In the Executive Marketing courses I teach at UCLA I emphasize the importance of personal branding in today’s market environment. Personal branding is even more important in today’s job search.

Many workers have spent years building professional reputations and acquiring attributes that make them a unique executive candidate. And the workers who can articulate that in their personal brand will be taking their best asset with them in their job search.

Be bold and move forward

If you find yourself in job-search mode during this recession, you’ve got to be bold and move forward with force, especially if your competition is moving slowly. Many are still in shock that they need to be back on the market. Take advantage of this and know that even in tough economic times, there are opportunities. Successful job seekers who’ve honed a strong personal brand can quickly communicate to key decision makers the immediate value and benefit they’ll bring to their company.

Personal brand statement

It starts with your personal brand statement. This is a strong core statement that differentiates you from others and helps you gain a competitive advantage in the interviewing process. You’ll then include it as part of your executive and LinkedIn profile; use it as your 30-60 second elevator pitch; and communicate it to others at networking events.

“Hi, my name is Carla Smith and I am a Retail Executive with 12–plus years experience with multi–million dollar, global retail companies.”

Personal Brand Statement:

“Hi, I’m Carla Smith. As an experienced Retail Operations Executive, I have engaged cutting–edge technologies that helped global retail companies achieve aggressive revenue growth and improve operating cost objectives. Some of the top companies I have worked with include ABC Stores, NewCo Retailing, and Auction Corporation, and online auction site.”

[Note from Dan Schawbel: My approach differs slightly from Beverly’s.  I typically recommend your personal brand statement to be about five words, that states your expertise and who you serve.  For example: “I’m the best brain surgeon in Boston.”  While my recommendation focuses more on positioning, Beverly’s is more of a quick pitch to your audience.  Both are very effective means of getting your message accross.]

Brand focused resume

It’s not enough to explain how you’ve conducted business development by cold calling and implementing account management techniques. This sounds like a boring job description that, quite frankly, most any sales rep could do. A resume needs to be filled with unique accomplishments, examples of impacting the bottom line. Your personal branding statement should become your professional / executive profile. Consider putting it directly under your name.

Carla Smith

An experienced Retail Operations Executive, who engages cutting–edge technologies to helped global retail companies achieve aggressive revenue growth and improve operating cost objectives.

And remember, the industry you’ve been in is laying off – that’s why you’re looking for a new position.

You need to know that as a business leader, your skills and unique value needs to transcend any particular industry.

Your ability to extract maximum value from project teams and build cross- organizational cohesion will apply in multiple industry sectors.

Brand your email signature

Your email signature should contain your personal brand statement as well.

Carla Smith
Senior Retail Executive
Linking Cutting-Edge Technologies with Retail Operations to Grow Revenues, Cut Costs, & Achieve Profit Objectives
Linked in profile link

Make sure your personal brand statement works for you. It should be strong, clear, and descriptive of the value you offer.


Beverly Macy is Managing Partner at Y&M Partners LLC in Beverly Hills. She also teaches a social media class at UCLA and is organizer of the Gravity Summit event at UCLA February 25, 2009.