Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Mid-Career Personal Branding is Critical!

Here's is a re-post of my guest post on Dan Schawbel's Personal Branding Blog:

I recently spoke to a group of mid-career executives about personal branding….and they looked at me with puzzlement – personal branding – at this stage of my career? What they’re thinking is “I’ve never used personal branding, and I’ve gotten this far without it…” They nodded their heads during my talk, but I think most of them were dismissing the concept.

News flash to the 50+ crowd- studies say that you’re retirement is farther off than you may think and in fact, you may be one of many who are suddenly on the job market after years in the same company and/or industry. If this is you – or someone you know – you’ll be pleased to know that personal branding is a career management tool.

So, who needs personal branding? You do!

These days job candidates – from the boardroom to the mail room - need to articulate a promise of value that will convince the prospective employer you can add to the growth of the company. Your personal brand promise needs to be apparent in your resume, your cover letter, your “look”, your approach, your conversation –and especially your online presence. Just because you’re getting older doesn’t mean that you can not and should not keep up to date with technology.

Most “recession era” job seekers are learning that personal branding helps you be more in control of the direction of your career by increasing your visibility and ability to attract and land target jobs.

Mid-Career Personal Branding Tips:2256400301_cd701f04d9

  1. Use more than one channel to promote your personal brand. Create a personal, blog, or online resume that prominently features your Personal Branding Statement
  2. Tell readers what they will gain by hiring or working with you
  3. A picture is worth 1000 words. Use photos and graphic designs that reinforce your verbal message to create memorable.
  4. Reinforce your personal brand in all your interactions with others. Mention your key attributes and special qualities in voice mail messages, your email signature, and whenever you speak with current or potential clients face to face.

What happens when your brand is tarnished?

Many mid-career professionals are more than a little “afraid” to put themselves out in public so prominently. It is counter-intuitive to those who came up in a corporate culture or team work. Times have changed. And have no fear – if Donald Trump can survive a brand “hit”, anyone can.

It was recently reported in the Vancouver Sun: Donald Trump, the real estate mogul who has splashed his name on everything from skyscrapers to neckties to bottled water, has suffered a string of recent reversals that threaten to dilute his cachet, say branding experts. His name, which he often licenses to real estate projects in which he has no direct control, has earned him millions.

“His brand is associated with success and making money. And every time the word bankruptcy appears next to Trump, that’s not good,” said Allen Adamson, managing director of Landor, a brand consultancy. “He can take a few chinks in the armor, but I think he’s probably at the limit.”

On the other hand, failure might not tarnish Trump’s image as much as it might seem, said Scott Davis, a partner at Prophet, a branding firm. Trump has some wiggle room because his story exalts the comeback, not just uninterrupted success. Davis said.

“He’s the guy who bounces back,” Davis said. “He epitomizes a part of the American dream that people latch onto. He’s somebody that has come through contentious times and he ends up back on top.”

If The Donald can do it – why not you?

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