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 co-workers, 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
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!