HOW TO: Build a personal brand statement

What is it?

Personal branding is a marketing strategy focused on who you really are, your skills, your values, your passions and your personality.

The A, B, & C's

I am (A) with (Y) looking to do (C).

This is a simple starting point where:

A = WHAT YOU DO,

B = YOUR EXPERIENCE & WHAT YOU BRING TO THE TABLE,

C = WHAT YOU ARE LOOKING FOR.

How to build a stand out statement

  • 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…’

Examples of statements

  • “I help people create new opportunities in their businesses and careers.”
  • “I am a personal trainer, specializing in weight training and mobility.”
  • “I give authors visibility on untapped promotional platforms where they can share their work.”
  • “I spark new product ideas for large companies that have stagnant product cycles.”
  • “I help CEOs transform their brand in only 60 days. 500 satisfied clients so far.”
  • “I turn businesses around by finding scalable growth strategies they can implement today.”
  • “I organize and focus nonprofit operations around their true mission so they can have maximum impact.”