How to craft a killer personal brand statement

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In a world that’s overflowing with information, it pays to make yourself memorable. Your personal brand statement helps to do just that.

What is a personal brand statement? It’s the elevator pitch that tells recruiters and networkers what you’ve got to offer in a handy nutshell.

So where can you use your brand statement? How do you go about crafting one? And what will help yours stand out from the crowd?

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
  • CPA certified accountant specialising in creative SMEs, who really enjoys using her professional skills to support the entrepreneurial culture of start-ups and smaller companies

1.      How to use your personal brand statement

Your statement can be used anywhere you need to market yourself to a potential employer: at the top of your CV, in a cover email, on your LinkedIn page, and so on. It can also be useful to have a snappy summary ready to use to start off an interview, or when meeting and networking with people face-to-face, 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

2.      How to craft a mission statement

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’.

3.      Top tips for a statement that will stand out

  • Start by 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 in a statement formula?
  • Think of someone you know with a similar experience and goals. 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 repetition. 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.
  • Practice your statement on family friends. 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. 

Check out our career advice section for more help or contact one of our consultants.

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