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I used to think that people who talked about their “brand” were full of themselves, or trying too hard. They rubbed me the wrong way. Too slick. Too self-promotional. In my opinion, brands were for products. Coke, Nike, Apple; yes.  Tom from the IT department?  Why does he need a brand, and who cares? 

Since joining the career coaching world, I’ve had a change of heart. A brand isn’t about bragging. It’s about marketing. Whether you’re in the job market, or trying to get to the next level in your current role, being able to articulate your value, expertise and impact is essential in order to accomplish your career goals.

If you can’t make the case for why you’re the right person for the job, who will?  

I recently came across an article in Forbes on this topic — Personal Branding is More Important than Ever.  Author Caroline Castrillon states: “Whether you know it or not, you have a personal brand. When you Google yourself, what pops up? These results are the first impression people will have of you. Is it a good one? Whether you have a date or a job interview, chances are someone is going to Google you to learn more about who you are.”

Castrillon goes on to say: “Personal brand is the unique combination of skills and experiences that make you who you are. It is how you present yourself to the world. Effective personal branding will differentiate you from the competition and allow you to build trust with prospective clients and employers.”  I couldn’t agree more.

One of my favorite things to do is help my clients write their elevator pitch, a key element of a personal brand. An elevator pitch should be about 45 seconds long, and tell the story of who you are, what you offer (skills, experiences, approach,) and “reasons to believe,” (proof of your impact and outcomes.) It should express your personality and uniqueness.  

The Crosworks’ approach to developing an elevator pitch involves weaving together insights from our client’s Birkman profile, resume, themes from coaching, target job descriptions and more.  It’s the story-telling aspect that I love about this exercise, and the look on clients’ faces when they read it and say, “Wow, that’s me!”  A strong elevator pitch enhances self-confidence and paves the way for networking and interviewing.

If you think you might benefit from a discussion about your personal brand, or would like some help crafting your elevator pitch, let’s talk.

Eden Sulzer

Crosworks | Career & Leadership Strategist
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