How to develop your personal brand and stand out from the crowd

It's all about YOU! If you want to enhance your career prospects, we believe it is key to develop your personal brand: how others see you and also how you represent yourself and your ideas. Without a strong personal brand, you will undoubtedly blend into the crowd and become a needle in a haystack.

So, how can you develop your personal brand and stand out? Follow our simple tips for career success:

Map out your future

If you don't know where you're going, then how will anyone else? Sit down and write down your objectives. Visualise what you are doing in 6 months’ time, imagine where you’ll be in 5 years’ time. What do you want to achieve, and how will you set about achieving those goals? Be bold and stretch yourself to achieve your aims!

Write a punchy elevator pitch

If we asked you to explain who you are and what you do in just 30 seconds, could you do this? An elevator pitch aims to do just that - it's your opening speech and it's crucial that you have it polished and ready to go. Focus on the four cs:

Clear and Concise: Your opening sentence needs to be clear, concise and compelling. You want the listener to be interested so they want to know more. When I say “I’m a coach” what comes to mind? It’s not very compelling is it? Be specific and concise regarding the people/things that you (want to) work with. If you are too general, people won’t relate to your message and may not remember you. Too much detail and people get bored. Ensure that you don’t include jargon. Simplicity is key; you want people to understand you!

“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication” Leonardo da Vinci

Compelling: What problems have you resolved for the industry or people you want to work with? What are the benefits that you can bring to an organisation or to people? People don’t buy based on the process of the resolution – they buy on results – so spell these out.

Credible: How can you get your credibility across in a professional way? Share briefly your skills, knowledge and attributes that have helped you get the results.

Polish your CV

Take a look at your CV with fresh eyes. Is it a little outdated, or perhaps a bit sparse? Dedicate time to transforming it into a glowing representation of you. Your CV is often the first point of contact with a potential employer, so it needs to do you justice. Have you mentioned the keywords that employers will be looking for - teamwork, responsibility, customer service and so on? Don't stop until it's perfect.

Believe in yourself

One of the key qualities to being successful in your career, is to know who you are, what you can do, what areas need developing, and where you are going. If you don't come across as confident when pitching yourself to others, then why would they have confidence in you? 

Go out there and sell yourself!

Take your elevator pitch and your CV, and get out there. Sign up for industry relevant talks and professional networking events.  The Cambridge Network offers numerous informal networking opportunities each month where you are guaranteed to meet interesting people who could put you in touch with your next employer. Make your face known in the circles that are important to you, build up your contacts and let them know your views on the latest industry news and developments. Networking is key, and has the potential to elevate your personal brand to a whole new level. 

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This article was written by Cambridge-based career specialists Career Ambitionswho work alongside individuals to enable them to proactively manage their career.