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Building Your Offline Brand

Personal branding is about who you are and what differentiates you from others — what you know, what you have achieved and what you have to offer to potential employers.

Personal branding is the way you package and market yourself to highlight your employment value. Employers often look for employees who will be a good fit with their organization’s brand or reputation.

During job searches, you probably prepare your resume, portfolio, website, social media accounts and interview clothes with care. However, continuing to build your personal brand throughout your career can make you stand out from the crowd. Consider the following suggestions to build your offline brand.

Polish your professional appearance

  • Practice good grooming and dress appropriately for your industry.
  • Exercise, get plenty of sleep and eat healthy to help you stay sharp.

Identify opportunities to build your brand

  • Get involved in challenging projects at work to increase your knowledge and expertise.
  • Volunteer at nonprofit or civic organizations to build credentials and expand your network.

Showcase your expertise
Demonstrate your achievements and build your credibility by doing the following:

  • Submit articles to trade journals.
  • Speak at conferences.
  • Offer your opinions to the media.
  • Use a blog to build awareness of your subject matter expertise.
  • Network and share information with others in your field.

Record your work accomplishments
Capture numbers and percentages as you track your successes for future use. Keep snippets from the following:

  • Performance reviews
  • Sales reports
  • Commission reports
  • Customer input and surveys
  • Management reports

Be prepared to network and sell yourself

  • Develop both a long and short version of your bio to use when you publish or speak at conferences.
  • Develop a short elevator pitch and practice it until it comes naturally.
  • Carry personal business cards with you everywhere and look for opportunities to share your cards.
    • On your card, include your name, title and a short description of who you are or what you have to offer, along with your phone number, professional email address and web address if applicable.
    • Consider using the back of your card for additional messaging.

You can also build your personal brand by being the go-to person at work and in your professional community, offering assistance when requested. You may be amazed how quickly people will acknowledge your expertise.

Depending on the personal brand you want to develop, you may take different steps to achieve your goals. However, make sure you always reinforce your brand in person, in your marketing materials, in your resume, in interviews and on the job. Your brand should shine through in your actions, words and appearance.

If you have questions on creating your personal brand or on any aspect of employment or the job search, call 800-342-9647 to speak to a career coach.

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