This question is top of mind of every recruiter, hiring manager, and current manager. When you are interviewing for a job or sitting down for a performance evaluation, you have to be able to articulate what makes you different or special as compared with others in your field of expertise. If you can’t, you won’t get what you want.
It sounds like a simple question but it’s much more complex than what you might think. Most people usually answer with what you would expect – a great definition of the skills necessary to do a good job in their current position. But the real answer would focus on those skills, attributes, abilities, and talents that enable you to achieve a result that makes you standout from your competition. How and why do your results surpass the competition? What do you do that’s over the top that enables you to be successful? Can you demonstrate that there is a correlation between those actions and your success?
The answer to this question is the essence of your personal brand – the something special you are known for, it’s the reason people hear about you, it’s why recruiters call you, it’s why you get the choice assignments and promotions and clients.
My friend Tamara is an outstanding insurance salesperson. She has built a unique business that she defines as client-centric. What makes Tamara standout is her ability to build lasting relationships with people across a wide variety of demographics in a genuine and committed way. Through her actions, Tamara demonstrates time and again that she wants to help her clients find solutions that work for them, not necessarily for her. This fits well with her passion for solving problems and puzzling out complex and unique solutions, not just for the sake of her bottom line. Because she delivers on her promise, her honesty and her sincerity are taken at face value.
One of the most telling examples of how she built her success is the blurring of lines of friendship when trying to distinguish between the professional and the personal. Tamara has a strong personal brand.
As you can see, I never mentioned that she has all the requisite skills necessary for someone to be successful in her industry because that’s a given. It’s the tablestakes without which she wouldn’t even be in the game. My focus is on what makes Tamara special – and as a result, makes her highly successful.
So how about you? What makes you stand out? Can you define the essence of your personal brand?
Do you need help positioning yourself? Let’s talk.