Breedlove's Briefing: Personal Branding Mistakes to Avoid When Making a Career Change

November 4 - Stephanie Breedlove

Hi! I’m Stephanie Breedlove, Co-Founder of HomePay, Author and Angel Investor.

I absolutely adore taking an idea and giving it life in the form a business, then leading it to its full potential. Nothing is more fun. (Seriously!) I’d love for every woman who wants to start her own business to say the same thing, so here I am, mentoring millennial entrepreneurs. When I’m not working, I like to recharge and head outdoors to hike, bike, or stand up paddle board!

Is that list of business news and trending articles you’ve tagged still unread? I get it. Allow me to help. Take a couple minutes to read my summary of articles serving the most pertinent, actionable business topics. Or, take 10 minutes to read the full article, and put another brick on the foundation of your growing career.

This Week’s Must-Read:

Personal Branding Mistakes You Must Avoid When Making a Career Change

Who it’s for:

Everyone. Growing knowledge around personal branding is ongoing, independent of whether you are thinking about changing jobs.

Why it’s important:

What is a personal brand and why is it so important? Your personal brand is your reputation, the impression you leave about who you are, the benefits derived from what you do and most importantly, why you do it. Companies use your branding to validate your professional accomplishments, potential likability and cultural fit.

Making a successful career change requires strong personal branding. Talent acquisition teams need to feel assured that you’re committed, capable and equipped. A compelling personal brand helps with all three. Career growth habits and personal development are the building blocks of a strong brand. As you build these, steer clear of the following mistakes:

  1. Faking It or Not Being Authentic. You should never be embarrassed about a previous career path. Your career is a journey. When you’re honest and transparent about your background and skills, you’ll also be able to handle any concerns.
  2. Not Engaging in Conversation. By finding out when and where conversations are taking place and adding value to discussions, you’ll grow your network and develop personally and professionally. Many conversations are happening online, so ensure that your social media profile photos are in line with your professional brand. While you’re at it, take a look at your LinkedIn profile, making sure it is tidy and optimized to increase your chance of being approached for a potential interview.
  3. Reducing Visibility. A presence across multiple platforms is a must. Although LinkedIn is the most widely used channel for recruitment, talent acquisition teams are focused on being where candidates hang out, and you’ll find them on platforms such as Instagram and Facebook. The number one way to find a new job is still through a referral. Gain visibility offline by writing for industry publications, attending conferences and events, speaking and volunteering.
  4. Not Being Confident and Clear. You have to develop your brand before you can confidently convey it. Focus on what you want to be known for and get clear on your skills, abilities and unique value. Most skills are transferable in some way; Even those that seem incredibly industry-specific. Here’s some skills you most likely have that are very transferable: Advising, analyzing, collaborating, written and verbal communication, client relationship, mentoring, problem-solving, researching, team-building, negotiation, leading…
  5. Lacking Relevancy. Relevancy is what binds your brand together. Having a targeted career search and knowing the challenges and trends in your desired industry, job function and target companies will make your branding connect. You will struggle to execute a successful career change if you aren’t relevant.

Top Take-Away: Making a career change requires your best effort. Efforts to build a very buttoned-up personal brand will give you a competitive advantage, not to mention that the process will help you gain clarity on where it is you really want to go next.

More valuable tips for successful personal branding:

14 Personal Branding Tips to Help Grow Your Influence

5 Actionable Personal Branding Tips

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