Objectives are Passé. Create a Personal Brand Statement Instead.
Updated: Apr 7
You may know what you like to do outside of work, the kind of job tasks you dislike, or that you’re an extrovert or introvert, but you probably can’t easily express your worth – the ‘why hire you.’
Communicating your value to a prospective employer is critical to gaining a new role. A personal brand statement replaces the old-school objective on your resume. It is the foundation for quickly responding to screening questions, creating email notes asking for referrals, and even answering the dreaded “Tell me about yourself” in an interview. In short, it is your compass.
KNOW YOUR VALUES, VISION, AND VALUE PROPOSITION
Reflecting on your career values, future vision, and benefit to an employer is the first step in crafting your personal brand statement. On some scratch paper or a whiteboard, write notes using single words (when possible) to answer the following questions.
VALUES: Your values are the ideas and beliefs that are important to you. If you define your values when picking a career path, you have a better chance of fitting into a role or organization and finding long-term job satisfaction.
What gives you a deep feeling of purpose in your career?
How do you show authenticity and develop trust?
What inspires you about your work or the business?
How does your current profession express your gifts and talents?
What type of setting and culture will allow you to work in a way that resonates with you?
VISION: It’s sometimes challenging to create a plan when you’re unsure of your final destination. You know your goals, but your direction can change based on opportunities. The power of this exercise is that your vision can grow with you. It’s an affirmation and a commitment to moving forward professionally. Revisiting this vision during times of difficulty or opportunity will help keep your career on track and change with new goals.
Are you making a functional, positional, or industry switch? To what end?
What do you see as the primary obstacles to achieving your goals?
Please list any developmental skills needed to land your ideal position.
Where do you want to be three years from now?
What does success look like for you?
VALUE PROPOSITION: Communicating your value to a company will set you apart from the competition and prove your worth. Before proving your value, you must define how you meet the job’s expectations. What specific competencies (read: keywords) can you collect from job descriptions that meld with your skillset and show you can make a difference?
Why should a company hire you? In other words, what makes you valuable?
Provide three reasons why you are the right candidate for this job.
What five things are YOU most proud of in your career?
What terms, phrases, or keywords would people use to describe you?
Why is what you do important?
CREATE YOUR STATEMENT
Now that you better understand your vision, values, and value proposition, blend the words you listed to craft a one- to two-sentence personal brand statement. It’s foundational - use it on your resume, LinkedIn intro, screening calls, as an introduction, or as part of your brand narrative. Your brand statement represents what you’ve done, what you do, and what you will do.
You can expect to draft several personal brand statements – that’s okay. Consider writing one, sharing it with friends or peers, and then editing it as needed.
THINGS TO REMEMBER
Some things to remember as you build your statement include:
Keep it fresh but authentic – don’t overuse jargon or buzzwords
Keep your eye on the ball – restate your mission
Keep the focus on adding value – not features and attributes, just tangible value
YOUR STATEMENT CHANGES WITH YOU
As I mentioned, your personal brand statement will grow and change as your career moves. You can revisit it any time you take on new roles or gain new skills. Each time I see new concepts or skills that clarify my offering, I update my brand statement, and you should do the same.
Hillary Hufford-Tucker is a "Career Solutionista," a fun way of saying that she helps growth-minded professionals discover their unique worth to craft a brand, find new employment, pivot industries, or move toward cause-oriented work. She believes there's no professional dilemma that curiosity, commitment, and courage can't overcome. Hillary supports clients' career success with resume writing, LinkedIn profile development, career coaching, job search tactics, organizational strategies, and more.
Hillary's background as a brand marketer, corporate spin doctor, and graphic designer provides a unique perspective for personalized solutions to propel careers. She is a certified career coach (CPCC), certified digital career strategist (CDCS), has a master's degree in strategic communications (MA-SC), and is a member of the Professional Association of Resume Writers and Career Coaches (PARWCC).
Hillary holds a level two certificate in wine from the industry educator, WSET. When she's not coaching amazing clients, Hillary rides bikes, enjoys adventurous travel with her family, volunteers with her Lighthouse Rotary club, and appreciates wine and food with friends.