II: Core Competencies Part III: Brand Attributes Part IV: Brand Identity Part V: Brand Promise
Part VI: Brand Vision Part VII: Brand Loyalty + Brand Equity) Part VII: Brand Statement

What Do You Say?
Congratulations! You’re now one of the fortunate few who understand who they really are, what they really do, how they do it differently from everyone else and the benefits of that difference to prospective employers. You even have a practical understanding of the principles that will get you in front of those key contacts. The only question is: What do you say?

Maybe we should start with what not to say. There are plenty of examples out there. Most of us will spend a lot of time fine tuning our resumes, but when it’s time to introduce ourselves, we just generate something generic like this:

Hi, Robert.

My name is John Johnson and I am, as the subject line suggests, inquiring into possible careers at Cuneo. I am a recent college collegegraduate from Acme University with a specialization in internet, television, film and new media marketing. If you have an entry level positions available at all, I would love to chat with you. I have included my resume, so please review it and let me know what you think. Thanks for you time and I hope to hear more from you soon.

This is an actual excerpt from an email Robert Allen Paul received from a graduate of a Big Ten school. Only the names have been changed. Here’s what he had to say:

“Aside from all the typographical and grammatical errors, there’s nothing terribly wrong with this introduction. But there’s nothing really right about it either. Certainly nothing interesting or insightful or enlightening or engaging. Is he really interested in any entry level position I might have? Does he really think I’m going to open and review his resume? And does he really want to know what I think? I don’t think so.”

Do you remember –back at the beginning of this blog –when I told you the first step in developing a career is differentiating yourself from everyone else? And that differentiating yourself begins with developing a summary statement that helps prospective employers recognize your personal strengths and their professional applications? The email above isn’t it.

So, what do you say? You already know!

This is where we bring it all together. This is where we combine all the results of your hard work.

Begin by copying the elements you’ve created in previous blogs into the appropriate blanks below. Now read them aloud, in the order that you’ve written them, as if they comprise one, cohesive paragraph. Because they do.

(Brand) I AM_______________________________________________

(Core competency) AND I HAVE A TALENT FOR ___________________________________________________________________________________________________.


(Brand Attributes) I AM _____________, ______________ AND ___________.


An example might be something like this:

I am John Johnson and I have a talent for critical thinking. My objective is to eventually earn a position as the chief marketing analyst for a category-leading consumer packaged goods company. I’m inquisitive, strategic and self-motivated. As a result, I can offer the right company an opportunity to maximize project results with a minimum of supervision.

Read yours again. What you have is something that most people –and many companies –don’t have. You have a comprehensive Brand Statement. Your brand statement isn’t meant to be cast in bronze or carved in stone. It’s a living document that is meant to be reread and reworked and rewritten regularly.

Next up - Creating your brand statement: Putting it all together.

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