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1 the power of your Personal Brand Based on the Me, Inc. curriculum created by the Graduate Career Services team at the Indiana University Kelley School of Business

2 What Is Your Personal Brand? If you had to ask your best friend to describe you in 30 seconds, what would he or she say? How about the committee chair for your volunteer or student organization, your first boss, toughest professor, project team members? Chances are each person s description of you will revolve around your behaviors and actions, but it may also encompass behaviors you don t exhibit or actions you aren t taking. Their description is much more likely to center on behaviors and characteristics. The way people describe you is their perception of your personal brand. Taking Charge of Your Personal Brand by Developing a Unique Selling Proposition Let s step back for a moment and think about what a brand is. A brand sums up a complex worldview into a very simple set of messages or icons. To be clear, it is not so much about selling (though that is a part of branding); rather it is about being self-aware and purposeful. indiana university kelley school of business 1

3 Start by answering these questions: 1. Who are you? For example, are you the dependable numbers person who also happens to be very gregarious, or are you a creative, quiet type? 2. What do you do? Within the context of being the numbers person, do you have a knack for analyzing extremely complex data and turning the results into usable and understandable layman s terms? 3. Who are your consumers? In this case, what types of industries or organizations are likely to want to hire you? In other words, what types of organizations need your skills and are also a cultural fit? 4. Why does it matter? Finally, what value do you bring to the organization that it can t get elsewhere? 2 the power of your personal brand

4 If you are struggling to answer these questions for yourself, think back to your prior experiences. Look for themes and ask trusted advisors and friends to help you identify themes. Then, come back to thinking about how you can be self-aware and purposeful in crafting and delivering your message. When you re just starting out, your ability to answer these questions and articulate your answers becomes that much more important. Are you on the right track? Answer these questions: 1. How close are your experiences from your internship, part-time work, volunteer and student organizations to what you want to be doing? 2. How are you going to translate your skill sets to get where you want to be? 3. Why are these skill sets important and relevant to what you want to do next? indiana university kelley school of business 3

5 1-Minute Branding Lesson The Kelley School of Business brand is built on its beliefs: Knowing who you are prepares you for where you are going Straight talk is the key to personal and professional growth Succeeding together is a greater achievement than going it alone There s no reason business shouldn t be personal Putting your heart and soul into what you do makes all difference How are your personal beliefs and values reflected in your personal brand? Elevator Pitch What is an elevator pitch? Everyone talks about it but it still is a little confusing. An elevator pitch is what you want others to remember about you, your passions, skills, interests, values, knowledge, fit. It should be conversational in tone, fluid and adaptable to various situations. Here is an example of a second elevator pitch: Introduction (Context and/or Brand) I m currently studying at the Kelley School of Business. I have internship experience at in and. I am hoping to start my career as a. Three skills (Actions) What I particularly enjoy doing is,, and. Two results (Results) As a result, I have been able to. Open-ended question to maintain the conversation Tell me, how did you begin your career in this industry? 4 the power of your personal brand

6 Using the messages you drafted in your unique selling proposition, write down your elevator pitch: Take-Home Assignment Practice your elevator pitch with a trusted friend or career coach and ask for feedback. What is memorable about your personal brand? How can you refine it? Is your delivery natural and convincing? An elevator pitch is something that is honed over time, not usually something that is done once. Again, test it in the market to see if it works. If not, rework it and test again. indiana university kelley school of business 5

7 Differentiating Yourself How are you similar to others looking to secure a job at your company of choice? How are you different? Understanding how you are unique will help you to stand out, as well as reinforce your personal brand. Points of parity refers to how you are the same as everyone else looking at the role you are interested in Points of difference refers to how you are unique. These differentiators may change as you gain experience or move to another position. For example, interning or working at a company in another country may be a point of difference for you in some roles when you re starting out, but in higher-level positions at international companies, it would become a point of parity. Many people who are starting careers have the same skills, abilities, experiences and/or backgrounds. How are you different? Choose memorable examples that highlight the combination of special factors that make you, YOU. Explain how you dealt with a challenging situation (outside of I-Core), how you proactively solved a potential problem, or how you turned an ordinary moment into momentum. 6 the power of your personal brand

8 In order to come up with your points of difference, ask yourself the following questions: 1. What do I offer that is unique and builds on the base qualifications for the job I am seeking? 2. In what ways can I make my unique attributes more relevant at my internship or for my future employer? Take-Home Assignment Find a job description for a role you are interested in pursuing either now or in the near future. How do your points of parity and points of difference align to the job you want? Write them down and think about what you need to do next. How are you like others who are looking at the same role? More importantly, how are you different? What is unique about what you bring to the table? Come up with a list of these similarities and differentiators and try to work them into your brand. Similarity 1: Similarity 2: Similarity 3: Differentiator 1: Differentiator 2: Differentiator 3: indiana university kelley school of business 7

9 Translating Your Personal Brand Online List five people who have the kind of career to which you aspire Which of these tools are they using online? Personal blog Personal website LinkedIn profile Twitter Professional or alumni associations List some words or terms they use to describe themselves that you can use in your own profile. List some of their recent status updates. Can you make similar updates? 8 the power of your personal brand

10 LinkedIn Profile Tips A strong LinkedIn profile is a very important piece of your personal brand. Recruiters turn to social media for 95% of job openings and 98% of recruiters use LinkedIn, but only 41% of job seekers use it to search for jobs. Companies use LinkedIn to source and then pre-screen potential candidates. About 65% of recruiters have hired via social media and 55% of companies plan to invest more in social recruiting. Take-Home Assignment How do you make sure your profile measures up? Here are some tips: Use a good, professional-quality photo. According to The Ladders, recruiters spend more time examining a photo than reviewing the person s qualifications. Your title on LinkedIn automatically pulls from your current role, but you can adjust it to make a headline that tells your story. Use the Summary section to showcase your brand. Show your true self, highlighting what you are interested in and what drives you. Use phrases and keywords consistent with career goals and qualities recruiters want. Do not copy your resume to LinkedIn under the Experience section. Recruiters turn to LinkedIn for more information. Highlight important projects, build out your experience and tailor it to what you want to be doing next. Ask your internship colleagues or professors for comments in the Recommendations section that highlight your specific, desirable qualities. The Endorsement section is a great area to highlight skills for which you want to be known. Make sure you are being endorsed for skills that make you stand out. indiana university kelley school of business 9

11 Networking The average person today has 7-10 different jobs during his or her lifetime, as well as 2-3 different careers. Plus, the higher you go in terms of role and salary, the less likely it is that the job will be posted anywhere. What does this mean? It means you have to get comfortable with networking. Networking really should begin well before you need a job. It is something you do every day at the Kelley School, although you may not think about it that way. Networking really is about developing a foundation of individuals who can serve as mentors and resources in your professional development. It is a life skill as well as a career advancement tool. Networking is based on trust and mutual value, which means that you need to take the time to get to know your contacts and learn from their experiences. You want to show that you will be an asset to the organization or industry before you even join, and, ideally, you want to bring value to your contacts before you need their advocacy. Relationship building takes a lot of time, so you need to start now! Networking Activity My networking plan is: The companies I am targeting are: (List companies) 10 the power of your personal brand

12 I want to speak with: (Names or titles of people you want to connect with.) I will reach out to these people to ask for informational interviews: I will attend these networking events: Take-Home Assignment Find contacts at each company you are targeting. o Use the Alumni Leaders list on the Kelley School Alumni website to find an alum that fits your interests, or connect with alumni through the Kelley School LinkedIn group. o If you can t find warm contacts at your companies of interest, reach out to others that you find at the firms and indicate your interest in the company/function (marketing, finance, accounting). DO NOT ASK FOR A JOB! Ask for an informational interview through either or phone. o An informational interview is a minute conversation (either via phone or in person) where you can ask questions about the company, the person s background, trends in the industry, etc. Make sure you are prepared for the conversation. o Do your homework on the company, person, and industry beforehand. o Be prepared to ask a lot of questions. Ask for advice and homework. o What should you be reading to be successful in this space? o Who else should you be talking to? Make sure to send a thank-you note within 24 hours. indiana university kelley school of business 11

13 Action Plan Use this action plan to chart the progress of implementing your personal brand. Task Deadlines % Completed Next Steps Refine points of difference Practice elevator pitch Create or update LinkedIn profile Develop online presence Build your network* *Consider setting specific targets for building and connecting with your network. This might include connecting via , telephone calls and lunch meetings and/or attending industry conferences, educational sessions, and alumni events. Additional Notes 12 the power of your personal brand

14 Notes indiana university kelley school of business 13

15 What s Next Thinking about your personal brand is only the beginning. This is your moment to begin to imagine new possibilities for yourself and find your own true success. With the Kelley School of Business, you can transform this moment into momentum. Kelley s graduate business programs, including the Full-Time MBA program, the Evening MBA program, and the Kelley Direct Online MBA program, offer you the opportunity to get a top-tier education and achieve more than you ever imagined. Learn more about Kelley s top-ranked graduate business programs: Full-Time MBA (800) or Evening MBA (317) Kelley Direct Online MBA and MS Programs (877) Graduate Accounting Programs Information Systems Graduate Programs Executive Degree Programs and Certificates (812) Kelley School of Business

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