Whether you’re just getting into the job market or have 25 years under your belt, you’ve probably noticed there is a lot of competition.

It starts with college admissions and follows us to the boardroom. There are jobs we get, jobs we want, and promotions we’re ready to tackle.

How do you avoid getting lost in a sea of competitors?

We’ve all heard of “Branding” as it relates to products and businesses. On a professional level, your “Personal Brand” is how you distinguish and differentiate yourself from others.

Don’t make the same mistake many well-known brands have made by taking a “me too” approach. The roadside is littered with companies that tried to imitate their competitors.

If you want to truly embrace and develop your personal brand — the one that will get you ahead — you have to step outside of the obvious and learn to open the door to new perspectives.

Find the Gaps

If you want to get ahead — either at your current job, in a bigger company, or in your own start-up — you need to identify the gaps.

Where are they? Why do they exist? And how can you help fill them? Don’t just think about how you can do something better. Think about what you do that others don’t. Think about how you’re different and why it matters.

Get Comfortable in Your Own Skin

Get comfortable with the idea that you need a brand. What is your personal story? What are your beliefs and ideals? How do they make you different and how can you use them to get ahead?

Your brand doesn’t encapsulate you as a whole. It encapsulates the best of you — the highlights that set you apart from the pack.

Tell Your Story

Write down your personal brand story. Think of it as a memoir, not an autobiography. Focus on your unique life and career experiences and what makes you different.

You might have 15 years of experience in operations management — but so do thousands of others. Why are you different? Why are you better? Step away from the obvious. As the saying goes, “Think outside the box!”

Find Your Twist

Sometimes your “twist” is characteristic that is so fundamental to your personality that you actually overlook it. This is why it’s a good idea to write your brand story and then have someone else review it. Often, other people have the objectivity to see important elements that you overlook.

Take Ownership of It

Don’t be shy about who you are. There is no shame in being proud. You need to be passionate about your brand. You need to be passionate about you. If not, how do you expect others to get excited about it?

Your personal brand won’t just develop organically as part of your personality. You need to nurture it. It requires time, attention, and maintenance. It’s a never-ending story. And, when managed properly, it can be a powerful personal driver.

Complimentary Resume Review

If you’d like a professional review of your current resume, send it to me.

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