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Crafting an Impactful Personal Brand

Always be prepared for your moment to shine with these networking tips

Have you ever been in a situation where you had the opportunity to talk with a highly important person? Let’s say for example they’re employed in a company that you really want to work for, and one of the first things they say is tell me about yourself. Would you know how to respond?

Most of us would create a story from memory and speak as the conversation moves on. We might ask some questions back; but then we start to realize that in the middle of the conversation, it starts to get dry. The conversation becomes dull, and it ends quicker than it began.  You may need to work on your personal brand!

Let’s do a quick exercise. Take a few minutes to write down 5-10 companies you like to shop at. It could be a clothing store or fast food restaurant. Take a look at your list, and compare how each company sets itself apart from one another. For example, Burger King and McDonalds both sell burgers but what really sets them apart? Now think about what sets you apart from other professionals in your field.

Developing an Elevator Pitch

An elevator pitch is based on a premise where if you had only had 2-3 minutes to have a substantial conversation with someone, would you be able to? Below, you will find an extremely useful tool that will help you build an elevator pitch:

  • Create a positive first impression
  • Give a powerful and unique personal statement
  • Leave a positive lasting impression

Create a positive first impression.

You only have a few minutes to make a first impression. Create interest in yourself as a professional, and tell your story. These first few minutes or so will set the tone for the rest of the conversation.

Give a powerful & unique personal statement.

Working through simple exercises, think critically about your skills and professional history ahead of time which will help you build more powerful and unique personal statements. This will help reduce your anxiety, improve your poise, and increase your confidence.

Leave a lasting impression.

Learn how to close the conversation with a powerful statement or story, so you leave a positive final impression. Following up after the conversation is a smart way to keep yourself in the memories of the other person. It would be challenging to talk about things that you don’t understand, or have no interest in. So try and find something you can easily talk about! Research the company you are applying to work with before you talk to anyone who works there. Three words to keep in mind; Research, Prepare, and Rehearse.

Don’t forget that manners and being courteous go a long way! Keep the following in mind: be yourself, have a winning smile, be confident, use small talk, and be positive.

Written by: Steven Heinitz, Career Consultant, TANF

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