In a world that’s overflowing with information, it pays to make yourself memorable. Your personal brand statement helps to do just that.
This essential self-marketing tool is basically a statement of your key skills and the value you can bring to any organisation you’re hoping to work for.
We look at where can you use your brand statement, how you go about crafting one and the top tips that will help yours stand out from the crowd.
How to use your personal brand statement
Think of your personal brand statement as an elevator pitch for who you are and what you’ve got to offer. It’s ideal if you want to grab the attention of a hiring manager or recruiter sifting through CVs, or simply have a strong one-liner ready when your Skype interviewer says, ‘So tell me about yourself…’
Your statement can be slotted in anywhere you need to market yourself to a potential employer: at the top of your CV, in a covering email or message, on your LinkedIn page, etc.
You can also use it to start off an interview, or when meeting and networking with people face-to-face. Of course, in person you don’t want to sound like you’re just parroting a script, but it’s useful to have a snappy summary to draw on, especially if you’re faced with one of those moments where your mind goes blank and you can’t quite think where to begin.
The statement in its simplest form is typically a single sentence but it’s useful to have different-length versions for different contexts.
Examples of personal brand statements
- Industry-accredited software developer for award-winning fintech enterprises
- Industry-accredited software developer with 7 years’ experience developing apps and tools for award-winning fintech enterprises
- Industry-accredited software developer with 7 years’ experience developing apps and tools for award-winning fintech enterprises. I’m now looking to develop my strong team-building skills in an environment where technical innovation is vital for business success
How to craft a mission statement
As you’ll see from these examples, mission statements tend to follow a formula. Typically it goes:
- ‘[I am] an X with Y looking to do Z’
X sums up what you do, ideally with some sort of credential or proof point attached e.g. ‘industry-accredited’ or ‘highly experienced’ or ‘bilingual’.
Y relates to your experience and the sort of value you offer e.g. ‘with 5 years’ experience in negotiating merger & acquisition deals in the retail sector’.
Z is what you’re looking for next, again ideally also framed as a benefit to your potential audience e.g ‘looking to translate my proven business development skills into effective fundraising initiatives in the non-profit sector’.
Top tips for a statement that will stand out
1. Start by sitting down and listing your key skills, attributes and experience. Which stand out? Which are likely to matter most to your future boss? How can you combine them to best effect in a statement formula?
2. Think of someone you know with similar experience and goals to you. Does your statement sound just like theirs? What can you change to make yours more distinctive?
3. Remember that every word in your statement has to earn its place. There’s no room for waffle, or repetition, or ambiguity. Keep working it till it’s as pithy as a good newspaper headline In a world that’s overflowing with information, it pays to make yourself memorable. Your personal brand statement helps to do just that.
4. Remember, too, what your statement isn’t: It’s not your mission statement for life, a statement of your dream job, or a personal mantra. Keep it business-like and professional, and avoid too much quirkiness or blue-sky thinking.
5. Keep calm and avoid the hype. Avoid breathless phrases such as ‘unbelievably talented’ or ‘fiendishly intelligent’, or claiming to have dreamt of being an actuary since you were a child…
6. Practise your statement on family friends. Does it make sense out of context? Does it flow smoothly or do you trip up on certain words or phrases? Edit and polish till you have something that feels really easy and natural to say.
7. Try to avoid clichéd words and phrases like ‘passionate’, ‘results-driven’, ‘self-motivated and energetic’, ‘highly organised’ and ‘detail-oriented’. These tend to get overlooked as they’re quite generic and rather over-used. Instead, go for phrases that add value and concrete detail e.g. ‘Recent MBA with…’ or ‘Python-fluent developer with…’ or ‘Treasury-qualified financial officer with…’
Keep it fresh
As with the rest of your CV, it’s a good idea to regularly revisit your statement, and update it as your skills, experience and aspirations change. Likewise, be prepared to tweak it to make it more relevant for different jobs you apply for.
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