3. The Unique Value Proposition = Personal Brand
Differentiation is essential for any product to succeed in the marketplace. Why is your product better, faster, easier than the competition, right? The answer is your unique value proposition. Well, in job search it’s your personal brand.
Personal branding is an essential part of your professional life, no matter what stage your career is at. And everyone has a personal brand, whether they know or not. All it really is is your reputation.
My favorite definition of personal brand comes from Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon.com. He says, “Your brand is what people say about you when you leave the room.”
So what are you known for in your industry, in your world? What makes you different? If you don’t know, ask. The quickest way to find out some things about your brand is to send a note to 10 people. Ask them to provide three adjectives that they think describe you. Compare their answers to adjectives you picked to describe yourself. Do they align? Why or why not?
If you want to do a deep dive on personal branding, the following books and assessments are helpful:
- 360Reach – The first and leading web-based personal brand survey developed by William Arruda
- Fascination Advantage from Sally Hogshead SPECIAL NOTE: Use the code JOY-Brand to take this assessment for free by February 15, 2016
- StrengthsFinder 2.0 by Tom Rath – This assessment will tell you your top five natural strengths
- Me 2.0 by Dan Schwabel
- Personal Branding for Baby Boomers by Marc Miller
- Ditch, Dare, Do! by William Arruda and Deb Dib
Lastly, every good value prop needs support from benefits, not features. The same thing is true for your personal brand, especially when writing your resume. In this case, it’s your tasks that are the features, and your accomplishments are the benefits. Make sure you’re putting emphasis on your results (benefits) and quantify as much as you can.