When you sit down to write a resume or a cover letter for your dream job, what do you focus on? If you are like most people, you spend the lion’s share of both the time and the ink on what you can do versus what you “are.” You talk about skills, and grades, and schools, and degrees, but you rarely get into what you really bring to the table.
The same thing happens in business proposals. You focus on what you can do for the customer, the features and benefits that align with you or hiring you will offer them. But, what are you really giving them? Are you a means to a current end, or are you a solution to this, and many other currently unrealized problems. What are you, really?
Ronn Torossian, CEO of 5WPR in NYC, says the answer to this question comes down to branding. Torossian says we have been conditioned to spout off about what we can do, but our skills are not the same thing as our value. People, whether they are hiring managers, or potential customers, want to know what you bring to the table. What you can offer them. This goes well beyond a list of skills. It is more in line with the experience you can bring them.
In other words, what have you accomplished, and what can they accomplish with you on board? These are not “skills” questions, these are “branding” questions. What are you about, and why should that matter to the prospect, whether they are a customer or an employer?
While many applicants bring similar skills to the table, your personal brand must be your official trademark – it is the reality of you on which you “trade.” Thus, it is not a list of skills, or abilities. Instead, your brand is an asset that is measured in how well you engage in the PR of presence.
Torossian defines the PR of presence as the “understood value that exists when you are around, that will be negated when you are no longer involved.”
Think of it as currency that has both intrinsic and potential value. A list of skills has intrinsic value, but it may not have potential value. A list of accomplishments shows skills well beyond what an education or previous position could. Further, communicating those accomplishments, and how they define you, will allow you to brand yourself as a necessary part of the endeavor in questions AS WELL AS a valuable member of the team when facing future challenges.
This communication aspect includes a well thought out resume and cover letter, but it must also include a well developed online presence, and a track record of solving real, actual problems. That, more than any degree or skillset, is your personal brand.
How well are you promoting what you really bring to the table?