How to Develop Your Personal Brand During a Career Switch

Branding is a necessity. It is especially necessary when you are changing careers. Develop your personal brand during a career switch to communicate to employers (or clients) you are the best choice.

Here are 3 tips to help you develop your brand during a career switch

 

1) Tell your story

You have a unique story. Use your experiences and your perspective to differentiate yourself from others you are competing with.

Perfect your elevator pitch

To make sure people understand who you are and the contribution you can make, you must perfect your elevator pitch. First impressions matter and you have a few seconds to gain someone’s attention, whether in person or online.

Think of your LinkedIn headline, and your Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram bio as an elevator pitch to anyone who is introduced to your digital brand. Make your words count.

Ask yourself the following questions:

1. What am I passionate about?

2. How am I different?

3. What makes me qualified?

Lastly, remember to be your biggest brand advocate. Share your elevator pitch with friends, family, former-coworkers, others in your industry and even strangers. You never know where your next opportunity may come from.

2) Be genuine

When changing careers, many people think they have less of a chance of landing the job if they don’t pretend to be more than they currently are…

More qualified. More experienced. More skilled. More knowledgeable.

However, it is easy to spot a fake. If you fabricate your knowledge or experience, potential employers can easily discover the truth.

The video below from the Catherine Tate show, a British sketch comedy, reveals the danger of pretending.

Stay true to who you are and let your authentic self shine through. Imperfections make you relatable. Share a story of triumph over an obstacle or a struggle that you eventually were able to conquer.

3) Grow your network and build your influence

When switching careers it is important to build your influence and leverage your network. Here are a few ideas to get started:

  • Attend local networking events specific to your industry
  • Reach out to thought leaders and influencers
  • Update your LinkedIn profile; Make sure it reflects your brand and new goals
  • Write and publish an article on LinkedIn or Medium
  • Comment on blogs
  • Participate in industry twitter chats

Final Thoughts

Remember, you are your brand. Focus on the person you want to be and make sure everything about you reflects the brand identity you intend to communicate.

Branding should not stop the moment you leave a networking event or sign out of your social media accounts. If you take an ‘always on’ approach to projecting a consistent brand image, in person and online, you are sure to reap the rewards.

 

How did you develop your personal brand to land a new career? I’d love to hear your strategies!


  • Great Information. I am curious as to what happens if your brand and company, pivot. Should your elevator pitch reflect that adjustment?

    • Rick great question, I truly believe that your brand and company should absolutely matched. Your elevator pitch should tailored that adjustment. You should be clear in the pivot and how it matches to your brand.

  • Monica NerdyGirl Stockhausen

    The dangers of pretending are real! Great blog!

  • SoundWox Media

    Straight to the point. I’m interested in knowing your thoughts in a situation where your previous career and your new career path have absolutely very little in common. Say for instance…. former Chief Technologist at an erosion Institute in a University and a present media content developer.

    • Great question SoundWox, I truly believed that you can structure your current experience properly. Regardless of your recent position, chances are pretty good that you have some transferable skills. You might not do the same kind of work, but your existing experience is still valuable.