Rebranding yourself: A practical guide
It’s no secret that the job market is tough these days. With so many people competing for a limited number of jobs, you need to do everything you can to set yourself apart from the pack. One way to do that is by rebranding yourself.
Rebranding yourself doesn’t mean changing your name or your appearance. Rebranding implies that you’ve grown. You are not the same person you were a few years ago. You have been shaped by the experiences that have made you who you are today. It’s time to reflect on those changes. And to show them to the outside world.
Rebranding means taking your professional and personal growth and sharing that new image for yourself based on who you are and what you have to offer. It means emphasizing your strengths and downplaying your weaknesses. And it means communicating your brand clearly and consistently across all media channels.
It is not enough to have a resume that shows that you go to work. Everyone (for the most part) does. You need something to set you apart from the rest of the pack. Volunteering to sit on a board of a non-profit adds extra skills and knowledge to your resume. To effectively rebrand yourself, you must re-think how you fit into the job market.
If you’re reading this, you most likely are thinking to yourself, “I need a job. I want someone to give me a chance.”
That starting point is defeatist from the beginning. To effectively rebrand yourself, you must learn to think about solutions you can offer. The most significant mindset change you can make is acknowledging that you solve a potential employer’s problem. The employer would not be putting time and effort into recruiting or hiring without a problem or situation they are trying to solve. Therefore, it stands to reason that you are the solution.
If you’re ready to rebrand yourself, here are some tips to help you get started:
CREATE YOUR BRAND
The first step is to determine what your brand stands for. Start by examining yourself and your skills. What kind of impression do you want to give people? Think about the qualities that make you unique. What differentiates you from everyone else in the job market? For example, if most of your experience is in sales, but you’re applying for an office position, you might want to downplay your background in sales. Instead, emphasize the transferable skills that will help you succeed in the role, such as leadership or time management.
FIND AN OPPORTUNITY
Once you’ve determined your brand’s focal points, look for a job that aligns with those qualities. If possible, try to find a company whose brand is consistent with yours. For example, if your brand emphasizes diligence and hard work, it would be a good fit to apply for a business consulting firm where managers and peers alike highly value those traits. Don’t limit yourself geographically either — sometimes traveling can give you access to opportunities outside of what’s available in your local area.
BUILD YOUR BRAND
Before you apply for the job, build a brand around yourself that matches the company’s brand and reinforces what they’re looking for. One way to do this is by creating a website that highlights your skills and experience and links to any work samples or past projects you think would be relevant for employers to consider. You can also promote yourself on social media — make sure all of your posts and pictures reinforce your branding message.
DON’T GET DISCOURAGED
Like every other aspect of the job search process, rebranding takes time and requires effort — there’s no quick fix or magic bullet. Don’t get discouraged if things don’t work out right away. The more you rebrand yourself, the better your chances are of finding employment in your desired field or with a specific company.
Rebranding yourself isn’t just about applying for one job. It’s about creating a new image that will help attract multiple opportunities in the future. Remember, even if you get the job you’re looking for now, your employer values more than just what you can bring to this position — they want to know that you’ll be valuable to them in future roles as well.
REBRAND YOURSELF AGAIN & AGAIN…& AGAIN…
Like any good product or service, rebranding yourself doesn’t stop once you’ve found employment. You need to tweak and update your brand with each new role continually. Every time you take on a new responsibility or challenge, make sure it’s consistent with your brand’s image. This will help strengthen your value proposition and make you more appealing for future opportunities.
If you’re looking for rebranding inspiration, here is an example of self-reinvention from history:
Alan Shepard — Before becoming America’s first man in space, Alan Shepard was a pretty average astronaut trainee. He had good performance reviews, but he wasn’t considered an exceptional candidate by his peers or managers at NASA. But before his historic flight, he underwent extensive training to prepare himself mentally and emotionally for the mission ahead. After taking on this extra work, Shepard became known as “the right stuff” among his former and current co-workers who noted that he exhibited exceptional courage under pressure when faced with the unknown. And just a year after his historic flight, Shepard was given the Chief of the Astronaut Office position.
Shepard took on extra work rebranded himself as a hard-working, stop-at-nothing person. The extra work paid off.
Rebranding oneself can be a daunting task, but the right approach can also lead to great success. So don’t get discouraged if things don’t work out immediately — rebranding takes time and effort, but it’s worth it in the long run. Remember to update your brand with each new role and responsibility continuously.
Originally published at http://davidbrownonline.com on March 21, 2022.