Bring Out the Personality in Your Brand

Personal Branding

You now have to decide what image you want for your brand. Image means personality. Products, like people, have personalities, and they can make or break them in the marketplace.

—David Ogilvy

In today’s mature talent acquisition world, employers have shifted their focus from “top talent from top universities” to “ideal talent for our culture.” In other words, the level of academic skill is less important than the person’s ability to apply those skills within the specific company culture.

Employers have also realized that diversity – academic as well as ethnic – strengthens their business. So mixing people from different universities and with different degrees is a high priority. At the same time, talent groups are continuing to prioritize cultural fit and values over financial benefits when they choose employers.


The Old School

Earlier talent acquisition was characterized by demographic targeting, where certain schools were selected for focused campaigns. Universities were classified as tier 1, tier 2, tier 3 and so on. The classification was typically based on the reputation of the universities. Top schools became tier 1, and pretty much everybody focused their resources on those top universities.


Then a few Shifts happened 

The Internet revolution, attitude shifts amongst talent groups, and the maturity of employer branding. Using technology instead of geographical presence made it possible to brand oneself at more universities, and more developed employer branding strategies made the corporate identity stronger.


Shift #1 : Talent Value Proposition

Simultaneously, talent groups shifted from prioritizing salary and benefits when choosing employers, to putting greater value on corporate values and culture. Alignment of interests that complimented Talent and Employer Brand became the central focus at both ends in the Talent marketplace.


Shift #2 : Rise of Communities

This resulted in Communities of Interest where Employer Brands started talking to Talent Brands. Largely powered by Social media, users started presenting themselves to the world, revealing personal details and insights into their lives. There are research studies that are beginning to understand how some of this information can be utilized to improve the users’ experiences with interfaces and with one another.


Shift #3 : The emergence of Reputation Graphs 

Personality has been shown to be relevant to many types of interactions; it has been shown to be useful in predicting job satisfaction, professional and romantic relationship success, and even preference for different interfaces.

The social graph or social profile is becoming an important data-source for identifying passive candidates, vetting current candidates, and building talent pools. For the first time, powerful semantic filters and constant monitoring of status updates from more than 30 leading social media sites make it possible to manage and track this at a global talent scale.

In this changing talent marketplace powered by social media the power of your brand needs to have a compelling value story. What you are doing and saying on the social web is already building a story about you. The key question is about you being aware of your personality behind the brand that you are building on the social web.


Social Experiments for Brand Building

“You are a brand. You are in charge of your brand. There is no single path to success. And there is no one right way to create the brand called You.” Tom Peters was right! You need to experiment and find the right way that works for Brand You.

As you scope out the path your "career" will take, remember: the last thing you want to do is only become a manager. “Like résumé, “manager" is an obsolete term”, says Tom Peters. It's practically synonymous with "dead end job." What you want are well thought out experiments, more challenging, more provocative projects. Make these projects an end-to-end experience!

When you look at the progression of a career constructed out of projects, directionality is not only hard to track -- Which way is up? -- but it's also totally irrelevant. Instead of making yourself a slave to the concept of a career ladder, reinvent yourself on a semiregular basis. Just like a space shuttle, learn how to dislodge a few launch panels that helped you to take off , to start the next set of engines that will help you go up in the orbit space!


Step #1 : Start with what Epitomizes Brand You 

As Oscar Wilde said, “I am the only person in the world I should like to know thoroughly”. It takes deep introspection and self realization to get to know the sweet spot between your competencies and things that you are passionate about. In many ways your friends, family and colleagues can help in this process.

BraveNewTalent is a great a platform for building a custom profile. A lot of us have multiple online profiles scattered across various services, including Facebook, LinkedIn, Flickr, and Twitter. And one problem we face is pulling all of this information together to build a single on-line identity — be it for personal use, or to create a professional on-line profile.


Step #2 : Design an Interactive Resume that brings out Your Personality 

Start by writing your own mission statement, and Statement of Purpose. What turns you on? Learning something new? Shepherding new ideas from concept to market? What's your personal definition of success? Money? Power? Fame? Or doing what you love? However you answer these questions, search relentlessly for job or project opportunities that fit your mission statement. And review that mission statement every six months to make sure you still believe what you wrote.

I recently met DJ Waldow who personally inspired me and many others on the social web through his Social Media Experiment – Finding a New Job! DJ started with a hope that his next job will come as the result of leveraging the social networks and specifically the relationships and trust he’s build over the past decade. He asked a few of his friends to film 30 seconds “Hire DJ” clips. He went on to build his voice over interactive video resume that has attracted many fans and followers on the social web.


Step #3 : Design a Personal Logo – Your QR Code 

Social Media is changing the way information is being shared both online and offline. Get a QR code on your business card that helps to build your personal logo and connect you both online and offline to the world of opportunities.

So, by placing them on a business card, you can digitally pass on your contact details, direct people to a website; send them to a Flickr photo set or Facebook fan page. Here are a few examples to inspire you on how QR codes can be incorporated creatively in your designs and connect offline and online media.