COM0014 – Blog 5: Personal Brand

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Credit: Brad Whitehorn

I consider myself a Career Development Professional, despite the fact that I do not work with end-user clients, nor am I in management.  I specialize in resources for the career development industry, but I am not an agency information officer.  Within the industry I am kind of an anomaly; many of the jobs in Career Development have pretty clear-cut descriptions, but there are very few companies that offer the same things as the company that I work for that distributes, publishes, and conducts independent research.  My number one goal in my position is to find the most appropriate resources for Career Development Professionals to use with their clients.

What are some personal qualities or characteristics that set you apart from your competitors?

I like to have conversations; be it in person, over the phone, an email, or even in a blog post, I like to feel as though I am sitting down and talking over a coffee.  Personally I hate it when people start into a sales pitch without me actually saying what, if anything I am interested in.  When I write blog posts, I like to write very casually, and leave lots of room for feedback.  I’ve developed a lot of great business relationships this way, because my clients know that when they talk to me, I’m not going to push a product on them, and move on.  I have a competitor that is big into self-promotion, and comes across as a sales person.  I know that this attitude has just sent more people my way.

What have you done lately to make yourself stand out?

I have spent a lot of time listening on a couple of industry-specific social media pages, but now I am starting to get my name out there.  As well, up until fairly recently I have been using my company’s social media fairly anonymously.  However I have now started putting my name on things.  I have been blogging about areas and materials that I consider myself an expert at under my name.

What would your colleagues say is your best trait?

I work for a small company, so my clients are my colleagues.  I would say that they appreciate my honesty, and my willingness to follow through.  I will not sell them something because it makes me a more money, I will recommend what works best for them.  As well, when I they ask me something I don’t have an answer to, I will do some research.  Sometimes this means that I don’t make a sale, but it does mean that my customer will return in the future.

What do you do that you are most proud of?

Recently I wrote a couple of blogs on career assessments, and shared them on the Facebook group of a national organization; the feedback was overwhelmingly positive, and it gained some new customers.  The posts were also picked up by yet another national industry group, and was included in their recommended blog posts.

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