Ten Signs Your Personal Brand Isn’t Working

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(Forbes.com article)
Your personal brand tells people who you are and what you care about when you are not there to tell them in person.

Your LinkedIn profile is a big part of your personal brand. If you don’t have one, that’s part of your personal brand, too. Your resume is part of your brand.

People who know you have ideas about you that formed during their interactions with you — over a short period of time or over decades.

Your clothes are part of your brand, and so is your car, scooter or bicycle. Your address is part of your brand, as are your tastes in food, music and films. Your jokes, your habits and your mannerisms are part of your brand.

Everything about you that anyone else could notice, encounter or perceive is part of your brand. That isn’t a bad thing.

Some people say “I’m a person, not a product! I don’t want a personal brand.”

You may not want one, but you have one. Even if there were no such thing as the internet you would still have a brand. You would still have a reputation.

You may not want to cast a shadow when you walk outside on a sunny day, but you’re going to cast a shadow anyway.

Here are 10 signs your personal brand needs attention:

1 > People contact you when they see your resume online or find your LinkedIn profile, but they aren’t the people you want to talk to.

2 > When you run into people you know and they ask questions about your life and career, you have to educate them about your actual job. They have the wrong idea about what you do professionally.

3 > Recruiters contact you, but for jobs you aren’t interested in. They never reach out to you about jobs you want.

4 > When someone you know introduces you to someone new, they tend to get your short bio wrong. Their quick introduction is wrong on several key facts.

5 > Your friends and professional contacts send people to you for the wrong reasons. They make introductions on the basis of a flawed understanding of your role and your interests.

6 > People look at your resume and/or LinkedIn profile and tell you “I can’t really tell what you do for a living.”

7 > You find it difficult to describe your work or your career goals in a few words — so it’s no wonder people who encounter you for the first time aren’t sure what you are all about.

8 > When you go to a networking meeting and meet someone new, they tell you what they do for a living and you tell them about yourself. Then they introduce you to a third person, but they botch your introduction completely. That means it’s too confusing!

9 > When you are invited to job interviews, you often find that the interviewer was expecting a very different career history and skill set than the one you showed up with.

10 > When you try to write a one-or-two-sentence bio for yourself, you have trouble doing it. Your personal brand is muddy.

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Branding is very difficult because it requires you to boil down the essentials of what you do professionally. It requires you to capture your career and your aspirations in a few words. That’s anything but a trivial exercise!

Branding yourself takes time and reflection. You have to ask big questions of yourself, like “What are my goals? What am I working toward? How do I want people to see me? What kinds of opportunities do I want to hear about?”

A good way to start your LinkedIn profile — some would say, the most important piece of your personal brand for people who haven’t met you — is by stating what you do or want to do professionally.

Don’t tell us that you are a Multi-Skilled Business Professional. That could mean anything, and few people have time to read your profile long enough to figure out what it means to you.

Tell us what you want to do. Pick a career goal and state it up front. “I’m a Finance Director” or “I help authors get their books published” is a declaration. People worry about branding themselves too narrowly, but the much bigger problem is branding yourself so broadly that your brand means nothing. Be willing to step away from some kinds of work and step toward others.

That requires knowing yourself and knowing the market, but these are things every adult must know in order to survive in this new-millennium workplace with or without LinkedIn.

Tell us what you do or want to do, and why. Tell us how you view your profession or why you chose it.

Your personal brand on LinkedIn, in your resume, in your conversations and carried out to the world by your network will resonate more and more strongly the better you know yourself. When your friends don’t understand what you do, it’s usually because you are not sure yourself what you do.

Now is a great time to reflect on what you love to do, what you do well and what the talent market will pay you to do. That’s your sweet spot.

You run a business, and the business is your career. Every business needs a strong and compelling brand — and so do you!

read more here at forbes.com…

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