Why Personal Branding Matters to Your Career Now
If you have attempted a job search in the past few years, or even if you haven’t, you probably heard stories about corporate recruiters and hiring managers receiving hundreds of resumes and CVs for individual job openings. The stories have died down some in the past year or so as employers and job seekers accept this as a new reality. Meanwhile, when headhunters are tasked with the recruiting responsibility, they are given orders to find candidates who have already succeeded in positions exactly equivalent to the one they are filling. This environment is understandably very daunting for individuals seeking to switch careers.
Even after establishing a basic technical competence in a new career, convincing others — recruiters and hiring managers, in particular — to see you as well-suited for that new career can be a very difficult challenge.
This is why personal branding and self-marketing are essential career management strategies for those who expect to remain professionally mobile going forward. Personal branding and self-marketing are subtly different concepts. Self-marketing is an important strategy at the time of making a career switch. It refers to creating and managing marketing assets — such as your resume or CV, personal business cards, and your executive biography — and to conducting a precise sales campaign in which you pitch yourself as the immediate solution to a specific problem. Personal branding is more a long-term strategy. You need to establish and reinforce your brand over time for its influence to bring about and facilitate transitions to new career opportunities.
Personal branding is not new, but it has taken on a distinct buzz in the past few years. Like networking and most other career management strategies, personal branding can be most impactful if you start doing it well before you need to take advantage of its benefits. Here are a few personal branding resources from CFA Institute that you might want to check out:
- “Career Conversations: Personal Branding (Podcast)”: recorded in 2011, this conversation with Simon Vetter addresses some fundamental principles of personal branding.
- “Four Strategies for Building Your Professional Brand on LinkedIn (Webcast)”: recorded in 2012, this discussion with executive resume writer Jared Redick explains how to ensure your LinkedIn profile and activity reflect and enhance your personal brand.
- “How Personal Branding Changes as Careers Progress (Webcast)”: recorded in 2013, this conversation with branding expert Brenda Bence explores the way personal branding changes at different stages of your career.
- “Career Conversations: The Process of Personal Branding (Video)”: Recorded in 2014, this conversation with Jean Oplinger considers why personal branding persists as a relevant career management strategy.
And some more from around the web:
- “Personal Branding Is A Leadership Requirement, Not a Self-Promotion Campaign” (Forbes)
- “How to Get Promoted Using Personal Branding” (eFinancialCareers)
- The Personal Branding Blog
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All posts are the opinion of the author. As such, they should not be construed as investment advice, nor do the opinions expressed necessarily reflect the views of CFA Institute or the author’s employer.
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