I realize as I’m telling my Career Networking workshop and other career search workshop attendees about the importance of having a career branding statement…that I don’t have one of my own. For this reason, I’ve decided that I need one. This little fact of omission is not sitting well with me. I can see their eyes asking what my branding statement is, challenging me, calling me a hypocrite unless I actually have one.
Furthermore, I read in a blog written by Thomas Cairns, “Tell Your Story in Six Words or Less,” that the magic number for a branding statement is six words. I see this as a challenge, and I take this challenge; I embrace it. After all, Nike does it in only three words—“Just Do It.” Though, it took Fed Ex eight words—“When it absolutely positively has to be there.” And in some cases “overnight” has been tacked on.
How hard can it be? I’ll take this step-by-step. There are some questions I’ll have to answer, so bear with me as I go through the thought process
- What are some of my qualities? I’m dedicated. (Cliché.) I speak with clarity. (So.) I’ve been told I’m knowledgeable. (I should hope so.) I’m innovative. (I read this adjective is considered overused, but I like it and feel it describes me well.) When confused, people come to me for answers. (Would that classify me as a go-to guy? If there ever was a cliché, this is it.)
- What is my main goal? One of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs is employment. (I’m getting philosophical, but this is how I feel about employment and the importance it plays in one’s life.)
- What makes what I do valuable to jobseekers? I create an interactive environment conducive to learning; this is one of my strength of a career trainer.(This is a good start.)
- Hold on, let me think of some words that describe my attitude about career training: hope…promise…guidance…strength…compassion…mission…providing the necessary tools…empowering…motivating…understanding…meaning…perseverance…tenacity…educating.
By the way, why does my brand have to be six (6) words or less? Mr. Cairns gives “The ultimate driving machine” as a slogan as popular as any out there. BMW probably spent thousands, hundreds of thousands, or millions on a high-powered advertising firm develop it. (Actually no: The slogan, now nearly 34-years-old, was originally created under the reign of Bob Lutz by a relatively unknown ad-agency, Ammirati & Puris. So BMW didn’t spend a lot of money.) This is not the point.
Let’s give this a shot.It’s time to put up or shut up.
“Motivating and providing direction for your employment search.” (Nine words and “providing” is passive. I want “empowering” in my branding statement.)
“Motivating, empowering, and directing jobseekers to employment.” (Seven words. This is crap.)
“Delivering knowledge that leads to employment.” (Six words. I’m getting closer.)
“Delivering career-search expertise” (Almost there, and using the hyphen to connect career and search works for me. Only three words.)
“Career-search expertise leading to rewarding employment.” (I’m almost there. But this is not compelling.)
“Motivating, empowering you.” (Wait, I’m going about this wrong.)
What is my value to jobseekers and potential employers? Who am I and what do I actually do? What matters most to me?
Educating jobseekers through innovation, motivation, empowerment.
I think in the words of Mr. Cairns, this brand statement best describes [me] or how [I] want to be perceived. I’m happy with this branding statement and, perhaps, I’ll include it in my written communications or utter it while networking. One thing for sure is that I can tell my workshop attendees that I have a branding statement.