Your personal brand is a diamond with many facets. One facet is your resume, another is your LinkedIn profile, a third is the “About” page of your website … You get the picture. Hiring managers get the picture of who you are and how you might fit into their corporate culture by putting the jeweler’s loupe to these facets. Smart self-marketers know this and take full advantage of every opportunity to shine.
The winning candidate also understands that – like the angles of a diamond’s facets – each form of personal-brand expression has the potential to present a different angle on your rightness for the job. If you use the same language for, say, your resume summary, your LinkedIn summary and your “About” page, you’re squandering prime personal-branding real estate.
The goal is to express different sides of your personality – and to do so in a way that is “site specific.” Each avenue of personal-brand expression calls for its own content. You must consider the target. You must assess nuances of tone, voice and style. Especially if you’re pitching yourself as someone who can market a brand to multiple audience segments, you better be able to demonstrate that capability when the brand is you.
Your resume summary …
… for instance, is traditionally written in the elliptical configuration seen almost exclusively in resumes. It might start something like this:
Career storyteller; developer of personal-branding content, writer of personal-branding assets for job seekers in creative fields; former entertainment-marketing copywriter; distiller of voluminous, complex information into engaging, easily absorbed plot points.
Your LinkedIn summary …
… on the other hand, should be in the first person and more conversational than your resume summary. It might unfold along these lines:
I’m a storyteller. The story I tell is yours. I can tell your story in an executive bio, of course, but I can tell another side of it in your resume and yet another in your LinkedIn summary. I fine-tuned my chops telling the stories of record companies, recording artists and label executives. Expanding from entertainment branding into personal branding was a natural progression (I get to know people by interviewing them – not that they know they’re being interviewed).
The “About” page …
… of your website is yet another animal. It can be in the first OR third person – even the second if you can pull it off. The more “you” it feels, the better. It might head in this direction:
Julia Rubiner earned her B.A. in Creative Writing and Literature, a pursuit that found her writing fiction, at which she's no damn good. She is a terrific storyteller, however – as long as the stories are true. Lucky for you, the stories she likes to tell most are about inspired professionals and heroic brands.
Whom would YOU hire? The person who musters the bare-minimum effort or the person who “exceeds expectations?” The one who repeats the same wording over and over no matter the venue or the one who understands the special value of each setting and acts accordingly?
If the facets of a diamond are not angled correctly, there is no sparkle, no brilliant depth – all you have is a flat transparency, like looking through an ordinary piece of glass. You could appear similarly limited to the person hiring for your dream job. Or you could dazzle like the 15-carat rock Kanye gave Kim. The choice is yours.