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Gain a Competitive Edge by Establishing a Personal Brand

By Dan Schawbel

Gain a Competitive Edge by Establishing a Personal Brand

Brands from McDonalds to Google have all claimed headspace in the minds of their spectators, so why can't you? You can, by establishing a personal brand that allows you to differentiate and position yourself from the competition and claim your job. In this case, your audience is the hiring managers and recruiters that deal with thousands of resumes each day. Candidates are viewed as commodities, unless they provide some unique value, which competitors do not share. Your goal is to stand out and in doing so; you will land your dream job.

Your Personal Brand

Defined: Your total perceived value, relative to competitors, as viewed by your audience.


  • Personal Appearance - Including clothing, hygiene and attractiveness.
  • Personality - Your values, goals, identity and behavior.
  • Competencies - These are cognitive, business, communication and technical skills that enable you to perform your job responsibilities.
  • The Differentiator - Offering a unique value proposition or benefit to your target audience.

Constructing a brand with a mixture of these elements will have a positive effect on the people around you and your future. After producing a personal brand, with these elements, you must weave them into a story or message that can be consumed by your audience.

Growing Your Brand

Personal Branding is an ongoing development that exists throughout an entire lifecycle. As your experience, competencies, physical and emotional attributes grow, your brand will enhance, much like in a product-lifecycle. Creating, maintaining and evolving your brand will help you command your prospective audience and positively communicate your perceived and unique message.

Corporate branding and personal branding are very well connected. The only apparent difference is that instead of marketing a product or service, a person is being promoted and sold to a recruiter.

Treat yourself as the product and sell it!

Personal Branding

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