This last year I’ve enjoyed speaking about 60 times (when I wrote my book I had no intention of becoming a speaker, but I love it). Frequently I ask the audience “who here has a personal brand.”
About 3 people raise their hands (no matter how big the audience is).
So what about the others? They don’t have a personal brand? I would argue they do have a personal brand… perhaps it’s that they are really good (or bad) at what they do, that they are a wall-flower (just there, not really contributing too much or too little), that they are on time or late, etc.
Everyone has some kind of branding, and I bet people will be able to sum you up in a few words… like “John is a really nice guy,” or “John is the best _____,” or something like that.
But let’s say you are nothing more than a name on a resume? As a hiring manager I’m going to pull whatever information I have access to and try and figure out what you are bringing to the table.
In Washington I was speaking at a college and said that if you haven’t defined or developed your brand, you’d likely be stereotyped along with all of the other Gen Y applicants. Want your brand to be defined by stereotypes (if so, you’ll be like that (fake) cow in the picture, getting a brand applied to you)?
Get working on your personal brand!