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Personal branding for career success
Personal branding for career success

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6 Writing my story

The final stage in defining your personal brand is to bring it all together. It can be useful to begin by thinking of it as a story. This will allow you to start with a more detailed narrative, which you can edit to meet your needs later on.

An old-fashioned typewriter has been used to type ‘What’s your story?’ on to a piece of paper.
Figure 7 Find your story

You might present your story in different ways to your target audience, and you’ll look at that in more detail in Weeks 6 and 7, but the main task at this point is to pull together your key elements.

Activity 6 My story

Timing: Allow about 30 minutes

Think about what you’ve learned so far about your values, strengths, personality, goals, etc. and aim to summarise the key points next to each heading in the box below. Try to think about how they are relevant to your future career ideas and plans:

  • career goals
  • values
  • strengths
  • personality
  • knowledge/experience

If you’re struggling to get started, here’s an example:

Career goals: Within 5 years, I want to be a successful freelance writer with clients across a range of organisations. If I can use my writing to influence change and innovation, that would be the cherry on the cake.

Values: My key values are concern for others, creativity and independence. In my ideal role I would be supporting or developing other people, either as a leader or as a service provider. I value my independence, so working in an environment where I can be autonomous is important to me. I enjoy setting my own timetable each day and using my creativity to solve problems and come up with innovative ideas. My ideal workplace would encourage and celebrate innovation. I have strong family values, so work needs to fit around my commitment to my children.

Strengths: My two biggest strengths are 1) my ability to interact with people, communicating authentically and effectively at all levels, and 2) my written communication skills. I love writing and editing copy to ensure that is conveys appropriate messages accurately and effectively. Ideally, I would be writing content that can help and support people to be the best that they can be.

Personality: I’m kind, thoughtful, empathetic and warm. I have a good sense of humour. I often use these characteristics to bring people together and motivate them. I am also curious and enjoy learning new facts or skills and sharing those with others.

Knowledge and experience: I have over 20 years of experience in the higher education sector and during that time, have accrued significant knowledge about the student experience, with a particular interest in careers and employability.

When you’re happy with the key elements of your story, choose someone from the list you made in Activity 1 and share it with them. This may feel like a daunting task, but it will be easier to hear constructive feedback from people you know, like and trust than from an employer you were really keen to work for.

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This won’t necessarily be the final version, as you might make further changes after you’ve received more feedback. But you’ve made a great start.

Don’t forget, once you’ve collected some useful feedback from your contacts, this is not something you need to present to others again – this is not your ‘elevator pitch’. This is a narrative that you can draw on when you’re planning your consistent messages about who you are and what you have to offer.

In the course you will be referring back to your personal brand story so make sure you hit save under the box. There is the option ‘Download your answers for the documents on this course’ on the left hand side of every page. This will produce a PDF document of all of your answers to the activities for you to refer back to as needed.

If you want to explore the different elements of your personal brand in more detail, there are also many useful books available to help you. Go to the Further reading [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] section to view a selection.