Your personal brand should be the sum total of all that you, as an individual, use to make yourself distinctive in public compared to every other person.
In this post, I will cover why your unique outcomes in your professional career are so important to creating or fixing your personal brand.
Outcomes vs. Output
Each of us needs to accept that there’s a big difference between our professional outcomes versus output. For instance, if you are an accountant, your output in the professional sense is that you provide essential direction to people who need advice about financial matters. Your outcomes in the professional sense need to be stated like this: As a certified public accountant, I have helped 15 clients in the last year each save thousands of dollars when they filed their income tax documents. Do you see the difference between output and outcomes in this example?
The lesson here is: Clearly stating your professional outcomes will give you more persuasive impact than if you merely state your professional output. This is true whether you are writing about your outcomes in a job application or in your resume, or, if you are talking to someone who may want to hire you for what you can do for their organization.
If you are one accountant in a crowded field of tens of thousands of accountants, why should you expect anyone to hire you unless you can differentiate yourself by your professional outcomes? This is true for every professional!
Rewrite Your Career History
The simple fact in creating or fixing your personal brand is: You must take the initiative to rewrite your career history to show clear and distinct outcomes for which you were responsible. Having a resume that shows merely your job titles, companies you worked for, years of service, and other traditional data points will get you nowhere fast in today’s highly competitive job market.
You should sit down and carefully go through everything you have done professionally over the past 15 years to extract at least one essential outcome within each job you held. Then, you need to write out those professional outcomes in clear and compelling language without sounding like you are bragging wildly.
Of course, if you were a heroic bus driver who truly did singlehandedly pull a dozen school kids to safety from a bus crash, then by all means, go ahead and say that!
Otherwise, don’t b.s. and just tell the truth about what you accomplished without a lot of embellishment or excessive adjectives.
Believe Your Own Rewritten History
I must spell something out for you: To create or fix an effective personal brand for yourself, you must genuinely believe your own rewritten history that spells out your unique professional outcomes. It’s not good enough for you to write out some outcomes and keep track of them in a document somewhere on your computer. You must believe in your heart and soul that you actually accomplished what you say that you accomplished. If not, you will come across as phony and transparently desperate.
What I’m telling you is this: In your mind, you must reshape how you think about yourself professionally so that you emphasize the most positive and clear outcomes for which you were responsible. You must believe in yourself, yes. But, you must accept the need to redefine yourself professionally to stand out during this highly competitive time. If you do not do this redefinition of yourself, you cannot succeed in creating an effective personal brand. It’s that simple.
Protect Your Self Image
How you think of yourself personally and professional is your responsibility to nurture and protect. How can you expect anyone to believe in you if you don’t believe in yourself? You should not expect anyone to hire you from among a huge field of other job seekers unless you are clearly expressing your unique outcomes from a true sense of belief in what you can do for others. This cannot be faked. This must spring from your own genuine sense of self worth that nobody but you can give you.