In a world that’s overflowing with information, it pays to make yourself memorable. Your personal brand statement helps to do just that.
This essential self-marketing tool is basically a pithy statement of your key skills and the value you can bring to any organisation you’re hoping to work for. For example:
Industry-accredited software developer with 7 years’ experience developing apps and tools for award-winning fintech enterprises
ACCA-qualified accountant specialising in creative SMEs, who really enjoys using her professional skills to support the entrepreneurial culture of start-ups and smaller companies
Think of your personal brand statement as an elevator pitch for who you are and what you’ve got to offer. It’s ideal if you want to grab the attention of a hiring manager or recruiter sifting through CVs, or simply have a strong one-liner ready when your Skype interviewer says, ‘So tell me about yourself…’
So where can you use your brand statement? How do you go about crafting one? And what are the top tips that will help yours stand out from the crowd?
How to use your personal brand statement
Your statement can be slotted in anywhere you need to market yourself to a potential employer: at the top of your CV, in a covering email or message, on your LinkedIn page, and so on.
You can also use it to start off an interview, or when meeting and networking with people face-to-face. Of course, in person you don’t want to sound like you’re just parroting a script, but it’s useful to have a snappy summary to draw on, especially if you’re faced with one of those moments where your mind goes blank and you can’t quite think where to begin.
The statement in its simplest form is typically a single sentence in the style of the examples above, but it’s useful to have different-length versions for different contexts. For example:
- Industry-accredited software developer for award-winning fintech enterprises
- Industry-accredited software developer with 7 years’ experience developing apps and tools for award-winning fintech enterprises
- Industry-accredited software developer with 7 years’ experience developing apps and tools for award-winning fintech enterprises. I’m now looking to develop my strong team-building skills in an environment where technical innovation is vital for business success
How to craft a mission statement
As you’ll see from these examples, mission statements tend to follow a formula. Typically it goes:
‘[I am] an X with Y looking to do Z’
X sums up what you do, ideally with some sort of credential or proof point attached e.g. ‘industry-accredited’ or ‘highly experienced’ or ‘bilingual’.
Y relates to your experience and the sort of value you offer e.g. ‘with 5 years’ experience in negotiating merger & acquisition deals in the retail sector’.
Z is what you’re looking for next, again ideally also framed as a benefit to your potential audience e.g ‘looking to translate my proven business development skills into effective fundraising initiatives in the non-profit sector’.
Top tips for a statement that will stand out
- Start by sitting down and listing your key skills, attributes and experience. Which stand out? Which are likely to matter most to your future boss? How can you combine them to best effect in a statement formula?
- Think of someone you know with similar experience and goals to you. Does your statement sound just like theirs? What can you change to make yours more distinctive?
- Remember that every word in your statement has to earn its place. There’s no room for waffle, or repetition, or ambiguity. Keep working it till it’s as pithy as a good newspaper headline.
- Remember, too, what your statement isn’t: It’s not your mission statement for life, a statement of your dream job, or a personal mantra. Keep it business-like and professional, and avoid too much quirkiness or blue-sky thinking.
- Keep calm and avoid the hype. Avoid breathless phrases such as ‘unbelievably talented’ or ‘fiendishly intelligent’, or claiming to have dreamt of being an actuary since you were a child…
- Practise your statement on family friends. Does it make sense out of context? Does it flow smoothly or do you trip up on certain words or phrases? Edit and polish till you have something that feels really easy and natural to say.
- Try to avoid clichéd words and phrases like ‘passionate’, ‘results-driven’, ‘self-motivated and energetic’, ‘highly organised’ and ‘detail-oriented’. These tend to get overlooked as they’re quite generic and rather over-used. Instead, go for phrases that add value and concrete detail e.g. ‘Recent MBA with…’ or ‘Python-fluent developer with…’ or ‘Treasury-qualified financial officer with…’
Keep it fresh
As with the rest of your CV, it’s a good idea to regularly revisit your statement, and update it as your skills, experience and aspirations change. Likewise, be prepared to tweak it to make it more relevant for different jobs you apply for.
Here’s a few more examples to help inspire you to craft your very own killer brand statement…
- International digital marketing specialist who’s launched over 20 websites in 10 languages across 12 countries. Now looking for an exciting opportunity to combine my technical and creative marketing capabilities, ideally in the ecommerce or B2B space.
- From DM to apps, I’m a seasoned comms expert who doesn’t need an agency to do all her creative thinking for her, and have a track record of delivering outstanding campaign ROI. Looking to make a difference for a company that really wants to tell its unique story in a memorable and impactful way.
- Business developer extraordinaire for the Asia Pacific healthcare space, who’s all about helping to enable new models of integrated and coordinated care. Looking for a provider who shares my vision of a society where an individual will receive personalised care
which incorporates the different dimensions that are central to an individual's wellness.
- Frequently headhunted international trade consultant and tech sector specialist with 8 years’ experience in tech policy and international business development and strategy in the UK, US and New Zealand. Ready for a new challenge as a C-Level commercial advisor to a high-growth tech company.
Have a big interview coming up? Read our complete interview guide here.